Date: October 22, 2013
Author: George Souris MP

Clubs & Pubs aid bushfire victims and volunteers

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality and Racing Minister for the Arts Media Release – Tuesday, 22 October, 2013

Clubs and hotels in bushfire affected areas of NSW deserves the highest praise for the efforts of its members in doing all they can to assist those affected by the devastation, Minister for Hospitality, George Souris, said today.

“These clubs and pubs which have opened their doors and their management and staff, who have opened their hearts, have shown their community spirit in such a time of crisis,” Mr Souris said.

Mr Souris said more than 10 registered clubs and about 30 hotels have gone above and beyond the call of duty to do all in their power to ease the plight of victims, fire fighters and police in the bushfire areas.

“Management and staff have been operating up to 24 hours a day, opening their doors, feeding thousands of people, providing drinks, looking after pets and acting as distribution and evacuation centres. Their continuing contribution is invaluable.

“Clubs are community organisations and when an emergency occurs; volunteers, members of the community and local clubs all work together to weather the storm and rebuild. They are the backbone of their communities”.

The CEO of ClubsNSW, Anthony Ball, has said that all registered clubs were prepared to offer their facilities where and when needed.

Mr Ball said: “I’ve spoken to many clubs over the past few days, some of which have been open around the clock since Thursday, and their commitment to doing anything and everything to help their communities make it through these devastating fires has been overwhelming”.

Members of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) have also been generous in offering their facilities to those affected by bushfires.

President of the NSW branch of the AHA, Scott Leach, said: “Our members are an important part of their communities and will do to do whatever they can to provide assistance to all those affected by the bushfires and those wonderful men and women of the RFS and SES. Many hotels are already providing food, drink and their facilities in the affected areas”.

Mr Souris added: “The facilities of clubs and hotels in these areas are desperately needed and have been provided.

“The efforts of club and hotel management and staff in fire affected areas are nothing short of tremendous”.

Below is a list of clubs and hotels and their contributions.


Richmond Club

  • Provide emergency accommodation for those who have lost everything in the fires and meals for evacuees and volunteers.
  • CEO Kimberly Talbot is arranging for vets to tend animals. One of the board members is also a vet and is boarding animals and providing triage.
  • Preparing large pots of stew for fire-fighters and those affected.
  • Club is hosting Australian Seniors International PGA tour, commencing on October 31 which will now be a fundraiser for the fire-affected communities.
  • A staff member continued to work despite losing their home.

Springwood Sports Club

  • The club hasn’t traded since Thursday and has been open 24 hours since the fires started. The club has served free food and drinks to hundreds of people.
  • They are also housing animals from cats, dogs, rabbits and lizards.

Springwood Country Club

  • A distribution centre has been set up which is full of people volunteering and sorting out items for the community, such as clothing, toiletries and bedding.
  • The dam on the golf course has been used to refill the water bombers. The town water supply has been pumped into the dam so the water bomber can continue to fill up. 
  • 20 volunteers have been working all weekend unpacking and sorting donated items ready for collection

Lithgow Workers Club

  • Provided 5000 rounds of sandwiches to evacuees, volunteers, police and fire fighters.
  • Open to people’s pets, including a guinea pig and a turtle.

 Mittagong RSL

  • An evacuation centre, housing people and pets and preparing thousands of sandwiches and dinners for the RFS volunteers.
  • RFS came in to dinner on Friday night and were greeted with a standing ovation from diners in the club.

Doyalson Wyee RSL

  • An evacuation centre offering overnight shelter to 250 people and provided hundreds of meals to evacuees and fire fighters.

Swansea RSL

  • The main evacuation point in the region with about 300 evacuees at the club, plus their pets.
  • Ran out of food on the first night and the club manager Kiel Emerton and the Member for Swansea Garry Edwards had to go grocery shopping.

Swansea Workers Club

  • An evacuation centre, providing meals to evacuees, police and volunteers.
  • Staff and local club members offered clothes, food and accommodation to evacuees.

Wests Mayfield

  • Providing meals and drinks to evacuees and SES members.

Penrith Panthers

  • Housing and feeding 500 fire-fighters (that number is expected to grow to up to 800). Currently using the exhibition centre, as well as marquees set up out the back. The club also offered use the football field grandstand for use.

 Picton Bowling Club

  • Picton Bowling Club CEO Bob Lang said the Club was happy to help out and would have happily stayed open all night if needed
  • They had over 300 people at the evacuation centre and provided them with jugs of water and sandwiches

Hotels include:

Swansea Hotel

  • Opened up doors, offered free accommodation to anyone from Catherine Hill Bay fires.

Catherine Hill Bay Hotel

  • Offering free bacon and egg rolls and a free beer to off-duty RFS volunteers and doing a fund-raiser.

Courthouse Hotel. Lithgow

  • Offered the hotel beer garden and facilities for any animals from people who are staying at the local evacuation centre.

Imperial Hotel Mt Victoria

  • Offering facilities to any people affected by fire

New Ivanhoe Hotel Blackheath

  • Providing food and drink to local fire service workers.

Royal Hotel Springwood

  • Providing free accommodation for stranded families and are also looking after workers from energy companies.
  • Hotel had a wedding party booked in from Friday and Saturday but had to cancel due to the fires. Wedding party requested that the hotel keep the accommodation payments and use the rooms for any stranded people affected by the fires.

Winmalee Tavern

  • Last Thurs/Fri Hotel stayed opened throughout the night to assist where they could in providing food and drink. The pub is located at the Winmalee shopping centre and this was used for the town as an evacuation point.

Royal Hotel Richmond

  • Provided meals for the SES workers.

Bargo Hotel

  • Accomodated150 residents as fire fighters battled an intense blaze. Hosting a fundraiser next week to support those who have been affected.

Gallagher Hotels

  • Raising funds for fire victims.

Oriental Hotel, Springwood

  • Holding a fundraiser

Camden Valley Inn

  • Offering cheap accommodation to victims

Picton Hotel

  • Offering cheap accommodation to victims