It's sad to see a local council relying on the pokies to prop up their golf club.
The Productivity Commission, noted more as economic rationalists than wowsers, report that a massive 40 per cent of pokie profits comes from problem gamblers.
The rapid, repeat, high intensity play makes them much more unsafe than other forms of gambling.
So Shellharbour Council's decision - unless they reverse this backflip - will prey on some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
If the councillors insist on pushing ahead, then for pity's sake, let's at least ask what effective harm-minimisation measures - recommended by independent experts, not conflicted directors - will the club put in place?
A good place to begin would be the Productivity Commission's recommendation of $1 maximum bet limits. It won't stop all harm, but would substantially reduce it.
Rev Sandy Grant, St Michael's Cathedral, Wollongong