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ACT Environment and Sustainability

Support Fund from ACT Government helps in diversifying Canberra clubs

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Seven community clubs in Canberra received over $632,811 from the ACT Government’s Diversification and Sustainability Support Fund to help push their business models away from gambling-based revenue. 

The program’s support funds will be allocated to the seven clubs in order to fund initiatives like developing an Early Learning Centre, upgrading and reopening a kitchen and installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure. 

“Community clubs are so important to Canberra’s social fabric,” Minister for Gaming Shane Rattenbury said. “They support our sporting teams, employ hundreds of people, and offer a place to meet and socialise for thousands of Canberrans. 

But since too many of the community clubs are highly dependent on pokies revenue, the ACT Government advocates the Support Fund to the clubs to reduce the harm of gambling to the city’s people and secure a sustainable future for clubs. 

“The Diversification and Sustainability Support Fund was established to assist clubs to diversify their income to sources other than gaming machines, contribute to projects that reduce regulatory costs, and provide skills development and training for club staff,” said Minister Rattenbury. “This fund is another example of the ACT Government’s commitment to supporting clubs so they can continue their important contribution to the life of our community.”  

The Canberra Southern Cross Club is one of the organisations set to benefit from the fund, receiving over $100,000. Southern Cross Club CEO Ian Mackay said the funding will be used to reduce costs, improve customer experience and help ensure the precinct leads in environmental sustainability. 

“This funding will be used to help us put in an electric vehicle charging station, solar panels and solar-powered carpark lighting at the Yacht Club,” CEO Mackay said. 

Gaming machines were removed from the Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club in 2014 and in 2019. The venue officially became ‘pokie-free’ when the club surrendered the Yacht Club’s authorisation certificate, indicating that gaming machines would not return to the site. 

“The Canberra Southern Cross Club has a core strategy of diversifying income streams away from gaming machine revenue and to remain sustainable through providing services that our community needs. The two core areas of diversification have been into food and beverage excellence and health and wellness services.” CEO Mackay said. 

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