from the Attorney-General, Justice Minister
and Leader of the House
The Hon Yvette D’Ath MP
Giving back to the community
There are over 1,100 community clubs in operation across all corners of Queensland.
As active members of the clubs industry, you would all be aware of the important role they, their staff and patrons play in community cohesion and the economy. The Queensland Government acknowledges that there is so much more to clubs than providing a place for a meal, or for people to participate in gambling activities.
Clubs are there to serve their members – those 2.4m collective memberships held - and local community. Your industry employs over 22,000 people, returns over $850m in social contributions and generates annual economic activity valued over $2.2b for the State’s economy.
Service clubs have also played an important role in Queensland’s gaming history, with the State’s very first electronic gaming machine commencing operation on 11 February 1992 at Kedron Wavell Services Club. Over the days that followed 18 clubs commenced gaming machine operation including the Brothers Leagues Club in Cairns, Coolum Beach Bowls Club, and RSL clubs in Maryborough, Surfers Paradise, Nambour and Townsville.
As you may also be aware, a portion of the revenue generated by club’s gaming machines is given back to not-for-profit groups through the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation-administered Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF). In 2017-18 alone, $41m in GCBF grants were distributed to 1,876 community groups.
The fund is celebrating 25 years of grants in 2019 with more funding opportunities to allow community organisations to upgrade their facilities and purchase equipment so they can improve the services they offer the community.
Round 100 will be closing at the end of this month (February). If you know of a community group who could benefit from a grant, please encourage them to look into the GCBF grants program. More information and how to apply can be found here.
The start of a new year, is a great opportunity to reflect on where we have come from and past achievements. I’d like to offer my personal thanks to all those involved in the operation of community clubs - your commitment and your service. Let’s continue this into 2019.
Finally, with Anzac Day approaching in April, it is timely to pay particular thanks to the management and staff of Queensland’s 54 Returned and Services League (RSL) clubs.
These clubs are special places; central to the digger narrative and provide a home for ex-servicemen and women across the generations, their families and community to come, share, connect and celebrate life and freedom. Whether through a dawn service, game of two-up, or quiet drink and story with a mate, RSL clubs are central to Anzac Day reflection. Lest we forget.