May 3, 2019
The Nanango RSL Sub-Branch has taken over the operation of the financially troubled Nanango RSL Club.
Sub-Branch president Robert Stevens and club manager Sheena Lindholm released a joint statement explaining the move on Friday.
The announcement follows the sudden closure of the club to patrons for most of Thursday to sort out issues with alcohol and gaming licences.
The joint statement, issued to club members and the media, said the Sub-Branch had made a commitment to keep the club open.
“The Memorial Club is no longer in a financial position to continue operating the club following it being unable to negotiate a sustainable long-term repayment arrangement with the ATO in respect of debts owed by it to the ATO,” the statement said.
Nanango RSL Club’s financial troubles date back many years.
In 2016, the club entered into a three-year moratorium arrangement with the South Burnett Regional Council over rate payments.
At the time, Council was told the club was in the process of restructuring but needed some “breathing room” to carry it out.
Over the past six or seven years, they were told, the RSL had gone through several upheavals which had reduced the club’s viability.
The SBRC agreed to defer rate payments for three years from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2019, and not charge any interest on the outstanding rates for the deferment period.
The club would then have to either pay the outstanding rates in full or enter into a repayment plan.
Friday’s joint statement said the Sub-Branch, which already owns the land and premises upon which the club operates, had now bought the club’s business.
“The Sub-Branch, having regard to the best interests of its members and the wider community and in circumstances where the Memorial Club was no longer in a position to continue operating the Services Club, resolved to and have purchased the Services Club’s business,” the statement said.
“This decision was not made lightly and was only made after qualified advice from legal and business specialists was obtained and considered.
“As a result of this action the Services Club will continue to operate into the future and it will be a case of ‘business as usual’.
“Importantly 26 existing employees have all been offered continuing employment and all of their entitlements will be honoured.
“The Sub-Branch has engaged a specialist club improvement consultant to assist with its future operations and to ensure that the Services Club is able to operate efficiently and profitably into the future.
“The Sub-Branch is confident that its actions will enable the Services Club to go from strength to strength which it will do with your continued support and those of your family and friends.
“We ask that you tell all and sundry that the Services Club is open and that you consider hosting your next function, dinner party or the like at the Services Club.
“We look forward to the Services Club continuing to be recognised as being a strong pillar in the Nanango community, as an entertainment centre and celebrated for its integrity and community support.
“The Sub-Branch has agreed to honour the existing memberships to the Sub-Branch as a Social Member with the club for the period of time membership had been paid to the Memorial Club.
“This means abiding to the Constitution and rules of the Nanango RSL Sub-Branch Inc.
“For a copy of this Constitution please ask at reception, or email [email protected]
“If you do not wish to have your membership transferred, we ask that you contact the club within 14 days of the date at the top of this letter. If we have not received any contact from you within 14 days, your membership will automatically be transferred, and understood as agreement to abide by the Nanango RSL Sub-Branch Constitution.”