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Gaming guideline G04: Making community comment

Issued May 2014

This guideline, issued by the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming under section 18 of the Gaming Machine Act 1991, replaces the Guidelines: Making community comment issued by the Queensland Liquor and Gaming Commission.

Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to give guidance to making community comment in respect to gaming machine licence and increase applications, and as a guide to the weighting the Commissioner may give to such comments.

When comment is sought

Community comment is sought in respect to applications of significant community impact. Please refer to the Guideline G01: Site licences and increases as to what constitutes an application of significant community impact.

Please note however, the Commissioner has the legislative ability to require further information from any applicant, if the particular circumstances of the case demand to enable the Commissioner to make a fully informed decision. Accordingly, the Commissioner may request comment in respect of applications that do not fall within the definition of significant community impact or those that have not been deemed that way by the Commissioner.

How comment is sought

Under section 55C of the Gaming Machine Act 1991 applications of significant community impact must be advertised for a 28-day period to enable community comment to be filed with the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR). For more information, refer to electronic gaming machines: licensing.

Comment is also to be sought by the applicant from local community groups in the preparation of the community impact statement. In addition, the views of the Local Member of the Legislative Assembly and the relevant local authority are sought by OLGR as a matter of course.

Making comment

Any member of the public, in response to an advertised application, may comment on that application. 'Member of the public' means any adult individual, corporation or other organisation, who in the Commissioner's opinion has a proper interest in the locality concerned and is likely to be impacted by the grant of the application.

It is very important that comments should specifically refer to the premises that are the subject of the application and, where relevant, be supported by evidence. Comments may be made individually or collectively by a group of members of the public.

The applicant will be afforded the opportunity to respond and provide additional information to any comments received. The Commissioner will use the comments received to assist in the determination of whether the state and the community as a whole benefit from the proposed approval.

Weighting

The Commissioner will have regard to any community comment received. However, comments must be specific and relevant to the locality and where possible be supported by evidence.

Particular weight will be applied to the following:

  • comments on how the person expects the grant of the application would contribute to, or detract from, a sense of community in the relevant locality
  • comments on the effect the grant of the application may have for persons frequenting places of public worship, childcare centres, schools, gambling help service providers and financial assistance counselling services
  • comments on the effect the grant of the application might have on the amenity or character of the locality to which it relates
  • the number of objections lodged, provided they are specific to gaming and the particular application.

The Commissioner will give lesser weight to the following:

  • comments based on a general objection to gaming rather than specific to the application and relevant premises
  • objections based on competition grounds unless the competition is relevant in some way to problem gambling
  • comments that lack factual support (e.g. an objection based on high levels of gaming concentration in an area where gaming venues are sparse)
  • comments lodged by those unlikely to be affected by the application because their residence or business is located outside the locality of the premises for which the approval is sought.

The Commissioner pays particular attention to the substance of comments and their relevance to the application and specific premises. For example, a submission signed by large numbers of community members may be given lesser weight if the concerns aired have little or no relevance to the provision of gaming at the particular premises.

For more information about gaming guidelines please call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

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