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Posted by Marketing on 09/04/2020.

Update from the CEO & Chairman | 09 April 2020

The Equestrian WA Board would like to update our Members and Affiliated Clubs of the impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on our Sport regarding the "now" and our plans for the "future" when we can restart our vibrant Equestrian Sport.

The current suspension of all Equestrian Sport has resulted in events scheduled through to the end of June being cancelled. EWA will work closely with the Sports Committees and Clubs to amend the schedule of the events once we gain permission to restart. The restart will likely need to be small local events, building to the larger ones as restriction eases.

EWA is pleased to report that with the support of the McGowan Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries' (DLGSC) Minister Mick Murray, we are in the process of repurposing much of the current grants to support all operational cost of the State Equestrian Centre for the remainder of this year. This is a 'lifesaver' for the SEC and EWA giving time for us to review future SEC management and funding options following a report commissioned late last year to be finalised in late April.

The financial impact on EWA in 2020 is substantial with projected income falling to $930,000 compared to $2,340,000 in 2019. With many expenses fixed the financial strain on EWA is considerable. To control all expenses the SEC had been closed until we can restart events and all non-essential service contracts have been cancelled. This includes all outdoor areas, even for 'Park and Ride', as we do not have the staff to check that everything is safe for people to come onto the property. We understand the inconvenience this places on our members and the wider community; however, this decision has been made with everyone's safety in mind.

At its most recent Board meeting, it has been determined that due to the severe financial strain we are going through that no EWA Members funds would be used to sustain the SEC. This will no doubt speed up the process of restructuring the Facility and its operation going forward.

Lotterywest is in the process of finalising several COVID-19 grants to support organisations such as EWA, and we are working with the DLGSC to apply for these grants once they are released.

The introduction of the Federal Government's JobKeeper program has enabled all EWA and SEC to be placed on the JobKeeper payments with our staff members either being stood down or working reduced hours in keeping with the payment. During this period, the staff members on reduced hours will continue to support our members and work with our Sport committees in planning for the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic will pass, and Equestrian Sport will recommence, however, our focus now is to ensure that there will be some funding assurance to work with members and Sport committees to plan for the possible future and all new opportunities, both during the current phase and when we can once again compete on our beautiful equine partners. 

Ron Fleming, Equestrian WA Chairman and Dwight Pedlow Equestrian WA Chief Executive Officer

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