As this edition of Club Insight arrives on your desk, the result of recent State election should be known and we’ll be aware of who has been democratically elected to govern the State for the next three and a bit years. Given our strong relationship with all political parties and their key Members of Parliament, I want to assure you all that both Doug Flockhart and I are fully prepared to work with whoever is successful in governing Queensland.
To offer a little more background on the political front.
Clubs Queensland, in conjunction with the Palaszczuk Labor Government, delivered for the industry a much-anticipated and needed change to gaming tax and it is now applied on a per site basis, rather than a per licence basis. This is a genuine game changer for the community club industry across the State by way of making greenfield site expansion and club amalgamations more feasible in terms of the business case and forecast viability. Additionally, there were no state-wide lockouts under the new liquor legislation, the moratorium on the application for extended trading hours was removed, while the sale of takeaway liquor for guests and extended trading for gaming by up to two hours past the cessation of liquor service were approved.
Clubs Queensland, in conjunction with the Newman LNP Government, delivered for the industry – approved Ticket in Ticket out (TITO) technology, acceptance of $50 and $100 notes in gaming machines, an increase in the maximum payout limit to $5000, an increase in gaming machines from 280 to a maximum of 300 in any one site and up to 500 entitlements across multiple sites under one license, a significant reduction in the complexity / size of the national gaming machines standards (Queensland Annexure) and a myriad of red tape reduction outcomes.
All this has happened in the last six (6) years.
Clubs Queensland’s relationship with One Nation leadership in Queensland has seen them support our successful fight to stop the ASF Casino / Integrated Resort Development (IRD) on the Gold Coast spit.
Additionally, we have funded two (2) comprehensive Queensland Census studies for use with government and stakeholders over the last eight (8) years and the Synergies Economic Report on the impact of new casino / IRD developments in Queensland. These three initiatives incurred a combined cost of close to $400,000.
A ‘One Voice’ approach is the foundation of our approach to government, which continues to be successfully driven by the Clubs Queensland board and management. This has strongly assisted in the achievement of these mentioned outcomes, whilst at all times appropriately respresenting every community club across the State.
The future, however, continues to throw up significant challenges for our industry, particularly around the issue of gambling relevance and currency, the arrival of Queens Wharf Casino in 2022, and the lackluster performance of the Queensland and Australian economy for example.
That said, both I and the Clubs Queensland team are looking forward to working through these challenges with the new government as a matter of urgency.
Pleasingly, I can advise that membership fees will again not increase for the 2018 year, which is the third consecutive year fees have remained capped.
I’m also very happy to share that the Clubs Queensland board is now considering a membership fee reduction for the 2018 year by way of a 7.5% discount for annual membership fees that are paid in full on or before the due date. Note: This offer would not apply to monthly direct debits.
It has been my pleasure to contribute to the ongoing viability of the Queensland community club sector as President of Clubs Queensland throughout 2017 and I’m looking forward to continuing with the job at hand throughout 2018.
On behalf of the board and all the Clubs Queensland team, I genuinely wish you all the best for the festive season and the 2018 year ahead.
Don Seccombe AM