Templestowe Hotel planning and pokies history

May 18, 2023

This page looks at the saga of the Templestowe Hotel attempting to expand its pokies room from 50 to 60 machines.

Back in 2012, the Templestowe Hotel, then operated by Dominion Hotel Group, was successful at a VCGLR hearing to expand from 50 to 60 poker machines. City of Manningham objected but didn't appear at the hearing. See the 13 page decision, which outlines commitments to make community contributions through the charity Windermere.

In 2019, by which time the hotel was owned by Gianni Grollo and Jodi Mathieson (daughter of Bruce) trading as Supreme Hotels, council officers supported an application to expand the pokies by 10 to 60, after the earlier permit reportedly lapse. The officer report starts on page 10 of the minutes.

Cr Paul McLeish led an alternative recommendation to refuse the application which was supported 8-0. The debate starts 38 minutes into this webcast.

The pokies expansion was later approved at VCAT in February 2020 on the grounds that it was an existing use and that adding 10 machines to the existing gaming room did not require a permit as the gaming room did not breach the 25% rule. See decision.

The pub then sought to amend the planning permit in 2021 (see minutes), primarily to rework the expanded outdoor decking area. It was called in to open council and approved with significant conditions recommended by the officers.

Fast forward to 2023, and Supreme paid 44k on May 17 to buy 10 new entitlements for its Templestowe property, suggesting the expansion and installation is fast approaching.

The interesting question is whether the community benefit promises made back in 2012 by a previous operator are delivered when the machines are installed in 2023.