Defiance over vote as Gympie RSL club committee digs in
GYMPIE RSL Club officials remain in office, despite an "overwhelming” majority vote of no confidence at today's special general meeting of club members.
The meeting was part of ongoing drama over club operations, including an expensive but now defunct plan to move some or all of the club's operations to the Gympie Golf Club.
Questions were asked at the meeting about Minutes allegedly showing that former secretary/manager Roy Shipp had voted at a board meeting, despite not being entitled to do so.
Other questions included whether he had resigned or was retrenched, how Mr Shipp's club credit card was used and why members were not included earlier in planning for the golf club project.
Club treasurer Jill O'Brien apologised for not being stronger in her arguments that members needed to be more informed and involved in the proposed golf club move.
She thanked members for being present to consider the issues themselves.
"I thank them for doing something we should have done a long time ago,” she said.
She said her biggest regret was not pushing harder for members to be fully included in the golf club purchase investigation, which she said had been linked to costs of about $295,000.
"If we'd put it to the members in 2015, we'd have won hands down,” she said.
Fellow member Gaye Lohse said volunteer committee members received no personal benefit from their work and had only sought to benefit the club and its objectives.
The club had already decided to plan a move to another venue when she came to the committee. Due diligence was required, she said.
It would have been better if the club and the sub branch had worked together on the project, she said.
Members were welcomed to the meeting by club chairman Doug Van Gelder, who handed the running of the meeting to independent chair Reg Lawler.
After a secret ballot, Mr Lawler reported a discrepancy involving at least five ballots lodged by people apparently not entitled to vote.
"But I declare the motion (of no confidence in the club's 2017 board members) carried because the figures are overwhelming,” he said.
Mr Lawler said it had been reported to him that 167 ballots had been lodged, when only 162 people present were entitled to vote.
Mr Lawler declared there had been 117 votes supporting a motion of no confidence in the 2017 committee and 50 against.
But he said he felt bound to draw the meeting's attention to the apparent ballot discrepancy.
Asked from the floor of the meeting if the no confidence vote meant committee members had to resign, Mr Lawler said it did not and committee members could decide for themselves how they wished to respond to the vote.
If the motion was intended to require immediate resignations, it should have said so, Mr Lawler ruled before closing the meeting.