Letter to Member; COVID-19 Restrictions (20 May 2020)

May 20, 2020

Dear Member / Friend,

The NSW Government, as you know, announced that from Friday 15 May 2020, restaurants in pubs and clubs could be open, provided the social distancing rules were observed. In particular that the numbers were kept to no more than 10 people and the 4 metre and 1.5 metre rules were observed. That may still mean that restaurants in some pubs, like other cafes or restaurants may find it unprofitable to open.

Some cafes and restaurants in Armidale are now open for seated patrons. Last Friday, I enjoyed a pub steak for lunch – something I haven’t had for a while, and which I urge you to do if it is your thing, and as long as you observe the rules. Friday night was road-testing a restaurant opening under the new rules. As with lunch, social distancing was able to be observed.

More and more shops are opening with greater numbers of people out and about. Assuming we can keep new COVID-19 cases to a minimum, we should see a greater relaxation of the rules and greater movement. As this occurs, I urge you to responsibly make use of the changes and spend locally to support the Armidale regional economy.

Today, the Minister for Local Government has written to the Mayor and Councillors to advise of her intention to issue a suspension order, suspending Councillors for a period of 3 months and to appoint an administrator. All of the Councillors now have the opportunity to put together a submission in response to the Minister's proposed action and as to why they should not be suspended. It is to be put to the Minister within the fortnight.

The Minister’s notice will need to be tabled at the Council meeting this month. The Councillors should now manage their differences and produce a submission showing how they can work together, how the governance issues can be resolved.

We are still going through critical circumstances. Ensuring stability, as well as low unemployment and financial stability and growth in the Armidale Regional Council area is of the utmost importance. Armidale ‘s reputation will only suffer if another Administrator is appointed. Gaining grants to facilitate projects as well as maintaining projects such as the airport business park, bridge renewal and road upgrades may well suffer. I therefore stress again the importance of stabillity in the process of planning the region's future.

Best wishes and stay distant.


Anthony Fox

Armidale Business Chamber
0402 838 077

Armidale Business Chamber FREE business coaching package April 2020


The Armidale Business Chamber has put together a free business coaching package to support business as they adjust to significant change under very tight timeframes and difficult circumstances.

In partnership with Mandy Walker of Focus First the Chamber is providing a 45 minute one on one business coaching consultation (via phone).  Each session is tailored to the needs of the individual business, whether those are: 'tactical and practical, providing help with navigating the now; or survival, keeping your business afloat; or for future planning, reimagining your business or starting a new one.

The consult is by appointment only. Contact Mandy via email or phone 0459 098 618.