Clubs, pubs "opened their doors" to aid bushfire victims, volunteers
Clubs and hotels in bushfire affected areas of NSW deserves the highest praise for the efforts of its members in doing all they can to assist those affected by the devastation, Minister for Hospitality, George Souris, said last week.
"These clubs and pubs which have opened their doors and their management and staff, who have opened their hearts, have shown their community spirit in such a time of crisis," Souris said.
Souris said more than 10 registered clubs and about 30 hotels have gone above and beyond the call of duty to do all in their power to ease the plight of victims, fire fighters and police in the bushfire areas.
"Management and staff have been operating up to 24 hours a day, opening their doors, feeding thousands of people, providing drinks, looking after pets and acting as distribution and evacuation centres. Their continuing contribution is invaluable.
"Clubs are community organisations and when an emergency occurs; volunteers, members of the community and local clubs all work together to weather the storm and rebuild. They are the backbone of their communities."
The CEO of ClubsNSW, Anthony Ball, has said that all registered clubs were prepared to offer their facilities where and when needed.
Ball said: "I've spoken to many clubs over the past few days, some of which have been open around the clock since Thursday, and their commitment to doing anything and everything to help their communities make it through these devastating fires has been overwhelming."
Members of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) have also been generous in offering their facilities to those affected by bushfires.
CEO of the NSW branch of the AHA, Paul Nicolaou, said: "Our members are an important part of their communities and will do to do whatever they can to provide assistance to all those affected by the bushfires and those wonderful men and women of the RFS and SES. Many hotels are already providing food, drink and their facilities in the affected areas."
Souris added: "The facilities of clubs and hotels in these areas are desperately needed and have been provided.
"The efforts of club and hotel management and staff in fire affected areas are nothing short of tremendous."