Amalgamation of clubs in doubt

A PROPOSAL to amalgamate Murwillumbah’s five registered clubs has been met with a lukewarm reception by some that could spell the death knell of the idea.

It was revealed last week that the Murwillumbah Services Club, which recently took over the town’s troubled Bowls and Sports Club, was spearheading moves for amalgamation of all the registered clubs following a $75,000 study that found significant benefits from the move.

The report into the financial viability of the services, bowls, leagues, golf and Condong Bowls clubs suggested amalgamation could result in savings of more than $550,000 a year.

However, president of Murwillumbah Leagues Club, Lionel Alexander, said his board had shelved the idea for 12 months and told Clubs NSW it would review the plan then.

“We are just going to sit tight for 12 months and see how all the trading is going by then,” Mr Alexander said.

“At this stage we are hoping to go alone. We are in the fortunate position that we have touch football, junior league and rugby union, plus we sponsor hockey and a social golf club and a fishing club.

“We have got different people from all walks of life every day of the week.

“Our bar trading is up over the past 12 months.”

Condong Bowls Club secretary-manager Ron Pilon said his club was keen – but only if all the other five clubs went into the proposed amalgamation.

“We are all systems go as long as all the clubs are involved,” Mr Pilon said.

“Fragmented, it is probably not a good idea.

“The report recommended that Condong be the bowling centre, which I think is a good idea.

“We are reasonably keen, but if only two or three clubs decide to be in it it puts us back to where we are – still in competition and a struggle for everyone.”

Secretary-manager of Murwillumbah Golf Club, Brett Holland, said the matter was still under consideration by his club’s board, which was waiting for more information from Clubs NSW.

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