COVID-19/Safe Harbour

Safe Harbour

It probably does not come as surprise to know that even prior to the disruption of COVID-19, the registered club industry was already shrinking. In a period when our population as a nation grew by 11 million people from 14 million to 25 million, the number of clubs in our community had reduced by more than 500. There are many reasons for this, but the decline in club numbers is not new and, prior to COVID, we had forecast that another 400 clubs would close in the next 5 to 10 years.

As directors and managers in the industry you will be involved with having to decide the future of your club.

For those clubs struggling prior to COVID-19, now more than ever, you will need to closely monitor trading and member spending habits and adjust expenditure as necessary. You will also need to look at new revenue sources to keep your business current and ahead of the competition. For many clubs, the aim in the near term may be to achieve, at the very least, a cash neutral trading position.

If solvency is an issue for your club, Directors should prepare a restructuring plan for the future of the Club that is reasonable and that sees its liabilities remitted in the ordinary course of business. We also recommend that you prepare a rolling cashflow forecast projected for at least 52 weeks. This forecast should be considered as a dynamic tool and be constantly developed and updated.

If your Club is not able to achieve a plan that is viable and demonstrates a sustainable business, then it may be necessary to explore alternative courses of action such as amalgamation, restructure or property development.

Greg Russell of this office is a registered liquidator and is a member of the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA) and so is qualified to assist your Club with devising and pursuing your options. We can also provide assistance with the preparation of your cashflow forecast.

Contact or for more details


COVID-19 Articles

We are concerned about the welfare of our clients and their communities during this difficult time.  We have prepared the below circulars and will continue to update our clients with relevant information as it comes to hand.  Please continue to monitor our website for future updates.

15 July 2020 Gaming Tax Deferral Application

The February and May 2020 quarterly gaming tax payments were deferred by government to 1 September 2020. This due date is racing towards us, now only weeks away.

15 June 2020 Gaming Tax Deferral

You would no doubt be aware that Gaming Machine Tax for the quarters ended 28 February 2020 and 31 May 2020 have been deferred to 1 September 2020.

1 June 2020 - The Safe Haven Club

Welcome Back!  As if that lockdown period wasn’t bizarre enough, we are now about to step into The Twilight Zone.

18 May 2020 - Bridge over Troubled Waters

So, the news that clubs are now allowed to open their doors for the first time in weeks is a double-edged issue.

15 May 2020 - Time to breathe, time to plan

Business is suffocating under the weight of the social distancing restrictions and the big question is how long as an industry we can hold our breath.

21 April 2020 - Winter is coming

As we sit, it appears unlikely that our clubs will open before the end of winter, which will probably see venues closed until at least the end of August.

Winter is coming

20 April 2020 - Annual Report & Financial Statements - extension of time to lodge.

Annual Report & Financial Statement - extension of time to lodge

9 April 2020 - Clarification - Safe Harbour 

Please see the attached article regarding clarification of safe harbour following ClubsNSW webinar today.

Clarification of Safe Harbour

1 April 2020 - Temporary Safe Harbour

An article by Greg Russell - published in ClubsNSW Clublife digital version about Directors responsibilities during these difficult times including information on “temporary safe harbour.”

Surviving the Crisis 

March 2020 - Slow Down or Close Down

An article by Greg Russell published by RSL and Services Club regarding matters to consider when temporarily closing your Club.

Slow down or close down

26 March 2020 -Stay Afloat in turbulent times part 2

An article about temporary safe harbour provisions.

Staying afloat in turbulent times part 2

20 March 2020 - Stay afloat in turbulent times part 1

Temporary club closures - There are many operational, financial and governance issues Clubs must consider in this unprecedented time.

Staying afloat in turbulent times part 1