Clubs, pubs, cinemas shutdown has immediate impact in the Port Macquarie-Hastings

Shut: The popular Plaza Theatre in Laurieton has shut its doors as part of the federal government shutdown of non-essential services.
Shut: The popular Plaza Theatre in Laurieton has shut its doors as part of the federal government shutdown of non-essential services.

The federal government's shutdown of non-essential services has had an immediate impact on the Port Macquarie-Hastings community.

Businesses in the entertainment and licensed premises industry are among the hardest hit.

Licensed clubs have closed their doors while pubs are working on strategies to provide access to bottle shops or take away meals.

Laurieton's Plaza Theatre has shut its doors urging patrons to "stay safe" while the Majestic Cinema in Port Macquarie also stopped showing movies on Monday, March 23.

Remaining positive: Club North Haven's Peter Negus says he looks forward to reopening as soon as possible.

Remaining positive: Club North Haven's Peter Negus says he looks forward to reopening as soon as possible.

Club North Haven's Peter Negus urged the community to take responsibility for their actions to help overcome the current situation.

He said the club had little alternative but to comply with the government's call to shutdown.

"All the club's facilities have closed until further notice," he said.

"The 38 staff - including myself - will be impacted as will all the businesses we deal with.

"There will be a flow-on effect.

"We will essentially have no income coming in but will still need to meet our outgoing expenses.

"Our club deals very locally, so this shutdown will have an impact on the our suppliers."

The club will assist staff wherever possible including sources additional financial assistance.

He said the club would also investigate what parts of the federal government stimulus package it could access.

"We just don't know how long we will be out of action. That's the sixty-four million dollar question," he added.

Mr Negus said the club would comply with all government regulations once it reopens.

"We will welcome all our regulars and visitors with open arms," he said. "We need your support."

The Laurieton United Services Club also shut its doors and will "reopen when the government allows it", the club said.

"That could be between two weeks and six months," a club spokesperson said.

The Laurieton United Services Club has also been forced to shut its doors.

The Laurieton United Services Club has also been forced to shut its doors.

Majestic Cinemas' CEO Kieren Dell says up to 120 staff across its sites are now out of work while there are also impacts on the 30 permanent employees.

In Port Macquarie the closure will see about eight permanent staff and some 30 casuals impacted.

Mr Dell said his biggest concern was the health and safety of patrons and staff.

He also said that staff would be given advice on how to access part of the federal government's stimulus package information.

"We will of course honour leave entitlements and help staff who have to rely on the measures announced by the prime minister on Sunday night," he said.

"The stark reality is that without the government support we won't survive. At this stage, hopefully, it will see us through.

"Everyone needs to pitch in together and in most cases that is the spirit being shown by people."

While acknowledging "these are difficult decisions", Mr Dell said there was no choice for the business but to follow the government directive.

"We are negotiating with our banks and suppliers to work through this situation," he said.

"We are probably more impacted than clubs and pubs because our income is cut to zero as of today.

"But with government support we think we can see our way through to a reopening when that is permitted."

Port Macquarie-Hastings publican Alistair Flower urged the community to take note of the government guidelines and to follow the instructions.

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"Ultimately, some businesses and a lot of society are not really understanding the consequences of this process," he said.

"The community needs to really take note of the government guidelines so we can enjoy the services that are still available to us.

"Everyone has a part to play in beating this virus collectively."

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