Gympie RSL Sub-branch president Peter Maddocks.
Gympie RSL Sub-branch president Peter Maddocks. Rowan Schindler

$500k pokies row splits RSL and club

THE divorce seems inevitable and the property settlement is looking ugly in the looming split within between the Gympie RSL sub branch and its RSL Club tenant.

Club members were told at their annual general meeting in March of committee plans to establish a new club premises at what is now the Gympie Pines Golf Club.

The plan, as outlined, was to operate both venues during a shift, which would involve major expansion of the golf club building.

It would also involve relocation of poker machines estimated to be worth about $485,000, according to figures from the State Government's Business Queensland website.

The apparent "we don't need you anymore" negotiating position of the club committee seems to have been followed by a "we don't need you either" response from the sub branch, which has pointed out that the club's lease on the Mary St premises will expire next August and may not be renewed.

Club officials say they have to act in the interests of their members.

Sub branch officials say they have a similar obligation.

Club officials still have not put their plans to a vote of members, but appear confident of membership support as they now move to take all 98 poker machines with them when or if they go.

Sub branch officials believe the poker machine allocations are tied to their building.

The sub branch, a registered charity, is known to be concerned about the loss of club rental payments, which fund its work for veterans and other community causes.

Sub branch president Peter Maddocks declined to comment yesterday, but said a statement would be made soon and members consulted.