Poker machines are some of the biggest generators of revenue for the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
Poker machines are some of the biggest generators of revenue for the Gambling Community Benefit Fund. Darryn Smith

Wallace is not one to hedge his bets

OPINION-OUR SAY

WHETHER you agree or not, you've got to hand it to Fisher MP Andrew Wallace.

He's sticking to his guns when it comes to the issue of gambling funds.

The Gambling Community Benefit Fund funnels significant amounts of money each year into the coffers of valued community organisations.

But Mr Wallace has declared the grants blood money, and says he has a firm policy of not assisting with references for Gambling Community Benefit Fund applications.

Mr Wallace argues the grants simply don't justify the draining of people's wallets through the pokies, on Keno, greyhound and horse racing or sports betting, week-in, week-out.

He's a staunch opponent of gambling in all its forms, and you've got to at least acknowledge his willingness to stand by his convictions.

But on the flip side, it's a tough call to make to say no, you won't help community groups, often kept running on the smell of an oily rag and countless hours of volunteering, to try and get their hands on a pool of cash.

Sure there are other avenues, or ways they could possibly secure funding, but while the fund is there, you could argue Mr Wallace is doing those groups a disservice by refusing to assist with an application.

Former chair of the Queensland fund, Ashley Robinson, says it's not blood money, rather, an initiative which has helped groups and people who otherwise wouldn't see a cent.

Is it better to accept the community funds, as a trade-off for the punting, or push for a total gambling ban?



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