It's Not What You're Thinking

Disappointing as it was this week to hear of Father Chris Riley's support for Clubs Australia's fight against poker machine reform (I'm sure Father Riley, a man of unimpeachable moral character, was in no way swayed by any large donations made to his cause from such an organisation), it was truly disgusting, though not at all surprising, to hear of the plans of Sydney's newly-renamed Star Casino to increase revenue. According to the SMH the casino plans to target low income migrants seeking to acquire the good life through gambling, offering shuttle buses and promotions to lure in gamblers from low income areas with high migrant populations (and just how likely are recent immigrants to be able to access counselling services vaunted by clubs as the solution to problem gambling, hmm?). Clubs in the geographic areas targeted for busing are particularly peeved. Bankstown Sports Club, mentioned in the article, claims that unlike the greed of The Star, they plough their profits back into the community (true to a point - 24% of their profits went to "Sports, Welfare and Youth Club expenses" in "furtherance of the club's objectives" in the 2009/2010 financial year according to their financial report.

If what you're thinking from all this is that gambling institutions are rather unscrupulous and loose with the truth then heavens, no. Just ask them, they'll tell you. According to The Star themselves, they're not actually planning to fleece newly arrived immigrants with poor English skills and little social supports out of the paltry amount of money they have. No, all that was just the plans of the evil consulting company which wrote the report that The Star commissioned! I'm sure we will see Star management in the media repudiating such repugnant ideas soon.

Also from the "you've got me all wrong" department is NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell who has announced a lifting on the uranium exploration ban in NSW. We shouldn't jump to any conclusions about Australia commencing uranium sales to India, or NSW wanting to get in on the action to prop up our pissweak economy. The decision has nothing to do with mining. We just need to see what's out there! I'm sure if large quantities of readily extractable uranium are found, the government will allow the traditional owners of the land where the uranium is found to decide what happens to it. We just wanted to know where the uranium was is all. In this spirit, I suggested to Mr O'Farrell that we go looking for bunyips, but he hasn't gotten back to me yet.

So it's in this spirit that I ask you to ignore the massive quantities of alcohol I've purchased recently. Don't jump to any conclusions. It's not that after not drinking for a year, and with Christmas coming up, I've got a little crazy at the intoxicating - in so many ways - prospect of drinking. It's for cooking. And sharing, in case we make any friends and any of them pop over for Christmas drinks. It's not what you're thinking.

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