BIG DEAL: RSL Club plans to buy Gympie golf course and its club house have fallen through.
BIG DEAL: RSL Club plans to buy Gympie golf course and its club house have fallen through. Renee Albrecht

RSL Club move to golf course falls over, leaving hefty bills

ALMOST everyone involved has gone quiet on the apparent collapse of a controversial plan to shift the Gympie RSL Club out to the golf course, a plan which may leave club members - or some individuals - with hefty bills..

The one participant in the long-running golf course sale drama who was commenting was an obviously angry golf course owner, John Towler, who announced the deal was off and hinted at possible legal action.

No comment was available from the club or its estranged landlord, the RSL sub branch, which depends on club rental payments to fund its services to veterans and their families.

Mr Towler's statement was confirmed by an eight-word comment from the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation, indicating the club had dropped its plan to shift club poker machines to the golf club building.

"The Gympie RSL Club has withdrawn their applications," the OLGR said on Friday.

The shift involved some apparently advanced planning by RSL club officials to buy the golf course and clubhouse and build a major social, sports and memorial facility.

The idea met a cold response from the RSL sub branch, the body which represents veterans and other former service people and which depends for much of its welfare work on rent paid by the RSL Club for the use of the Mary St building, which is owned by the sub branch.

Mr Towler said "the contract" by the club to purchase the golf course and clubhouse "has fallen through and is terminated."

Aside from the cost of any legal settlement with Mr Towler, the deal's collapse is expected to cost the club tens of thousands of dollars.

The purchase contract is understood to have involved a substantial deposit and advanced design plans for redeveloping the golf club premises into a major entertainment facility are believed to have cost even more.

Some suggestions are that more than $60,000 has been already outlayed and might now be lost.

Whatever money may have been lodged with Mr Towler, or put forward as a deposit on the sale, it was clear yesterday he was not in a mood for giving refunds.

"After nine months of looking, they have terminated without a reason. You would have to contact them for comment," he said.

"Since they made their announcement the activity at the clubhouse has diminished severely and we have lost a lot of revenue.

"We are a little aggrieved about cancellation after such a gung-ho announcement. "We are still considering our position with our solicitor.

"The future of the golf club is secure. It was never going anywhere.

"We are still interested in selling but will move on with renovation," he said.