Maclean Bowling Club manager Mark Williams closes the door on the club. Photo: Adam Hourigan
Maclean Bowling Club manager Mark Williams closes the door on the club. Photo: Adam Hourigan

Coronavirus club closures hits staff

AT MIDDAY, the last beer was poured and the doors were locked on the Clarence Valley's registered clubs and pubs.

But there's still a lot more to do according to Grafton District Services Club chief executive officer Nathan Whiteside.

"Because it happened so quickly, we've got a bit of a game plan of 50 things we have to get to," he said.

"That's as far as the stock we've got, the ongoing support agreements and lots of others."

The first thing was for the club to trade through to their closing time of midday, with the final few people calling in for takeaway meals, coffee and a beer.

Then, Mr Whiteside said his focus was on the 70-plus staff the club had, and the effect on them, with a meeting scheduled for 4pm.

"It's difficult to say what will happen, but we'll try to lessen the impact for them," he said.

"We've got 70-80 staff and they are highly casualised, and we're going to do some stuff to help them the best way we can, because we don't know how long it's going to shut down."

Maclean Bowling Club manager Mark Williams said his concern was also for his staff, and getting organised to shut down his premises.

"It's a bit tough, there's not even enough notice to get rid of the stock you've got," he said.

"We're still three days away from finishing what we need to.

"But my first job was letting the staff go, and telling them how important they are, and at the first chance getting them back."

"We're due to do a little bit of maintenance around the club and gardens, and I'll try to get a few of them back in to get them some money, as the Centrelink doesn't kick in until April.

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"Good luck to anyone if you didn't have any money saved."

Mr Whiteside said the Grafton club's butchery was still open, and doing a roaring trade in current shopping conditions.

"Our staff are still the most important thing, and we will regularly communicate with our members," Mr Whiteside said.

"We know there's some elderly people that will need some people, and we'll be in touch.

"We'll ensure that everyone knows we're still here for them, regardless of what the forced closure does."



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