A South Bunbury business has been given permission to add a betting agency to its premises.
At its meeting on Tuesday, July 3, the City of Bunbury council discussed a new proposal for a betting agency to be installed in the Hungry Hollow Tavern on Ocean Drive.
The owners have planned to install a PubTAB betting terminal for punters to place wagers and receive winnings.
The proposal has also sought approval for the touch screens to be placed within the facility and for signage around the screens to be installed.
Following the discretionary use guidelines of the city’s local planning scheme no.8, the city informed neighbouring businesses and residences of the proposal.
The city then received seven objections from neighbouring landowners.
The submissions focused on potential concerns with parking, noise, and societal issues regarding the placement of betting agencies next to residential areas.
The city then ruled that noise disturbances and parking issues were not factors in this instance due to the nature of the application.
They also found that the proposed set-up would not be large enough to significantly impact land use or generate a much higher rate of customers.
The application was recommended for approval, given the proposal’s compliance with state legislation.
“Under our town planning legislation, it comes under discretionary use. So, it’s up to the discretion of the council as to whether it is approved or not,” City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said.
“That process requires advertising, so we enable people who wish to either make an objection or support it.
“I think that any business today has to be innovative and creative, more than ever before.
“If they can do that in a way which conforms to our town planning requirements, I say good on them.”
At the meeting on Tuesday, July 10, councillors Jaysen Miguel and Michelle Steck spoke favourably about Hungry Hollow’s proposal.
Fellow councillors Tresslyn Smith and Brendan Kelly, however, discussed their reasons for disliking the motion.
Addressing the council, resident Barry Barstow said the installation of a PubTAB would negatively impact the community.
“Gamblers are 10 times more likely to get divorced, four times more likely to be problem drinkers, and four times more likely to be smokers,” he said.
“None of those are great for our social well-being.
“Gambling is not consistent with a good, safe, and healthy community.”
Council voted 7/4 in favour of the proposal, with Kelly, Smith, Karen Steele, and Betty McCleary voting against it.