The head of Australia’s largest charitable group – World Vision’s Tim Costello – has been slammed by the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) in an open letter, which asked him to withdraw his criticism of Sydney priest and anti-pokie reform campaigner, Father Chris Riley.
Costello condemned Priest Riley for accepting gambling money in the form of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations each year from the gambling industry to help run a homeless charity.
Even though it’s helping homeless people, heartless Costello said he doesn’t agree with Father Riley accepting money from such sources and also criticised him for fronting a campaign against the Federal Government’s proposed poker machine reforms. Riley believes instead of mandatory pre-commitment on poker machines, the Government should focus on funding education and treatment programs.
However, in a report by ABC News, Costello has admitted accepting $500,000 from hotels for a tsunami relief program. A little hypocritical there Costy. And his defence? He believes the money came from donations by patrons and staff. He justifies accepting money, and says: “We got confirmation that they were, they had (an) overwhelming number of people who responded to putting money into a bucket.”
Nevertheless, this is something the Aussie Hotels Association rejects. And worse still for hypocritical Costella, Clubs Australia director Anthony Ball makes it clear some of the money came from poker machines: “This money did not come from the sale of potato crisps and Twisties,” he said.
The AHA say Costello should pay the money back or apologise to the priest – although Costello says he has not yet received the letter and will take his time to consider a response. Any ideas on what you think this could be?