Fitzys managing director Brad Fitzgibbons.
Fitzys managing director Brad Fitzgibbons.

‘Hardest thing I’ve had to do’: Fitzy’s lets go of staff

FITZY'S on Church owner Brad Fitzgibbons described letting go of more than 60 staff, many of whom were like family to him, as the toughest moment in his professional life.

"All the staff congregated (on Monday), we gave them the information we needed, had some pizzas and said our 'see you soon's," the popular publican said.

Mr Fitzgibbons was one of the dozens of venue owners across the city, and the thousands across Australia, to relieve staff after the Federal Government shut all "non-essential" meeting places earlier this week.

While understanding the need to stop the spread of coronavirus across Toowoomba, the popular publican said it didn't make the decision any easier.

"It's demoralising. I don't know how many staff have been stood down across the city, the lines outside Centrelink have been huge," Mr Fitzgibbons said.

"Staff who have worked here for years and years we've had to let go, in an effort to ensure we can survive this shutdown.

"This is unprecedented, and standing down in excess of 60 staff was the hardest thing I have ever had to do."

Mr Fitzgibbons, who is also the president of the Toowoomba Safe Night Precinct, said he was hoping the city's night life could be revived when the outbreak was over.

But he admitted that the closures were likely to leave deep wounds in the sector.