Pro-casino group says two-thirds back plan
A proposed Karratha casino would have the support of almost twothirds of locals, according to research put forward by former Liberal leader Matt Birney, a paid lobbyist for the project.
On Friday, Mr Birney released the results of a survey of 427 people in Karratha, which was conducted face-to-face in public places in December and January.
When respondents were asked whether they would support the building of an international-standard casino in Karratha, 64 per cent said yes, 17 per cent no and 19 per cent were unsure.
Proponents of the plan for a casino complex in Karratha hired Mr Birney to enter talks with Premier Colin Barnett and Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt.
Mr Birney introduced Karratha developer and racehorse ownerbreeder Kim Loxton to Mr Holt on April 14 and Mr Barnett on April 24.
Mental health advocates are concerned a casino would cause problem gambling and misery for flyin, fly-out families and Aboriginal people.
Those at the meetings were quiet about the project yesterday, but documents in Parliament confirm a proposal for a gaming and entertaining complex in Karratha.
Mr Loxton and property management company Sulcon are promoting the plan.
WA has a one-casino policy restricting gaming machines and other gambling to James Packer’s Crown Perth complex.
Mr Barnett said he “simply listened to their proposal” and gave Mr Loxton no commitments.
Opposition leader Mark McGowan called on Mr Barnett to rule out the proposal, saying regional casinos in the Northern Territory were “overgrown pokie parlours”.