Theme parks to close from today
ONE of the Gold Coast's biggest employers and tourism magnets - Village Roadshow Theme Parks - will shut its venues from tonight.
In a statement to the Bulletin this afternoon, Village Roadshow Theme Parks (VRTP) said it had decided to temporarily close Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild, Paradise Country and Topgolf from close of business today.
It is among the city's biggest employers with more than 5000 staff.
"We will provide a further update on these operations on 31 March," the statement said, adding the decision came after recent government announcements today and increases in confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases nationally and on the Gold Coast.
The city has recorded an increase of four today to 56 cases total while the Queensland total is now above 200.
VRTP emphasised its executive team had slashed their own remuneration packages and would provide access to accrued leave entitlements for its entire team of thousands of staff.
The entitlements will cover annual leave, days in lieu and toil - plus VRTP will give an additional 10 days in leave to staff who needed it.
The VRTP statement added: "This is an extremely challenging time, and this is not a decision which was made lightly. As a result of this closure, unfortunately many team members have been temporarily stood down during this period. Senior Executives salaries have also been reduced.
"The decision has been made to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the business, and most importantly to secure future jobs for our team members.
"We are engaging with our team members to support them during this period, including providing access to their accrued leave entitlements.
"We are also working actively with all levels of Government during this difficult time."
At this stage, Sea World Resort and Village Roadshow Studios would continue to operate. "VRTP will continuously review the situation and be guided by the Queensland Hotels Association and appropriate levels of Government.
"Since COVID-19 emerged, VRTP has worked closely with Government and leading experts to ensure that at all times it has adopted the highest level of health & safety practices.
We will continue to provide updates in a timely manner. More information is available via themeparks.com.au/update and our social media channels," the statement ended.
Originally published as Theme parks to close from today