The Country Club – Currently Closed For Trading
March 17 @ 8:00 am - September 4 @ 5:00 pm
A Message From The Country Club President
Dear Members We are going through difficult times, but we are a resilient and determined nation. When we reach the other side of this crisis, our love and care for one another will have come to the fore and show that we are more resilient and determined than ever
On 22nd March this year at the direction of both the Federal and State Governments our Country Club closed. From that date we may have been closed for day to day patronage as you know it but the business side of our organisation still carried on. There are still mountains of work being done in terms of administration. With our CEO Peter Thorncroft currently on annual leave, our Acting CEO, Ben Clegg has done a marvellous job in keeping the wheels of business turning and he has been ably supported by his Management Team.
Your Board has not been idle. We formally meet by way of video conferencing every week and communicate by telephone and e-mail almost every day. Our charter, along with senior management is focused on meeting our financial commitments, caring for our staff and planning for the future particularly in relation to the eventual re-opening of our club. There are some important issues that you should be aware of:
As you are aware the hospitality industry relies on patronage for its revenue source. At the direction of the Government our club closed for business on 22nd March this year which, in effect shut down our revenue streams. Having said that, through sound financial management we have a healthy cash flow reserve that will enable us to pay our bills in the short to mid term. The Government has provided support with a relief package on current payroll tax and the suspension of current poker machine tax. Coupled with that we have negotiated similar support packages with our banks in terms of loan repayments. We continue to pay our accounts with our creditors and suppliers. We are conscious of our financial responsibilities and remain confident that we would be able to hit the ground running in terms of Country Club business when this crisis is over and the club re-opens.
We have 156 staff members made up of full time, part time and casual staff. Unfortunately, the majority of these people have been stood down due to the covid-19 crisis. Let me stress, that our staff members have been stood down and not dismissed. Each and every staff member has been personally informed that their job is safe and awaits them when all of this is over. In that regard, however, the very nature of this crisis brings with it serious levels of stress and anxiety. Sharon Buggy is doing a marvellous job as our welfare contact. She is engaging with our staff members almost on a daily basis providing much needed support, advice and counselling. On another positive note a number of our staff have volunteered to return to work to do their bit for the club. They have been deployed to carry out meaningful work on a simplistic roster basis. Further on that point, our green staff has also returned to work to maintain our golf courses and bowling greens.
Whilst on the subject of golf; The NSW Department of Health recently overturned their decision to close all golf courses within the State on the basis that the strict community health orders were adhered to. The department left the final decision to the respective golf clubs as to whether their course would open or remain closed. Your board conducted an extensive risk assessment on this issue and decided to support the directives of the Federal Government to adhere to the social health protocols particularly social distancing and maintain closure of our course. However, in that regard this issue will remain a standing item on our weekly board meeting agenda and be regularly reviewed. Members must understand that our focus is doing everything we can to stop this terrible disease from escalating further and get back to some form of normality with our lives. It is interesting to note that last Friday the governing body of golf in Australia released a covid-19 position statement. They too fully support the government with their recommendation being the closure of ALL golf courses. The full statement can be read on Golf Australia website.
During the closure of the club we have maintained a strict security regime. We no longer have cash or stock on hand. After hours security patrols have been increased. CCTV continues to operate at full capacity. Along with the police we are conducting random patrols of the golf course to ensure its closure.
Recent modelling by pandemic experts from a number of private institutions has produced some encouraging results. Although it’s purely speculation, their forecasts are very positive and rely on absolute compliance with the Government Health Directives including Social Distancing. The Federal Government is conducting its own modelling analysis and intend to have those results available to the community in the near future.
At the end of the day it is our duty as loving and caring community members to do our bit to support our governments and health authorities to end this dangerous crisis we find ourselves in. I implore you to heed the advice of our experts so that we may, in the near future, enjoy the lifestyles we are used to including the wonderful club that you are an essential part of.
Love always and stay safe
If anyone is feeling isolated, alone or need support, the NSW Government have a 24-hour hotline to offer assistance on 13 77 88.
We will continue to communicate over the coming days, weeks & months. Stay safe and stay well.
Best Wishes, The Country Club Board & Management