Media watching for non-compliance, says clubs chief

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Coffee time outside a cafe in Yarralumla yesterday.

THE Prime Minister’s threat of “far more draconian measures to enforce social distancing” because too many Australians did not seem to be getting the message has put ClubsACT on to the front foot.

CEO Gwyn Rees has been briefing his member clubs about the importance of compliance with government edicts around the hospitality industry, warning that the media “are covering the issues of pubs and restaurant non-compliance very quickly”.

He says the media has already sought comment from him today and quotes some national media commentators.

He quotes Chris Uhlmann, of 9 News, as saying: “Victoria and NSW are pushing National Cabinet to impose a lockdown of all non-essential activities, including businesses. So no going to restaurants, and pubs” and Channel 7’s Mark Riley has said: “Cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs are not complying in Canberra”.

He tells his members that regulatory staff from Access Canberra and the Health Protection Service have been out in venues and the feedback from venues is that it has been an educative approach at this time.

“I do, however, want to make it clear that moving forward, venues will run the risk of fines and, in other states, I am advised that regulators will close venues immediately where they fail to comply,” he says.

“Unfortunately, there are a large number of other hospitality businesses who appear less informed or slower to react to the federal government’s directives.

“This creates uncertainty for all hospitality business particularly given international experience where the UK, for example, have shut all pubs, restaurants, clubs and gyms.”


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