Gympie Pines Golf Club is safe
THE immediate future of the Gympie’s 18-hole championship golf course is safe, according to the golf course developer’s chief, Michael Towler.
Mr Towler, the chairman of Golfing Residential Gympie (GRG), the Gympie Pines Golf Course parent company, returned to Gympie from Fiji this week to quell fears about the demise of the golf course after the Gympie Pines Golf Club and GRG failed to reach agreement on a new lease over the course.
“While we are the owners it will always be an 18-hole golf course,” Mr Towler said.
He said even if GRG wanted to change the course it couldn’t because it would have to be approved by council.
“There is no way they would approve it,” he said.
Mr Towler said GRG bought the golf course when it went broke six years ago.
“If we didn’t buy it then it wouldn’t be a golf course today – it would be an overgrown cow paddock,” he said.
“No one gives us any credit, all we do is get criticised for throwing the golf club out.”
Before Easter GRG gave the Gympie Pines Golf Club seven days notice to pay all outstanding rent or they would run the facility as a public golf course.
“We gave them seven days but we didn’t give them notice,” Mr Towler said.
“They chose to leave – they went voluntarily.
“They handed us the keys and said the property is yours.”
The Gympie Pines Golf Club had managed to raise about $130,000 from its members to cover debts, but the release of the money was reliant on a registered lease being signed by GRG, which didn’t happen.
Club members also said they didn’t have total financial control of the club until October last year.
Mr Towler said the decision to give seven days notice was a business decision.
“We have had no rent for six years. I think we were very patient with the golf club,” he said.
Mr Towler apologised to the committee of the RSL for jumping the gun on a deal for the RSL to take over the running of the club house.
“It is not a done deal,” he said.
“It is very close; we are looking at a draft for RSL to come on board. We are in the final stages of negotiating.”
Mr Towler said GRG still had two stages of its golf course development to build but slow demand had caused the developers to hold off the start of stage four.
“Stage three still has eight of the 20 townhouses to sell,” Mr Towler said.
He said GRG had built 54 Golf Villas, sold 46 and had another 36 to build.
Gympie Pines Golf Club will have a meeting this Saturday morning to discuss the future of the organisation and to vote on a general levy to settle all debts or to dissolve the club.