"We are proud to have played a role in the conversation we must continue to have: that problem gambling has reached an untenable level and action is needed to ensure a better way forward for future generations.” @JenniferKanis http://bit.ly/2DW9Lw6
Can the courts be used to punish or prevent opposing points of view? Should a corporate bully be allowed to silence protest using the courts? What is the true cost of brown coal electricity and who ends up paying the price?
In 2016 Maurice Blackburn launched landmark pro-bono legal action in the Federal Court that alleged Aristocrat and Crown Melbourne engaged in misleading or deceiving pokies players under the Australian Consumer Law and unconscionable conduct under the Australian Consumer Law. The legal action related to Aristocrat and Crown’s involvement in making an Electronic Gaming Machine, commonly known as a pokie machine, called Dolphin Treasure available for play at Crown Casino.
Ms Guy did not seek any monetary compensation in the case.
The case was unsuccessful, with the Federal Court finding that while poker machine design features are not legally misleading and deceptive, the full impacts of such features in fuelling gambling addiction remain unclear.
While we were unsuccessful on the legal arguments, what was accepted is that while poker machines look like the mechanical machines of old the reality of what actually happens to determine whether a gambler wins or loses when the button is pressed is actually something quite different.
In our view the decision provides an opportunity to review the regulations to ensure that the design of poker machines fits the reality of what the gambler sees and experiences.
Our case was never going to be able to take up this fight alone – tackling the scourge of pokies needs leadership to reverse the financial and human costs that come from gambling on the pokies.
The Maryborough Highland Society, headquartered 40km away from Castlemaine in a different shire, attempted to convert Castlemaine's historic Railway Goods Shed into a venue with 65 poker machines, tripling the number of pokies in town. This was an attempt to circumvent Council policy by leasing a building on State Government land that sits outside the local planning restrictions.
EPIC is a community organisation comprising over 1,500 people from a town of only 7,000, and includes a broad cross-section of the Castlemaine community - with local businesses, artists, the local psychiatrist, problem gamblers and their family and friends all involved.
VCAT handed down its orders on 14 February 2013. This was a significant win for EPIC and community groups throughout Australia.
“Protecting and standing up for the vulnerable through our use of the legal system can help Australian communities come to terms with the injustices of the past and present. Through recognition and compensation, those in need can also find hope for the future. But the fight is far from over.” Jennifer Kanis, Head of Social Justice
“If we are serious about addressing violence against women and children, we must also tackle the many key social issues facing women, including gender inequality. For too many women, inequalities persist throughout their life - from childhood, to entering the workforce, starting a family, and in retirement. We must set the standard now that all forms of inequality facing women, and the attitudes and treatment of women that this inequality creates, are unacceptable in modern Australia.” Liberty Sanger, Principal and Board Member Maurice Blackburn, Chair Equal Workplaces Advisory Council Victoria
Australia has officially said YES! Now let’s make it happen.