Santa Pa­rade paid for by pok­ies

Clutha Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - MARY-JO TOHILL

Pres­sure from an anti-gam­bling lobby urg­ing coun­cils to stop us­ing fund­ing from pok­ies has not dis­cour­aged the Clutha District Coun­cil from ap­ply­ing for fund­ing from gam­ing ma­chines.

The Prob­lem Gam­bling Foun­da­tion is call­ing on all ter­ri­to­rial lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to fol­low the lead of the Hamil­ton City Coun­cil, which re­cently voted 8-3 to stop us­ing money from pok­ies to fund projects.

Ac­cord­ing to the foun­da­tion’s data, the Clutha District Coun­cil has re­ceived $16,770.86 in direct pokie grants from 2014 to July 2017.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Hill con­firmed these funds had been used to pay for the an­nual Santa pa­rade at Bal­clutha.

The coun­cil had ‘‘in­her­ited’’ com­mu­nity-led event.

It also in­her­ited the fund­ing scheme, and would be ap­ply­ing for these funds again this year, oth­er­wise such ac­tiv­i­ties would come out of rates, Hill said.

The coun­cil had no pol­icy gov­ern­ing use of fund­ing from pokie ma­chines/gam­bling, he said. the once-

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