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“Our club needs to be re-opened without delay,” Echuca Workers says

By Ivy Jensen

SOME of Echuca’s leading entertainment venues may be sent to the wall, with a lack of income forcing one local club manager to call for her venue to be re-opened “without delay”.

On Monday, Moama Bowling Club, the Border Inn, Moama RSL and Rich River Golf Club will be allowed to re-open.

State Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said venues such as Echuca Workers had not earned a cent for the past nine weeks.

“And will now have to sit idly by and watch their customers cross the river to spend their money in NSW clubs and pubs,” he said.

“Daniel Andrews is simply exporting Echuca money and Echuca jobs to NSW.

“The Workies has written to me this week, mortified at being thrown under the bus by our government.

Echuca Workers general manager Erin Langman with Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh in the club. Photo: Cath Grey

“Workies general manager Erin Langman told me even if she also got the go-ahead for Monday her club (and every other venue in Echuca) would still be at a significant disadvantage because NSW can have 50 people per area and Victorians just 20.”

Ms Langman explained her club has had no income for almost nine weeks; meaning it has had to “seek assurances and support from our bank about ensuring our future”.

“They have been supportive and have extended financial support; however, the longer the prevention of allowing gaming continues, the longer we will take to get back on our feet financially and the longer it will be before (we) can start to support community groups again,” she said.

“I have heard we may not be able to open our gaming services until mid-July which gives the NSW venues a head-start on us by six weeks – this is simply unfair.

“Our club needs to be re-opened without delay.”

Mr Walsh said Ms Langman was right; and what she said applied to so many venues; “which are the community heartbeat of Echuca”.

“It’s hard enough competing on a level playing field at the best of times; but when your own government is selling you out, it becomes impossible,” he said.

The Premier's office was contacted for comment.

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