MEDIA RELEASE: ACT CLUBS WORKERS NEED SUPPORT FUND

MEDIA RELEASE: ACT CLUBS WORKERS NEED SUPPORT FUND

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Workers in Canberra’s clubs should be supported by an industry transition fund similar to government support given to car industry workers, according to a new submission sent to the ACT Government.

In response to the ACT Government’s plan to cut the number of poker machines in clubs, United Voice, the club union, argues workers should receive funding through a newly-established industry transition fund.

The proposed fund would be used to provide welfare to workers displaced by the pokie cuts, and allow retraining of continuing club workers as clubs adjust to new, broader roles in the community.

The ACT government is implementing its 2016 election policy of cutting poker machine numbers from current levels of 4984 machines to 4000 by May 2020.

United Voice ACT Branch Secretary Lyndal Ryan says the clubs industry was facing significant change and the government had to address the long-term impacts if it was to succeed in its goal of harm minimisation, “We need an industry transition board that will manage these changes in the community. It’s no good getting rid of poker machines and leaving the industry and its workers in disarray.

“We see there is a great future for clubs – and good sustainable jobs our workers can count on – but it has to be thought through and funded appropriately. Similar to workers in the car industry, club workers should not be left on the shelf when big changes occur.”

Under United Voice’s submission the board would manage the transition fund, with half the money going to clubs to help them adjust to the changes, and half going to workers.

The board would also be tasked with helping clubs adjust to new, broader roles in the communities they serve.

ENDS

The full submission is available upon request.

Media contact: 0425 242 691

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