Merry Christmas from Clubs Queensland

A message from Clubs Queensland President, Terry McDonald

Christmas time is a great time for reflection and to look at the year gone by.  As John Lennon once sang ‘so this is Christmas, and what have you done?”

When I reflected on the last year (my first as Clubs Queensland President), I am actually amazed that the Clubs Queensland team has not dropped from sheer exhaustion, given how hard we’ve been working on behalf of members and the industry more broadly. 

Our team has worked tirelessly right across the business and 24/7 when it comes to our advocacy on the big, strategic issues and regulatory reform for our sector. All of these issues are fields that require constant ploughing and our team has been working closely with all industry stakeholders to ensure that we have created an environment that will seed positive change for community clubs.

This year, Clubs Queensland also delivered the KPMG Report into the ‘Sustainability of the Queensland Community Club industry’, one of the largest independent examinations of our sector ever undertaken. 

The Report has been received very well by both industry and the government, who concur with us that they need to be a part of the solution for the sustainability of our whole sector – all 868 registered and licensed clubs across Queensland. 

The additional casino licenses for Cairns and the Gold Coast have also dominated our political advocacy program this year, and Clubs Queensland has had countless meetings with all the stakeholders involved in these decisions and made a number of submissions on behalf of industry. 

I feel confident our #4nomore campaign has been very loudly heard by government, and some decisions on the matter are imminent – FINALLY!!! 

Then of course there was the EGM buyback market testing undertaken by the government. 

CQ has been actively involved in this consultation process to ensure that the outcome for our sector is financially rewarding, protects our future growth and importantly does not ‘sell our sector out’.  We are still awaiting the final report on the government’s findings and recommendations.

One last big issue – part day penalty rates for Christmas Eve. Clubs Queensland fought this issue as hard as we possibly could and were quoted in the media frequently regarding the cost to our sector. It certainly was an eye opener for me to see how the ‘will of Government’ works. When they want something, they want something.

Industrial relations issues have also kept the team busy. Our expert WR and compliance team delivered over 5000 advices to clubs throughout the State on a wide range of workplace, governance and compliance issues. 

As the environment in which we operate becomes more complex and litigious, our team is getting busier and busier. And the issues coming up on the horizon are going to make our challenges in this sector even greater.

In response to this increasingly high-risk environment, Clubs Queensland has restructured our workplace relations and compliance service to ensure clubs can access expert, affordable advice and support. It is as important to prevent a costly problem as it is to provide a safety net for ‘when’ that problem might arise. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ anymore.

I urge all member clubs to consider subscribing to the WRC Comprehensive service product on offer from CQ – given it has already saved some clubs many thousands of dollars.

Clubs Queensland has also been out on the road meeting with members and providing many opportunities for members to engage and network through our partnership in the AHG Expo, plus the Keno Right Directions Conference, governance seminars and workplace relations seminars.  I also personally hit the road with CEO Doug Flockhart and Vice President Tony Castro this year, to meet with and listen to our members.  I look forward to again doing this in 2020.

Clubs Queensland has also taken the lead on key ‘industry’ and ‘social license issues’ that are critical to industry. 

This year we have been very active in the responsible gambling space, and we also established the My Community Club program to promote the great work clubs do in the community.  Additionally, we launched at Parliament House - the ‘My Community Club says YES to RESPECT campaign’ to promote healthy relationships. 

Finally, to continue to promote our industry’s important community contribution, Clubs Queensland has consulted with members and industry to revamp the Keno & Clubs Queensland Awards for Excellence. 

The new Award structure will see an emphasis on community contribution while still retaining some of the much-loved category awards. It is a very level playing field for many of the awards which should encourage even more participation! 

I thank everyone involved in this change for their efforts, and particularly our sponsors for their support. Award Entries are now open, so please make sure your club enters!

And that my friends, is just the tip of the ice-berg, with 2020 heralding - a new decade, local government and state government elections, and all the challenges that this next decade will bring with it.

It’s been a very big year and I am enjoying my first year as President of Clubs Queensland. I thank my Board and 
the CQ team for all their support.

On that note I’d like to thank you for your support and 
wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and 
prosperous New Year.