Dear Gunuma Members,

This is an update from the Committee meeting of 21 May 2020 in relation to issues that have been topical in recent times:

COVID-19 and 2020 ski season
Financial position
Capital works
Booking system

Sharon Leadbitter has kindly agreed to return as the Communications Manager to replace the vacancy caused by Doug Kentwell’s resignation and will issue regular communications during these COVID times in addition to the detailed newsletter.

Thank you and regards,
Gunuma Committee
COVID-19 and 2020 Ski Season
Unfortunately, there is not much certainty as to whether there will be a ski season and if there is, what will be the COVID constraints.

The NSW Government has advised that it plans to lift internal NSW travel restrictions as of 1 June so that recreational type travel to the ski fields will be allowed. Perisher has advised that it is still planning for a ski season. However, this is the limit of positive news.

SLOPES has been active in trying to obtain some degree of clarity on the requirements for ski accommodation to accept guests / members. It appears that NSW Health is the “authority having jurisdiction” and they require a COVID safe operating plan to be submitted for approval. They have not been specific in relation to what is a COVID safe plan and point us in the direction of Safe Works Australia and NSW Health web sites.

An extract from the latest SLOPES advice is below:
“To be thoroughly prepared for the ski season if you are considering opening or operating your lodge, hotel or place of business, you are required to have a COVID safe operating plan in place. You must fully consider how you can adapt your business operation to meet current and changing restrictions and maintain physical distancing, rigorous cleaning and hygiene practices to keep your staff and guests safe. This requirement also applies to sublessees.
Information to assist you to prepare a COVID Safe operating plan is available at Safe Work Australia and NSW Health.”

The web site contains information for fully commercial accommodation with paid staff. Gunuma falls between a private lodge and fully commercial lodge.

SLOPES has obtained legal advice in relation to the potential liability of Clubs. This indicates that the potential liability of their members and employees was not great provided that the regulations in place were followed.

The Committee believes that the regulations are per the NSW Health approved COVID safe operating plan, which will address Government requirements. Typical of all legal advice this was not definitive.

SLOPES have provided a Waiver of Liability that clubs may get members to sign prior to occupying the club.

The Committee will continue to keep abreast of the latest developments and advise members of whether there will be a 2020 ski season and whether Gunuma will be open for members.

In the short term:Gunuma will remain closed and no bookings will be accepted; The Committee has taken steps to ensure that Gunuma is able to open, if appropriate, by stocking with consumables as per a normal winter, and finalising the capital works and minor works; The requirements of a COVID safe operating plan will be investigated.

Financial position
As per previous advice, Gunuma is in a sound financial position and is able to survive no revenue for 2020 and 2021 ski seasons.

Funds are available for the current capital works, which are 95% complete and no further capital expenditure is planned until the COVID situation is clarified.

Rent and rates are two of our largest recurrent expenses and these have budgeted in full. SLOPES are negotiating with our landlord for a reduction, however considering who our landlord is this is considered unlikely.

Booking System

The Committee has used the COVID situation to try and resolve the issues with the booking system and appreciates the members that have participated in multiple trials.The testing has been a huge success. 

Members have identified how the system applies the booking rules and provided feedback. This has given the Committee an opportunity to clarify the rules, and it is hoped they will be easier to follow when the next version is published.

On the technical side, it has been a long task and working closely with the developer we have a better testing regime. We will be able to reuse it. The system is continually being improved to provide more features and with regular upgrades for the 60+ client Lodges that use it. 

The Committee would like to thank Renae, our ever-patient GAO. for her sterling role in coordinating the testing and liaising with the developer.

At this stage the Booking System is 99% right and is going through some final iterative testing before we have what we expect will be a final member test day.

All members are encouraged to participate so the system can be fully tested with as many combinations of bookings as possible.

Capital Works
The fire safety upgrade works in accordance with the approved NSW Planning Fire Safety Strategy are 95% complete.

These works comprise sprinklers and various minor works such as handrails, external stairs and exit signs.Dining room / kitchen floor replacement and essential external window painting is complete.

The switchboard replacement necessary to comply with electrical safety requirements is complete except for final commissioning,  As part of commissioning the new switchboard a load test was conducted, which involved turning on the fixed electrical loads such as heaters and sauna.

The sauna sprinkler activated resulting in damage to the carpet, which has been dried and re-laid. In addition, the sauna heater was damaged. Advice has been sought from the sprinkler designer and the contractor will be instructed to install higher temperature heads.

Following the installation of the higher temperature sprinkler heads and purchase / installation of a new sauna heater, the electrician will complete the switchboard commissioning including a second load test with sauna turned on to maximum.

During the first switchboard load test, a fault was identified with the hot water heater in the kitchen and this will be fixed.The load test is expected to be completed in about two weeks.