SAFETY inspectors claim a Tamworth club was not keeping records of staff and contractors coming and going, or its patrons, before it slapped it with a $5000 fine.
The Tamworth Services Club was the only one found to be breaching public health orders across the New England North West after 36 separate inspections on licensed pubs and clubs, and other venues.
The CEO for the club disputes claims its not keeping a record of customers coming and going, but SafeWork NSW said it was one of the breaches that triggered the $5000 fine.
"As a result of the inspections, Tamworth Services Club were fined $5,000 for breaches relating to a failure to adequately capture and retain the contact details of staff and contractors," aspokesperson for the Department of Customer Service told the Leader.
Club CEO Kristian Brookes said the fine was "disappointing" because they had made "every effort" to stick to the rules.
"I'm more disappointed because of all the effort we've put in ... the procedures we've got in place ... and we've gone above and beyond what we've got to possibly do," he told the Leader on Friday.
He said the form in question "was only used by about seven or eight contractors a week" and it just was missing the line with the phone.
He said they had switched off every second poker machine, moved furniture away for social distancing, and staff had done their COVID-safe training. He disputed they weren't keeping a log of patrons, adding all guests sign in on a computer on entry.
"We've put everything in place we possibly could, and we do logs of cleaning everyday, members do their sign-ins, all our rooms are numbered .... every staff member has done an online course," Mr Brooks said.
The Tamworth club was one of 10 fined across the state in the compliance blitz which started last week.
The department's Executive Director of Compliance, Peter Dunphy, said it's reckless that that any business would put the community at risk of COVID infection and jeopardise people's jobs and livelihoods.
"You never know who is filming or taking photos or when police and inspectors might visit your business," Mr Dunphy said.
"We all need to play it safer - businesses as well as customers."
In total the state-wide blitz, 410 licensed venues and other hospitality businesses were inspected with 10 pubs, clubs and cafes found to be in breach of public health orders.
The fines - worth $50,000 in total - involved inspections from officers with Liquor & Gaming NSW, SafeWork NSW and NSW Fair Trading.
The other venues included two in Gosford; two in Erina; as well as five in the greater Sydney area in Merrylands, Yagoona, Auburn, Hurlstone Park and Kingswood.
SafeWork NSW said most of the fines issued were for "not having a COVID-19 Safety Plan, non-compliant record keeping and a lack of appropriate physical distancing".
"It beggars belief that anyone would want to eat, drink and mingle, shoulder to shoulder with others during a pandemic," Mr Dunphy said.
"On Friday [July 24] the mandatory COVID safety measures were expanded from pubs to cover all hospitality venues and that message was communicated loud and clear.
"Pubs, clubs, bars, casinos, cafes and restaurants are high risk for COVID transmission. They are subject to public health order conditions specifically designed to keep them open and keep our communities safe.
"It is public knowledge that COVID clusters have spread rapidly at restaurants and jumped from suburb to suburb. The measures have not been taken in vain - they are vital protections for workers and customers."