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Candidate claims Curra Club shut down is a 'land grab'

"THE wowsers have taken over," Doug Anderson said, after Gympie Regional Council announced its plan to close the Curra Country Club.

And Reg Lawler was quick to agree, when he visited the doomed club the next day.

Both candidates in the current postal ballot for mayor claimed the demise of the club would "cut the heart out" of the suburb's social activity.

Mr Anderson said the council claimed the club was not fulfilling an important community role, but he had knocked on doors around the area and everyone he spoke to wanted the club to stay.

Both he and Mr Lawler said the closure would benefit the possible use of a proposed hotel site across the road.

"I think it's a land grab," Mr Anderson said.

"They do a brilliant job training kids in kitchen and bar work; small clubs can meet there for nothing and it doesn't have any pokies - which is good for the community.

"There's an art club that wants the building and doesn't want the bar," Mr Anderson said.

Mr Lawler said the council had decided in a secret session to destroy the club and an open public meeting had rubber stamped the decision without discussion.

The motion had been moved by acting mayor Rae Gate and seconded by Cr Wayne Sachs, he said.

"Council says the facility does not fill a community need. Wouldn't you think they should ask the community about that?" he said.

"A few years ago an executive was dismissed by a vote of members, but the club has functioned well since then."

Former officials on both sides of the now ancient dispute criticised the council.

Former president Tom Guy said divisions within the club had been encouraged or condoned by another.

On the other side, another former president, Kevin Bailey, said volunteers had built the facilities the council now wanted to take away.

Mayoral candidates have been invited to meet club members on site at 10am tomorrow, Mr Lawler said.

Topics:  curra country club gympie regional council

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