Cleveland and Victoria Point Sharks clubs wait on COVID safe plan before planning for stage three restrictions

RESTRICTED: Cleveland and Victoria Point Sharks manager, Mal Cochrane said the clubs are set on reopening at stage three on July 10.
RESTRICTED: Cleveland and Victoria Point Sharks manager, Mal Cochrane said the clubs are set on reopening at stage three on July 10.

CLEVELAND and Victoria Point Sharks manager Mal Cochrane said both sports clubs would not be opening when COVID-19 restrictions eased on Friday.

Health Minister Steven Miles announced pubs, restaurants and cafes would be able to cater for 20 patrons for both food and beverage service starting this week.

From Friday hospitality venues with a COVID safe industry plan would be allowed to have 20 people per section of their establishment as long as there was not more than one person per four square metres.

However Mr Cochrane said Victoria Point and Cleveland Sharks clubs would be set on reopening at stage three on July 10.

"This is an encouraging and welcomed development for our industry. However, upon opening we are required to adhere to an industry wide COVID safe plan which is still under review by the government.

"Once the approved plan is received we can review our operating systems to determine if it is viable to open the clubs," he said.

The clubs would be able to accommodate 100 patrons in stage three.

"Whilst this will assist us at Cleveland because it is more or less a one room club we will still have to maintain the 1.5 meter rule. This means that our gaming room will only be able to have 50 per cent occupation because of floor space and our diners will need to spread into the lounge areas - We can live with that," Mr Cochrane said.

He said the Victoria Point club had six main areas and he feared if they traded in the restaurant, they would not be able to accommodate members in other areas of the club.

"Our bingo sessions on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday usually have up to 100 people in these sessions meaning that we will not be able to trade in other areas of the club. It is likely that we will be able to accommodate around 40 people in our gaming room and 10 people in our TAB this leaves only 50 available spots in our club," he said.

He said insurance and power costs at the clubs were around $8,000 per week and they had been closed for nearly three months.

"Our debt is rising whilst we are closed and it looks like our income could halve when we do open," he said.

Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson said businesses in the Redlands had expressed frustration at the uncertainty and lack of clarity in the government's recovery roadmap.

"The indecision and then reversal of decisions once taken is hurting small businesses and jobs in our region.

"The debacle over reopening the borders has a flow-on effect to local businesses who benefit from interstate visitors," he said.

He said the hospitality industry, including sporting clubs, had waited patiently for a workable roadmap.

"It seems only huge public pressure brings about change. In the meantime Redlanders are suffering," he said.