This report was issued before the NSW government's restrictions on meeting sizes announced on 30 March 2020. Those restrictions effectively closed PHILAS House.
The effects of the corona virus (COVID 19) have reached the stage where remedial action, as announced by the Government, has begun to affect our operations.
The limitations that have affected us are:
(1) the 1.5 metre social separation rule;
(2) the 4 square metres space per person, and
(3) the closing of room auction houses, places of worship and libraries.
We can live with the 1.5 metre separation, but the 4 square metre limitation means that we can only have 50 people in our Meeting Room at any one time. The meeting of Clubs and Societies can still proceed, providing the attendance does not exceed 50 at any one meeting. The requested closing of clubs by the Government does not affect us, as they called for the closing of Registered and Licenced Clubs, and we fit into neither category. However, this limitation does affect the Philas Open Days, so that, for the current duration, the June Open Day is cancelled. We will advise on the October Open Day in due course, as the situation becomes clearer.
This 4 square metre limitation also affects future auctions, in that they cannot be held. We have investigated the possibility of running a postal only auction only, but the need for people to oversee this method of auctioning exceeds our capability. Therefore, there will be no auction held in July, the next auction, being Auction 136, will be held in November 2020, providing the situation has returned to normal.
Provided we do not exceed the maximum number of persons per floor, Philas House will still be open, and our team of volunteers are invited to come in and carry on, provided they can get there safely. Those who normally travel on public transport will have a problem, and we accept that. But we would like to see those who can arrange alternative means of transport to come in and carry on with their work.
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is following up on the requirement for libraries to close. There are many different types oflLibrary, and ALIA are asking that the different types of Library be individually investigated, instead of
making a blanket closure. The Philas Library is a Specialised Library, and, until definite information to the contrary is received, the Library will be open for business.
Because of the virus, many Exhibitions have been forced to abandon or reschedule their plans. This information can be found here on the website under the link to Exhibition Reports. Similarly, where Clubs have had to cancel their meetings because of their locations, this information is also here on the website.
All Council, Executive, Library and PDC meetings have been abandoned until all restrictions have been lifted and you will be advised when meetings will recommence. In this intervening period, all administrative duties will be conducted by a group consisting of the President, Secretary and Treasurer, with specialised assistance from others, when requested.
All of the above is based on the situation as it stands today, Saturday 28th March 2020. Should the Government make changes to the situation in the future, then all of the above will need to be reviewed to ensure we comply with their requirements. If changes are needed, you will be advised via this website.
And now for a bit of better news – we have, at long last, installed a security system on our floors of Philas House, plus the entrance and lift lobby on the Ground Floor. There are a total of 12 security cameras installed, with the recorder and controller installed in the Ground Floor Office with the monitor. This is not a good arrangement, so we are looking at getting the recorder and controller installed on the First Floor, with a second monitor, when we find a suitable location. Even so, the system is now fully operational.