Queensland’s clubs are part of the local community, servicing members who range from five years old through to centenarians. Currently there are 4,216 clubs registered with the Queensland Government providing a social and physical outlet for millions of Queenslanders. These clubs present Queenslanders with a diverse range of over 125 types of activities from abseiling through to yachting.
Similarly, these same clubs are the breeding ground for our State’s sporting elite – the venues and forums in which they find their passions and hone their skills. Without clubs in which to grow and develop we may never have heard of: Greg Norman, Wally Lewis, Kieren Perkins, Cathy Freeman, Susie O’Neill, Artie Beetson, Pat Rafter, Allan Border, Sally Pearson, Karrie Webb, Mick Doohan, or Anna Meares just to name a few.
Underpinning the operation of these clubs are some 1,111 registered and licensed ‘community clubs’ which help to ensure the ongoing financial viability of these clubs through the provision of direct and indirect social contributions.
Community clubs, over 70% of them sporting related, deliver hospitality and entertainment for their communities as part of their DNA, with surpluses derived from these operations often underpinning the sporting dream for Queenslanders via the provision of facilities, equipment, sponsorship, subsidies and competition.
The social contribution made by community clubs can be categorised as follows:
- cash donations provided directly to the community or to community organisations, such as donations to local charities or community initiatives
- direct in-kind donations to the community or to community organisations, which may include provision of meeting spaces or goods and services for community activities
- in-kind support associated with the provision of sporting and recreational facilities at costs below market rates – such as subsidised court hire or green fees, and
- facilitation of volunteer labour, for instance volunteers associated with sporting sub-clubs.
Across Queensland the value of this social contribution is estimated to be worth around $853 million per annum, or around $770,000 per club. These contributions are made not only to clubs but across a broad spectrum of activities in the community – the provision of a meeting room for a political party branch meeting, a free bus run for the local school sporting team, a donation in kind to a local charity, and a cash donation for sporting equipment for a local sports club for example.
However, attempting to try and place a full dollar value on the contribution that ‘active clubs’ make to the Queensland economy is fraught with danger. In addition to the social contribution made by clubs are other factors to consider – such as all the volunteer hours undertaken by parents with their kid’s sports activities on the weekend, hiring team bus to travel to a regional competition and buying team uniforms.
What they also offer Queenslanders is something more, something you cannot put a dollar value on. They offer Queenslanders an outlet for their passions, an opportunity to socialise with their peers, and a chance to develop an espirit-de-corps. Again, how do you put a dollar value on the cry of Queenslander! You can’t, but it is something clubs deliver to people each and every day.
What’s more, you will find in the clubs of today the stars of tomorrow – those athletes who will represent us at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Registered clubs in Queensland boast around 2.4 million members, and it is also important to note that in many communities the club is an integral part of the social fabric of the local community. Take, for example, the dawn service held at your local RSL, an activity which unites the local community as we celebrate our heritage and recognise the contributions made towards our society.
In addition, clubs are also significant employers. Clubs across Queensland directly employ around 22,000 Queenslanders in a diverse range of functions such as gaming, food and beverage, facilities management and maintenance, finance and administration.
The most recent survey of community club’s employment practices found that each Club in Queensland had an average wages and salaries bill of $619,200, with employment types broken down into the following categories:
- full-time employees – 26%
- part-time employees – 8%
- casual employees – 64%
- trainees/apprentices – 2%
Community clubs, just like sport, are a valuable part of the Queensland economy. Each year clubs in Queensland generate around $2.2 billion in revenue and pay $513 million in taxes, of which around 49% is associated with gaming operations, and a further 43% in GST – around $220 million.
So next time you have the ear of your local political representative – suggest to them that sport funding should be a priority, and then leave them with the war cry – Queenslander!
Further information on Grants can be found here