BIG PLANS: An artist's impression of Gympie RSL Club's proposed new golf club venue, which has become a divisive point between the board and its members.
BIG PLANS: An artist's impression of Gympie RSL Club's proposed new golf club venue, which has become a divisive point between the board and its members. Contributed

Gympie golf club issue only 'tip of iceberg'

THERE are several points to be clarified by this article (RSL Club Board fights, The Gympie Times, September 8). The statement that the one and only blemish against the board is that it did not consult with members in relation to the planned relocation to the Gympie Golf Club is the tip of the iceberg (so to speak).

Opposition to the relocation swelled when it was learned that the new complex would not be an RSL, would have no affiliation with the RSL movement, and no financial benefit from the complex would flow back to support local veterans or maintain local commemorative sites.

This is when questions began to be asked about the board's decision-making processes - leading to the vote of no confidence on July 29, 2018. Statements made at the meeting confirm there was a lack of appreciation, by the board, of the club's constitution.

The expectation of members that day was that the board would stand down, however, they stayed. At the July vote of no confidence meeting, the chairman of the board chose not to chair the meeting and chose not to address the club's members on the issues raised (as he was entitled to do). The treasurer, to her credit, did try to appeal to the members for forgiveness of perceived wrongdoing but admitted that the full board (including her) were not privy to decisions.

RSL ROW: Gympie RSL Club may merge with the Gympie Pines Golf Club and possibly other sporting groups members approve a move to  new premises at this morning's annual general meeting.
Gympie RSL Club. Arthur Gorrie

The golf club complex fiasco was tabled at the belated 2018 annual general meeting (June) as an "investigation” which saw a loss to-date of around $290,000. How can it be called an investigation when a contract was signed?

This was action with clear intent to separate from the RSL that subsequently failed. Also at the 2018 AGM it was announced that the manager had resigned, when in fact the board had decided to restructure the position and the manager was made redundant with a payout.

This later event was made clear at the vote of no confidence meeting in July, so why could it have not been made clear at the AGM on month earlier?

There are many as-yet-unanswered questions, like why did the club initiate legal action against the sub-branch, only to drop proceedings just days before the court hearing, costing lots in legal fees and no net outcome. Why?

Gympie Pines Golf course in Gympie.
Gympie Pines Golf Course. Renee Albrecht

Mr Van Gelder is proud of the fact that cash reserves have increased by 87 per cent to $2.4 million, but why is a registered not-for-profit organisation amassing such funds? Surely some of these funds could be used to sponsor junior sports teams in its town, be offered as donations to community groups or to reduce the costs of meals and drinks at the RSL club in line with other comparable RSL clubs.

Previously announced at the 2016 club AGM, there was an agreement made between the RSL club and the RSL sub-branch to renovate the Mary St premises (current RSL site), however, that deal was not honoured by the club board and we got into the Gympie Golf Club debacle. Had the original action been allowed to progress the renovations would have been completed by now. The community deserves a proper RSL club, aligned to the true meaning of the RSL movement.

Joanne Smith

Chatsworth

(Abridged)

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No show at hospital meeting?

WHAT a wonderful turnout to the Tin Can Bay "hospital” proposal. Extremely disappointing to see no representatives from Gympie Regional Council, even though they were invited. Yet they seem to turn up to the opening of a shed or toilet.

Gympie Council 2018 Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald.
Councillors 2Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald. Renee Albrecht

Remember local voters at the next election where current GRC representatives' priorities lie.

Von Sexton,

Cooloola Cove

Smoking tax is just theft

SMOKERS keep getting increasing tax.

Unlike other "addicts”, smoking by itself doesn't mean we drive under the influence, smoking doesn't cause us to abuse health workers or police. Hey, it's a bad habit but guess what... lot worse habits out there.

But all our political parties treat us as a new cash cow to help pay for their budgets.

So, smokers.. an idea. We actually represent over 10 per cent of electorate. So how about we just don't vote for House of Reps? Senate maybe... but House of Reps, no.

We are being treated as mugs. Smoking tax is just theft (and I really hate thieves.)