National

Qld clubs bracing for closures

By AAP Newswire

Locked-down Queensland clubs have resorted selling to take away food and alcohol, but it won't be anywhere near enough for some to survive the coronavirus crisis.

Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart said for those that were already struggling with the COVID-19 lockdown will be their death knell and for others, the challenge will be winning members back when it passes.

"I am saddened because there will definitely be casualties," Mr Flockhart said.

"What the quantum is, is too premature to know. It's about how much debt they have."

The virus is yet another body blow for Queensland clubs.

More than 160 have closed in the past decade.

On Monday, more than 20,000 employees were stood down following a government order for clubs to close indefinitely because of the outbreak of COVID-19.

Mr Flockhart said venues had been overwhelmed with support from councils and the state Government who have waived rental fees.

Banks have also come to the party with assistance while gaming manufacturers had offered monetary relief as well.

The tiniest of silver linings for some clubs has been food and alcohol sales for off-premises consumption.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming has confirmed clubs can still sell alcohol to members and reciprocal members for off-premises consumption.

A Brisbane City Council spokesman said any business with a current food business license can offer takeaway food.

Mr Flockhart said clubs offering food and alcohol may not even make a profit but it keeps them relevant with their members and that's half the battle while they remain closed.

"It's a market but it won't be a very profitable market but it keeps the communication and interaction with their members and that's important," he said