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Village Roadshow Chief Executive calls for JobKeeper extension as Queensland Government’s Coronavirus easing roadmap suggests reopening of theme parks, entertainment venues and stadiums in June

Village Roadshow Chief Executive calls for JobKeeper extension as Queensland Government’s Coronavirus easing roadmap suggests reopening of theme parks, entertainment venues and stadiums in June
May 12, 2020

Village Roadshow Chief Executive, Clark Kirby has called on the Federal Government to extend the $130 billion JobKeeper package beyond September.

With JobKeeper payments set to run until 27th September, Kirby, whose Village Roadshow group includes Village Cinemas, one of Australia's largest cinema chains, along with Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet ‘n’ Wild Gold Coast, is concerned that Coronavirus restrictions, and uncertainty over their easing, are leaving the group and staff in limbo.

Kirby told The Courier Mail “my number one priority is keeping team members on the books so we can get back to business as soon as possible.

“JobKeeper allows us to do that. That’s why it’s crucial that this policy is extended until the Federal Government can give us certainty.

“We need thousands of workers, many with unique skill sets to open our doors every day. It’s important that we retain these team members.”

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has previously insisted JobKeeper payments will still end in September.

Reopening of theme parks, entertainment venues and stadiums in Queensland
Released  at the weekend, the Queensland Government’s industry post COVID-19 recovery guidelines, show how the easing of restrictions in Stage 2, as of 12th June will allow gatherings of up to 20 people in locations including cinemas; museums, art galleries and historic sites; swimming pools and community sports clubs; gyms, health clubs and yoga studios; outdoor amusement parks, zoos and arcades; and concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums and stadiums.

More than 20 people may be allowed if the operator has a COVID SAFE Plan approved by health authorities.

Thereafter, Stage 3, as of 10th July, a maximum of 100 people will be permitted for the above activities, while subject to further planning and review, intrastate and interstate travel will be permitted.

Commenting on this easing, Australasian Leisure Management Publisher, Nigel Benton explains “while at first glance such easing may suggest a complete reopening of all types of facilities, for operations such as amusement parks, zoos, concert venues, theatres, arenas and stadiums as well as larger fitness clubs, there is a question as to whether it is viable for these types of activities to operate with just 100 patrons.

“Of course, in many cases that will not be the case.

“In the global concert industry, Live Nation has revealed over recent days that it does not expect to resume concerts at ‘full scale’ until 2021.

“Australian operators must be hoping that they can resume business activity well before then or that, as Clark Kirby has suggested, programs such as JobKeeper are extended.”

Click here to view the roadmap for easing Queensland’s Coronavirus restrictions.

Image: Clark Kirby at Movie World.

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19th April 2020 - IAAPA shares insights from industry leaders on how Asia-Pacific Attractions have adapted to COVID-19

9th April 2020 - ATIC welcomes JobKeeper payment scheme

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6th April 2020 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks backs staff during lockdown

3rd April 2020 - Royal Life Saving welcomes JobKeeper payments as a ‘$700 million lifeline’ for aquatic facilities and swim schools

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