By Steve Cuff
ALL snow enthusiasts, associated businesses and the resorts all want the season to go ahead as normal. But in these strange and unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic, which changes by the hour and the day, uncertainty is at its highest level ever.
THE Australian Snowsports Industry issued a statement on March 20 in regard to the upcoming 2020 snow season. The key message is to Flatten the Curve, Protect Our Community, Protect Yourself and Protect Our Season.
“2020 will be the most challenging year the Australian snow industry and our communities have ever faced. Your health and well-being is number one, and this has a flow-on effect. If you and your family stay protected, OUR community and sport can be protected, businesses and jobs can be protected, and so can our beloved snow season be protected. Join us to #flattenthecurve and #protectOURseason.”
The full statement at bottom of article.
For some people in the communities who may not be taking this whole Covid-19 virus and pandemic seriously, you need to consider many aspects of the whole situation.
Yes it is a health crisis, plus much more than just the flu. You may think you are bullet proof, but imagine if you were to contract the virus through your own negligence, pass it onto other unsuspecting people, or your own family and they then pass it on to the elderly who are at most risk. Many lives would be at risk.
Would you feel any guilt with your actions, or lack of “proper action”.
The government have been preaching their best practice for a number of weeks now, and it seems many Australians either don’t care or have their heads in the sand, such as the Bondi beach fiasco the other day. The cavalier crowd had no consideration for the future of their fellow community and the governments guidelines. That is just one bad example of selfishness.
Have you been doing your best at Social Distancing to limit the spread of the virus?
In the Snowy Mountains region at present we have no cases. But the Bega District and Eurobodalla Shire also said that yesterday. Today that changed for them and it will most likely for us.
Consider the Snow Industry statement, and remember that here in the mountains Perisher, Thredbo, Charlotte Pass and until recently Selwyn Snow Resort, greatly provide a livelihood for thousands of residents here. And not just the front line tourist businesses, but all the affiliate flow on effect to other businesses and trades. Through winter they spend millions promoting the snow season which many benefit from.
Do you or anyone you know here in the mountains benefit from the winter season. The answer will be a resounding yes for most of the community.
They want to “Flatten the Curve” and reduce the number of virus cases because why…? Because if we keep on going on the current upward curve, not only will people die unnecessarily and possibly through no fault of their own, but the longer the virus continues to grow the more our winter is at risk. Time will tell if it goes ahead but we can try….
But what this pandemic has really become now is a financial nightmare for all of Australia, and especially for a tourist region like the Snowy Mountains.
If you live here in the mountains, as I do, in Jindabyne, you will have friends and family who are looking at a bleak time ahead. Jobs will be lost, businesses will shut and that paints a difficult future.
Tonight the National Cabinet are meeting in Canberra to discuss more changes to what will be allowed to open, and how we go about our daily lives. The likelihood is more of our non essential related businesses could close plus travel restrictions are changing by the day. This puts a damper on Easter for many of these businesses, their staff and everyone’s livelihood which has a massive flow on effect through the community.
Will you be affected by loss of work or hit financially, and are you helping to the best of your ability.
So what could happen if the whole of Australia could practice more stringent Social Distancing, and try where possible to slow the exponential spread of the virus.
Well, for one it would surely help our health system from the expected overload in the coming weeks or months which just may allow Australia to return some normality sooner rather than later. Not everyone wants to compare Australia with the world’s worst virus cases at present. Just look at Italy, they are in serious trouble, the whole country is shut and they had near 800 deaths in the past 24 hours.
They got behind the curve……
We can all help Australia now, which in turn can help all our communities, including the Snowy Mountains and possibly, just maybe save our winter. Imagine if businesses could reopen months earlier and the economical and financial pain not as great. Everyone is better of with this scenario.
Do your bit to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the virus by practicing good social distancing and follow the advice of the government health departments.
If not to just save lives, but to help our economical future.
FLATTEN THE CURVE
Snow Industry Message
Important message from the Australian Snowsports Industry…
The Australian Snow Industry is united in our response to the threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to society, and to the 2020 snow season. These are challenging and unprecedented times for the snow industry as the pandemic follows the recent and devastating impact of the bushfires on alpine regions and local communities.
Industry leaders met today via teleconference to discuss the threat, share ideas, consider appropriate actions and affirm a collective commitment to work together and partner with
government to ensure the sustainability of our regional industry and allow members, stakeholders, employees and our guests to experience the magic of a snow holiday in our unique and beautiful alpine resorts and surrounding regions this winter.
As a group we understand the questions and the urgent need for information at this time. All Members have committed to providing information to stakeholders that is transparent and updated regularly via their respective information channels. We encourage stakeholders to check regularly.
Members of the snowsports community are strongly advised to closely monitor and follow the Covid-19 recommendations from governments and health authorities to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of yourselves and our communities.
The industry is united in its support of the important work health professionals are doing to protect Australians through the creation of an industry campaign that seeks to reinforce that we must all take every possible action now, to flatten the curve, protect lives, and our communities…and in doing so protect our forthcoming snow season.
The current circumstances are incredibly serious, but temporary, and as an industry, community and society we will get through this together.
Belinda Trembath Australian Ski Areas Association
Ed Fortey Snowsports Industries Association
Anthony Hill Australian Professional Snowsports Instructors
Dean Gosper Snow Australia
Peter Mowbrey Australian Ski Patrol Association
Ross Passalaqua Tourism North East
Iain McGuire Disabled Wintersport Australia
Wayne Kirkpatrick Tourism Snowy Mountains
Nick Whitby Alpine Resorts Industry Advisory Group