Crucial decision that will help pay wages of club workers
THE State Government has given licensed clubs around NSW some relief following the enforced closure last Monday as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.
In the region, clubs, generally, are among the larger employers in the towns they are in, and the closures announced by the national cabinet in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19 had massive impacts on those communities.
The Casino RSM Club had a staff of 65 before the crisis hit, and the Ballina RSL Club had 130-140 people on its books.
Industry body ClubsNSW has welcomed the NSW Government's decision to defer gaming and payroll taxes for six months to the state's 1200 registered clubs.
ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis said these measure would help ensure clubs could guarantee full staff entitlements throughout the current crisis, while providing the industry with the best possible chance of remaining viable in the longer term.
He said the COVID-19 crisis was undoubtedly the greatest challenge not-for-profit clubs have faced.
"Over the past 100 years or so, NSW clubs have endured tough times including through world wars and the Great Depression, but COVID-19 poses a far greater threat to our existence than ever before," he said.
"Clubs aren't likely to be earning any income for the duration of this crisis, so to ask them to pay tax during this time would have had a catastrophic impact on their future viability.
"These measures are all about keeping people in work in the longer term.
"They will help clubs guarantee entitlements for the 43,000 people directly employed by the industry and will also help clubs recover so that these jobs remain for club workers, and their families, when trading is allowed to resume.
"When the time comes to re-open the doors, clubs want to be there for their combined 6.7 million members across the state, and for the countless community groups and charities that depend upon the $120 million that clubs donate annually.
"We need to ensure that clubs remain an intrinsic part of this country's social fabric for the next 100 years."