Ruling to end Castlemaine pokie dispute

MOUNT Alexander Shire has won their appeal against new poker machines in Castlemaine.

The decision, released this morning, has vindicated the council in its year-long contest in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Enough Pokies In Castlemaine - who supported the appeal - said it had been a long, but worthy battle to block the introduction of 65 "toxic" poker machines.

Maryborough Highland Society general manager Malcolm Blandthorn said plans for the proposed venue, at an old railway shed, would now be shelved without the poker machine revenue.

"We're a not-for-profit organisation," he said.          

"At this stage as a board we would have to discuss it. But my feeling would be  we won't be able to go ahead with it and that we won't pursue any legal avenues open to us. We accept the umpire's decision."

EPIC president David Stretch said the rights of the community had been served.

"In the last two-and-a-half years we've seen a community become active in an issue in an unprecedented fashion. I've never protested against anything in my life... The depth and breadth of opposition has been absolutely extraordinary."

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