The City of Greater Bendigo will not take legal representation to a hearing that will decide the fate of 44 proposed poker machines at a White Hills hotel.
But the city confirmed a staff member will be present at the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liqour Regulation hearing in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Local lawyer John McPherson said the council’s decision reflected their perceived success at the hearing
“If they really thought they were a good chance one would expect they'd retain lawyers,” he said.
Mayor Margaret O’Rourke had previously questioned further use of ratepayers’ cash.
“There is a feeling that the rate of success is not that great,” Cr O’Rourke said.
Councillor Andrea Metcalf told a June council meeting that since 2012, the VCGLR had 138 hearings for poker machine applications, 131 of which – or 95 per cent – were approved.
Eighty of those decisions were opposed by local governments at the VCGLR hearings, where, according to Cr Metcalf, 75 were approved.
The city can appeal any VCGLR decision through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and Supreme Court, Court of Appeal (SCCA).