9000 reasons to support our community clubs
Our recent series on the impact of pokie machine gambling needed to highlight better how operators are trying to positively impact our communities.
Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart puts their case.
Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, and the results they achieve in supporting their local members, and their communities more broadly.
By nature, and habit, their focus is on action and results, not story telling.
With recent negative headlines, I would like to share the community club narrative and an insight into the positive impacts Queensland communities enjoy as a direct result of the activities of Queensland's community clubs.
Most of the invaluable community contributions they deliver via products, services and support do not make sensational headlines in the media because they involve ordinary people, not celebrities, and everyday activities.
Over 1100 licensed community clubs operate in Queensland.
They include general sporting, footy, golf, bowls, RSLs, Surf Life Saving, special interest, and more. Over 50% earn no revenue from gaming machines. Of those clubs that do, just over 70% have less than 40 gaming machines.
With all of the positive impacts to Queensland communities, as a direct result of the goals and activities of Queensland community clubs, it is interesting to observe how the industry is reported in a mostly one sided perspective due primarily to their gaming offer.
Of note are the following industry community club highlights from the 2015 year
- employed 22,100 people (almost 9,000 regionally)
- had 2.4 million members across the state
- paid $513 million in taxes
- contributed $853 million in social contributions (approx $770,000 per club), and
- contributed $58 million in cash and in-kind donations, in addition to providing,
- 608 bowling greens
- 43 gyms and fitness centres
- 263 sporting fields
- 214 golf courses
- 3 swimming pools and aquatic centres
- 245 tennis courts
- 34 squash courts
- 417 billiard tables
- 955 meeting rooms
- 678 entertainment venues, and
- 389 accommodation places.
At their roots, community clubs are products of social capital.
A group of community minded people coming together for a purpose that can include everything from profit generation, to mutual benefit, to benevolence.
They are mutual associations with facilities and services delivered in such a way that the local community benefits from their presence hence the term 'community' in their name.
Once the doors are open for business, community clubs evolve and diversify to survive. If, and when, a community club closes its doors, it has a huge social, mental wellness, and cultural impact on those in its community.
Community clubs hold a unique and essential role in every part of Queensland.
Their commitment to their members, serving their communities (young and old), and ensuring any surpluses derived are reinvested into local communities via community projects, provision of sporting facilities, infrastructure, legacy and more, is commendable and should be supported.
Yes people enjoy socialising, gambling, drinking and hospitality generally, with the overwhelming majority enjoying themselves responsibly. These offers and more are available in many outlets, however none give back to communities in the same way our community clubs do.
Local communities deserve vibrant and successful community clubs that are a strong social contributor. On the flip side, community clubs deserve your support to ensure their sustainability continues well into the future.