Hundreds of hospitality workers on the Central Coast are without jobs, as clubs and hotels closed down at noon on March 23, following a directive from Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, on March 22, in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The Prime Minister announced that all pubs, clubs, casinos, nightclubs and cinemas were to close and that restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway only.
ClubsNSW said the closures would see 37 registered clubs alone in the region ceasing to operate.
Central Coast Leagues Club acknowledged that the shutdown was for the “health and wellbeing of our nation”.
Chief Executive Officer, Edward Camilleri, said the nation was experiencing “trying times”.
“It is now more than ever where we need to pull together as a community to support our most vulnerable as we navigate these unchartered waters,” he said.
“As a time honoured institution of the Central Coast, we will persevere through this unknown and continue to serve our community as we have for the past 66 years.
“We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you good health.”
ClubsNSW issued a statement on March 23 saying it was a “devastating time for the state’s club industry, its 3.5 million members, and the 63,000 people who rely on clubs to make a living.
“Clubs across NSW are in the process of communicating with their employees on what the federal government’s shutdown means for them,” the statement said.
“As is the case in the broader community, we expect many employees will be stood down for an extended period of time.
“Our thoughts are with them.
“Clubs have been an intrinsic part of this country’s social fabric for over 100 years.
“The industry played a pivotal role leading communities through the recent bushfire crisis and the drought in the same way that clubs have supported returned servicemen and women since WWI.
“Each year, clubs provide upwards of $120M to a variety of worthy charitable, community and sporting groups, enriching local life and making NSW a better place to live in.
“ClubsNSW’ focus for the foreseeable future is ensuring that, when the shutdown is lifted, the industry can resume trading, remain viable and continue making our communities better places to live and work in.
“We encourage club members to look out for each other in the months ahead, albeit remotely.
“We are acutely aware that for many people, clubs provide them with their primary social outlet.
“Our message to club members and employees is, look after yourselves and if you need to talk to someone, call a family member or friend, or failing that, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
“There are tough days ahead, but we will get through this, and when it’s safe to do so, your local club will be there for you and the broader community, just as we’ve been for more than a century.”
Also closing on March 23 were indoor sporting venues and places of worship, with enclosed spaces for things such as funerals having to follow a strict four square metre rule.
He said this was only stage one of the social distancing measures and if Australians failed to adhere to the rules, “more draconian measures will be introduced”.
Essential services, such as shopping centres will not be closed, nor will bottle shops, home deliveries and takeaway food businesses.
Media statements, Mar 23
ClubsNSW and Central Coast Leagues Club
Office of the Prime Minister website, Mar 24