Gympie Pines Club lease expired
EX-Gympie Pines Golf Club Management committee member Con Meares says it was a sad day for the golfing community in Gympie when they weren’t able to renew the lease on the Gympie golf course last week.
Gympie Pines Golf Club didn’t have their lease renewed by golf course owners Golf Residential Gympie (GRG) after working non-stop to bolster the club’s financial situation.
Mr Meares said the committee had been working feverishly over the last few months trying to turn around the club’s financial misfortunes and put a new lease agreement in place with GRG.
However, they were advised by GRG to pay back rent within seven days or GRG intended to run the facility as a public golf course.
Mr Meares said up until October last year financial control of the club was not entirely in the hands of members. In a bid to resurrect the club’s financial situation, a new Gympie Pines Management team took total control of the everyday running of the club. To raise much needed funds the newly elected Gympie Pines Management committee called a special general meeting in January to ask 40 members to contribute five years’ membership in advance.
This succeeded in raising nearly $130,000, but the committee was bound by the members’ wishes to only release the money to the club if a suitable registered lease had been signed with GRG.
Mr Meares said given the financial mess they inherited, the committee also needed time to see if the club could trade on a viable basis.
“The Management Committee was unable to pay back rent until a registered lease was obtained and investigations into the financial status of the club ascertained. Without that, the future of the Gympie Pines golf Club could not be guaranteed,” Mr Meares said.
“At last Wednesday’s meeting because of back rent demands and no lease imminent, the majority of the committee believed they had no further role to play and had no option but to resign from their positions.”
It was then announced by GRG Gympie Pines would become a public golf course.
Mr Meares said the financial outlook for the club at the time was encouraging and the condition of the course with volunteer assistance was looking the best for many years.
“It is heartbreaking because we have taken significant steps to reduce operating costs with projected savings of more than $100,000 a year.
“Many members had volunteered their labour to maintain fairways bunkers and gardens around the course. I have real concerns that if the course continues to remain unviable then some other purpose could be found for the land and that would be a tragedy because Gympie would lose one of the best regional golf courses in South East Queensland.”
The previous management committee will be meeting shortly to finalise the liquidation of the club and will be talking to members on an ongoing basis.