Friday, 19 June 2020
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Brisbane Racing Club. These last few months have been among the toughest in our combined history of more than a century of racing. There has never been a time when we have been unable to welcome patrons for so long at our racetracks or at our venues such as Gallopers Sports Club and Souths Sports Club.
The COVID-19 restrictions presented the BRC with unavoidable financial and administrative challenges during the time of our Brisbane Racing Carnival. Regrettably, we had to temporarily reduce our workforce, although the Federal Government’s JobKeeper initiative was much welcomed.
TAB Stradbroke Season
We completed our abbreviated winter racing season last Saturday with Quincy Ladies’ Day – the last of four days of our TAB Stradbroke Season. It was a relief to have some black-type racing given Racing Queensland’s initial decision to abandon all feature racing through our normal carnival time. Through the commitment of all southeast Queensland race clubs, some feature racing was reinstated.
The clubs also fought for live free-to-air coverage, which we received via Channel Seven. That opened our racing to homes around the country. This feature racing was only enabled by the continued operation of the BRC’s tracks and training facilities, which was met by our own resources and the support of Racing Queensland.
We have been very appreciative of Members who have understood the impacts of the last few months on your Club. We were disappointed that Members were unable to attend any of the TAB Stradbroke Season racedays in meaningful numbers.
Return to Venues
Our priority remains for Members and their guests, owners and general public to be allowed to responsibly return to our tracks as soon as possible.
Until such time as an Industry Plan for Racing Clubs is approved by Queensland Health we are guided by the Government’s rules on gatherings of people.
As a minimum we can plan for crowds again from our first Saturday meeting after the Stage 3 COVID-19 Roadmap date of July 10, which is on Saturday July 25.
From July, the Club will be permitted to have one person per four square metres operating under a COVID-plan which will allow us to have hundreds of patrons on-course spread over each venue. The BRC team will provide Members with details regarding returning to the Races from July including how to register to attend.
Your membership will be particularly valuable from July as Members will enjoy priority access to our venues. Our venues will be split into zones of two categories being either a licensed racing zone (no interaction with customers) and a premium customer zone that will operate like an expanded Members’ and Owners’ reserve. There will be no general admission areas during this phase.
Membership Subscriptions 2020-21
During our communications in recent months, we have assured Members that we would recognise the fact that racing has been off limits during our most popular time of the year.
We encouraged our Membership and Marketing team to look for one-off activities to maintain engagement with Members. We thank the many Members who made the most of these opportunities.
Your Board has intentionally delayed final decisions on our response for Members to COVID-19 in the hope that we would have more clarity regarding the lifting of restrictions. However, we are conscious of the time limits imposed by our Constitution so we wanted to keep you updated with our deliberations, which follow generous feedback from many Members.
Membership Fees for 2020-21 are summarised as follows:
• There will be no increase in fees relative to 2019-20. For example, $295 for Members aged 30 years and above. Importantly, our Constitution is clear on the need for payment of fees, and the time-frame for our Annual General Meeting.
• Members whose subscriptions are paid before 1 September 2020 will receive $100 credit (2 x $50) on their Rewards Card. These credits will be applied on 1 September 2020 and 1 February 2021. They will have a three-month expiry period.
• Members whose subscriptions are paid after 1 September will receive $50 credit on their Rewards Card on 1 February 2021, with a three-month expiry date.
• Members who held guest cards for the current year can renew these guest cards for 2020-21 at a reduced rate of $150 (usually $210).
• Members who have purchased dual-Carnival packages since 1 January will be contacted by the Membership department to discuss options available.
• Unused credits on Rewards Cards as of 31 July 2020 will be rolled over into the new season.
Please note that, as per the Constitution, fees become due and payable on 1 August 2020. I am pleased to advise that Members are free to avail themselves of a payment plan (six equal payments over 12 weeks).
As a current Member you will receive your Membership Renewal Pack in approximately two weeks. If you do not receive it, or have any questions about your membership, please contact the Membership department on 3268 2171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I sincerely hope that you will continue your support for the Brisbane Racing Club. I give you my assurance that your Board and Executive recognise the critical role played by you as a Member and will be striving to re-instate your on-course experience as soon as we are allowed.
Neville Bell OAM