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February 1, 2021
In this issue
Perth back in lockdown
New MD for The Association Specialists
No JobKeeper extension for tourism, Frydenberg says
NSW eases gathering restrictions
A chat with the GCCEC's Adrienne Readings – PART 1


Perth back in lockdown
 
Perth’s 10-month streak of no coronavirus cases was broken on the weekend after a security guard at a quarantine hotel tested positive to the virus. As a result, the capital city, Peel and South West regions have entered a five-day lockdown until February 5, 2021, whereby residents can only leave home for essential reasons.
 
A range of venues and businesses must close for the period including entertainment venues, outdoor recreational facilities, cinemas and restaurants. The lockdown has also impacted gatherings, with a 10-person limit placed on funerals and no weddings allowed. The Perth arts festival Fringe World has announced that all of its events and venues will close in line with the rules and staff are working from home to re-commence operations at the end of the lockdown.
 
The Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) has been listed as a potential exposure site, and those who visited on January 29, 2021, between 4pm and 6pm must present for a test.
 
Continue reading here. 
New MD for The Association Specialists
 
Nell Harrison has been appointed managing director of The Association Specialists (TAS) effective January 1, 2021. Passing on the baton is Francis Child, owner of TAS, who will take on the role of executive chair.
 
Mr Child said he is proud of the team’s dedication to upholding the values of the company, particularly through the challenges of 2020. He said this commitment has placed TAS in a strong position for 2021 and beyond.
 
“I am proud of the business and team I have built over the last 20 years. We have stayed true to what we have always been about: client satisfaction and adding value, and I know TAS is in great hands with Nell and her leadership team," he said.
 
Continue reading here. 
No JobKeeper extension for tourism, Frydenberg says
 
Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said there are no plans to extend the government’s JobKeeper subsidy for the tourism industry beyond March 2021, but that targeted support is being considered.
 
Speaking on the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday, Mr Frydenberg said that based on what we know today, there should be “no expectation” that JobKeeper will be extended.
 
“It was always a temporary program, more than $80 billion is already out the door, and it’s already helped support three-and-a-half million Australians,” he said.
 
When questioned on the future of tourism businesses that rely on international travel to stay afloat, Mr Frydenberg said they should continue their ‘ingenuity’ which has seen them adapt to the new normal of domestic travel, and that targeted assistance is being considered.
 
“Treasury is analysing the data in the tourism industry, and we will consider whatever future targeted assistance is required, but the key for the tourism sector in Australia is going to be consistency and clarity around border closures. More than 70 cents in the dollar is driven by domestic related tourism,” he said.
 
“There is no intention to extend JobKeeper, we will look at what other targeted assistance is required.”
 
When asked if businesses that rely on international tourism should ‘get out of the game’, Mr Frydenberg responded: “They will be decisions that commercial operators themselves make.”
NSW eases gathering restrictions
 
Last Friday New South Wales (NSW) eased Covid-19 restrictions in line with updated health advice. Most notably for the hospitality and events industries, the government scrapped the limit on guests at venues, provided there is four sqm per person, and is allowing for groups of 50 to gather outdoors.
 
In response to the lack of community transmission in NSW, Queensland (Qld) has also confirmed it will reopen the border to all of NSW from today, allowing for travel between states. Victoria (Vic) has also updated its travel advice regarding Sydney and since 6pm Friday, anyone from NSW has been able to enter Vic with a permit. From last night travel restrictions were also eased between residents from Greater Sydney and South Australia (SA).
A chat with the GCCEC's Adrienne Readings – PART 1
 
By Joyce DiMascio
 
The Gold Coast is an important business events destination for both the national and international markets. Its centrepiece venue is the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) which is led by Adrienne Readings, one of our industry’s most capable venue operators.
 
It’s been a tough nine months. The centre re-opened in June 2020 and has been running Covid-safe events outside its traditional market segments including the film and TV production industries. Its location and facilities have made it the ideal venue for a top-secret new Netflix Series featuring Chris Hemsworth – as well as 23 school formals, socially-distanced and with red-carpet streamed to parents.
 
These opportunities have helped the centre achieve 20 per cent of 2020 revenue targets – and that’s been better than no revenue. The Gold Coast's economy has suffered enormously – especially with its biggest source market of greater Sydney shut-down at short notice. But the tremendous adaptability of Adrienne’s team in the worst possible times has helped keep the lights on and people employed.
 
Let’s hope that the Gold Coast and all other destinations can benefit from the re-opening of interstate borders announced in recent days. Adrienne Readings, general manager and CEO of GCCEC spoke with Joyce DiMascio.
 
Read the interview here. 
 
 
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