Election 2018

Liberal Party election  commitments to Tasmania’s Neighbourhood Houses

Congratulations to Premier Will Hodgman and the Liberal Party members in winning the 2018 State Election.

Neighbourhood Houses across Tasmania are looking forward to the incoming Liberal Government delivering on their Election 2018 Commitments to:

  • $45 000 per annum increase to the core recurrent funding of all of the current 33 DHHS Funded Neighbourhood Houses
  • $2 million in infrastructure funding to continue the renovation program
  • Bringing our associate member Phoenix House on King Island into the network with a $120 000 per annum recurrent funding basis

All of these were exactly as the network advocated which is a great outcome.

  • The Liberal Party have also heard our advocacy about safety in Houses and have committed $5 000 per House for any needed security  upgrades/alarms etc.
  • And they have announced a protocol so that the different government departments coordinate better with local Houses.

This is a vote of confidence in the Neighbourhood Houses community development model – community led, community governed……  where the community decides what the focus and work should be, and then work together to make it happen.

Please see the Liberal Party Policy Release and our response on behalf of the network.

Liberal Party Policy for Neighbourhood Houses 9 February 2018

Media Release NHT response to Liberal Party Commitment 9 Feb 2018



Listen to our Communities – Don’t throw our communities and the families of problem gamblers “under the bus” 

Today at Risdon Vale Neighbourhood Centre we stood with the Royal Australian College of GPs, Anglicare Social Action and Research Centre and Rachel Dunn from Karadi Aboriginal Corporation representing the Southern Neighbourhood Houses  to call on the government to change it’s policy and to remove poker machines from Tasmania’s pubs and clubs.

Please see our joint Media Release – Listen to communities 20180226

The following is an extract from John Hooper, EO of Neighbourhood HOuses Tasmania’s remarks today.

Removing Pokies is good for communities

We are speaking out about pokies for our communities, but also to our communities. 

There are 35 neighbourhood Houses in our network primarily located in the low socio economic and regional communities where pokies proliferate.

What we are is a network of people that live, work, parent and play in the communities that pokies are in.  Many of our staff and volunteers play the pokies socially and work in the pokies pubs. 

Houses work hard every day trying to help people build their confidence and take steps into employment.  So we know how precious jobs are in our communities.  The people working in these pubs are our friends and family.  We understand their concern but we ask everyone to consider the damage these machines do. 

We are speaking up because we’re prepared to give up the pokies on a Friday night for the 2000 problem gamblers in our communities and their families.

Because we care about all the families we support to find housing, furniture, school shoes, to pick up the pieces after their family finances are destroyed by an addiction.

We know there is a lot of concern about jobs that may be affected.  We get that. 

But please, please think of the kids and partners of those addicted, think of the thousands of people and families that will be affected over the next twenty years.  Lives destroyed.

There will be more jobs and better jobs if we remove pokies.  We know that 75% of pubs don’t have pokies and do well, AND evidence shows that if the money going into the pokies was spent in community, like the food store behind us here today,  many more jobs will be created!    This will be a win win, but we all have to work together through the transition.

The network of seniors having lunch behind us in Risdon Vale were part of a forum last week – they want the pokies out of their community.

Our network is understood by all three parties and valued by all parties for the great community development work that Houses do.  All Parties, including the Liberal government ,  have committed to increasing our core funding to better do what we do.  The Premier, the Treasurer, the members of this government sees the work that we do, they support our House staff and volunteers and we so appreciate that.   We do thank them for their support and belief in our work.

We absolutely reject the idea that they are supporting the pokies industry corruptly.  It’s a cheap shot and not fair BUT we believe they’ve been given bad advice, and believe they are being pragmatic politically to pursue their broader agenda.

Premier, Treasurer, Ministers, government members and candidates please hear us that  this is the wrong policy for Tasmanian communities and we are begging you to change it.  This is our chance to help the kids abandoned in car parks of our pubs while mum or dad gambles the rent money…. and the  many many kids that will be horribly impacted over the next twenty years.

Please consider not throwing these families and our communities effectively “under the bus” and change your policy.  We won’t give up on this or believing it’s possible for you to change your approach.  The government policy as proposed, will have worse outcomes than the current model AND will entrench them forever.  It’s just wrong.

If this policy doesn’t change this will be a legacy your government will be remembered for in our communities and you’re better than that.  We know you want a better Tasmania for our most vulnerable and our communities – this is not the way.  We’re begging you.

This fight doesn’t end on March 3rd, there is still time for whomever forms government to get pokies out of pubs and clubs.  This is our chance.  Don’t throw us under the bus because of a broader agenda……please.  Don’t force us into twenty years of picking up the pieces…………again.