MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has today announced that registered clubs across the region now have the ability under law to become centres of shelter and safety in emergencies for any resident living within a five kilometre radius, under State Government changes that recognise clubs as the hubs of their local communities.
Mr Marshall said that the Registered Clubs Amendment (Exception to 5 Kilometre Rule) Regulation 2015 would relax the requirement for anyone living within a 5 kilometre radius of a registered club to be a full member or member’s guest to enter a club during emergencies.
“The change came into effect on Friday 11 December and formalises the ability of registered clubs to be respite and recovery centres in case of disasters,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is a great move that will ensure our local registered clubs can provide shelter, relief or other forms of assistance to local residents during emergency situations that endanger, or threaten to endanger, their safety or health.”
Mr Marshall said that local registered clubs made a substantial economic and social contribution to the state and provided key facilities in regional communities.
“This law change will formalise the ability for our local clubs to help their communities in times of extreme need,” he said.
“Clubs are also one of our State’s largest employers providing jobs to 42,000 people including 20,000 regional jobs and contributing more than $3.2 billion a year to the state’s economy, but more importantly they are social and community hubs and potential lifelines for their communities in emergencies.”
NSW Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott said: “This change will assist clubs to help in situations such as fires, floods, storms and heatwaves where residents need to seek shelter and safety quickly.”
Implementation of the commitments contained in the NSW Government’s 2014 MoU with ClubsNSW is under way and will help clubs to continue to deliver benefits to communities across New South Wales.
The MoU formally recognises the important role clubs play in providing community facilities, including emergency accommodation, and supporting the work of our emergency services when natural disasters occur.
This has been illustrated during devastating bushfires and storms in recent years where clubs have provided assistance to residents and emergency service workers, including accommodation and meals.