GREENS lord mayoral candidate Alison Parkes (pictured) has come out in favour of differential rates in the City of Melbourne.
Differential rates were a hot issue last week, with new laws limiting local governments' ability to impose the rates expected to pass State Parliament. Dr Parkes unveiled plans to introduce rates three times higher than the non-residential rate on land hosting electronic gaming machines and on vacant land in the municipality.
The money raised from the gambling venues would go towards programs to counter problem gambling, while the rates collected from vacant land would be used to fund affordable housing.
Dr Parkes said it was "fair and just" that poker machine venues should contribute to combating problem gambling.
Stephen Mayne, who ran as a poker machine reform candidate in the Melbourne byelection and is running for a City of Melbourne council seat, said he supported a "double, not triple" differential rate on gambling machine venues. He said a double rate would allow the council to introduce "very well-funded programs".
Lord mayor Robert Doyle has said he could not support rates based on "individual moral prejudices".
Moreland mayor John Kavanagh expressed his disappointment at laws restricting council powers on differential rates. Moreland last year used a differential rate on gaming machine land to raise $136,000.