COVID/Restrictions Update 16/09/2020

Dear members,

The announcement by Premier Andrews has not delivered a lifeline to the club industry which has been left out to dry with his approach to deliver an unrealistic roadmap to re-opening for Victoria.

The enforced closure of the club has had a devastating impact on our members, staff, and local community, including:
• some casual employees (not on JobKeeper) reduced to zero hours and zero income.
• full time and casual employees reduced wages to JobKeeper amount.
• Large lost revenue amounts per month.
• Decline in cash position due to continuing expenses, even with the venue closed (insurance, utilities, employee benefits, security, IT support, existing contracts for gaming monitoring and service).
• Many sporting facilities closed at a time when our local community is looking for some mental health relief through exercising, personal interaction, and peer support through playing sport.

The proposed restricted opening of outdoor (only) hospitality is too far down in the listed reopening’s to have any meaningful impact. It is not a solution. When clubs opened with 20 per room, we ran at a considerable loss, but we were practicing for the proposed opening with 50 people per room within the appropriate COVID safe programs. It appears the easing of restrictions has been made with small café’s and restaurants at the forefront, not from an industry overall perspective.

Both Simon and I have sat through numerous Zoom meetings with Industry peak body colleagues, we know that a comprehensive industry opening plan has been submitted to government with extensive concessions, to create a safe environment for patrons and staff. This appears to have been dismissed by the government, despite similar plans working well in NSW and QLD for several months now. The sign in requirement at all clubs puts us in an ideal position to provide a safe indoor, seated, and distanced dining experience.

Since the government’s announcement on easing of restriction in regional areas, we have been waiting on the finer details of what is required of a venue to reopen. Only at lunchtime today, did we receive the latest information on the expectations, rules, regulations, capacity limits and definition of an outdoor area which was circulated to all hospitality venues, by which they all must comply.

We can assure you that together with the board of HCSC, we are working diligently to have our club “COVID” ready, when given the green light to reopen.

Until then, we will continue to keep our loyal members up to date on any relevant information that we can give you.

We miss you all.

Yours in Sport,
George Csifo, Simon Giles
General Manager, President