Nudgee Golf Club

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POSTED: Thu, 16 April 2020

Coronavirus Update – 16th April 2020

Coronavirus Nudgee Golf Club Update 10 - Planning For Back to Golf

We understand that most of you, like ourselves will have been missing being able to play golf at Nudgee.

The decision to close the course to golf following the Chief Health Officer's direction that licensed Clubs were a non-essential business or activity was not an easy one for the Board. The decision to close has been applauded by many of the Club members and also drawn some criticism from other members who were of the view that we should be playing golf.

We are writing this note to you to give you some insight into our consideration of this matter and to advise you how we are working towards re-opening the course for some form of golf.

During the past week, the Board invited a number of members of the Club to form a reference group to assist us to make the most informed decision we could with regard to re-opening the course for play. The group consisted of a range of views - some which were in favour of keeping the course closed and some who believed we should be open.

The people who have given their time to be part of this reference group are Kath Collins - Member and Registered Nurse, QLD Health, Johan Meyer - Member and Business owner, Lindsay Rattray - Member, Past Captain, member of the Queensland Police Force, Daniel Ackland - Member and Director at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services, QLD and David Young - Member and Accountant. We thank each of them for stepping up to assist us through this process.

Having this group in place has meant that we have been able to share with them some of the complexities confronting the Board as we have been challenged with the responsibility of acting in the very best interests of both the members and staff of Nudgee Golf Club during recent weeks.

Communication to date on this matter has been extremely clear about the Board continually reviewing the situation and ready to make changes when appropriate. It is the strong belief of each of the members of the Nudgee Board and the wider Membership that we have had a measured and considered approach to this virus. Many of the Clubs that have remained open, along with those that closed initially and then re-opened, will have had their own reasons to operate and we respect their positions.

Our Board members were driven by the wellbeing and care of our members and staff to work in a  strongly-supportive compliance framework with what our political leaders have been asking of us. In saying this, we had also given due consideration to the financial implications for the Club of being closed. However, it was our considered view that given the health risk associated with people coming together in the one place (Nudgee Golf Club), it was best that we kept the course closed for the time being, letting the dust settle. The majority of the members who contacted us in the many replies to our updates supported this view.

This week, the group of members we mentioned earlier will be working with us to understand the approach being taken at other clubs to ensure we get the best possible options for play here at Nudgee. We will also be guided by our legal obligations as a Board, which as of last Thursday, we now have more clarity on. At the same time, Darren Richards, our General Manager will be working with the staff who were stood down and do not currently have work to on-board them again and work out the roles and rosters that will get them back into safe employment at Nudgee, following the JobKeeper package that was approved before Easter. We want to stress the list of considerations in returning to golf are greater at Nudgee, given the redevelopment and the opportunity that might be available to accelerate some elements of the project.

We don't need to remind any of you that the situation with the response to the COVID-19 outbreak remains very fluid and these options could be removed with one stroke of the Chief Health Officer's pen. However, we have seen some consistent signs in the past week that the strong response to date has seen slowing of the spread of infection. Given that we are able to successfully work through the staff issues and redevelopment considerations, we are of the view that the decision to re-open the course again is a measured and well-considered approach.

We believe that being a member of Nudgee Golf Club is a fantastic privilege. Each of the Board members understands that without members the Club does not exist, but it is important to remember that the events that we have seen over the last 3 weeks are unprecedented. At a National and Global level, we are all dealing with a pandemic and financial crisis, the like of which the World has never seen. At club level, the Board has a huge responsibility for our staff livelihoods and continuing to guide our redevelopment through to a successful conclusion. There is no whitepaper on this.

We hear the strong message from our National and State leaders that we are all in this together and the same can be said for the members of the Nudgee Golf Club - we are all in this together when it comes to getting the right outcome for the Club. We are extremely confident we will get through this as well as any golf club in the country.

We can assure you, we have worked tirelessly through this period to ensure the long term future of the club, whilst dealing with our personal employment and business challenges.

The Board and the reference group will work through the return to golf issues this week and provide an update by next Monday with firm date to resume activity at Nudgee Golf Club. We are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible out and about at Nudgee in the near future, albeit from a minimum 1.5 metres away.

The Board

Nudgee Golf Club

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