An artist's impression of proposed changes to Club Banora.
An artist's impression of proposed changes to Club Banora. Tweed Daily News

Club Banora decision time

TWIN Towns members will decide the fate of a $24.4 million plan to save the financially-ailing Club Banora by selling part of its site, at a general meeting tomorrow night.

The plan put forward by consultants KPMG and supported by the Twin Towns board of directors would see three hectares of Club Banora's 57-hectare parcel sold, leased, or developed to fund a total re-build of the Leisure Drive facility.

Considered the best way to save the club that has been costing up to $1.5 million annually to maintain its ageing premises on top of large operating losses, members will vote on the plan at the Twin Towns Services Club AGM tomorrow night.

“KPMG estimated that it would actually cost us more to replace the large-cost items, like air-conditioning, that need replacing at Club Banora and to maintain it as it was for the next 20 to 30 years, than it would be to rebuild the whole facility,” said Twin Towns chairman Michael Fraser.

“If the membership decides on Tuesday night to go ahead with the plan, the new clubhouse won't be built overnight.

“Because we don't know which way we will precede - either lease the land, sell it or find someone to develop it in partnership with Twin Towns - it will involve council re-zoning the land even before planning starts.

“Basically this idea won't come to life for at least another three to five years, but we need to start somewhere.

“If this (the new club) doesn't happen, something will need to be done, because the other two sites can't keep propping up Club Banora, and we don't really want to consider the final option (closure).

“This plan is about placing the club in a position that it can survive the next 30 years, because the way things are with more tax increases believed to be planned by the NSW Government and figures that show 35 per cent of clubs expect to lose revenue and cut spending because of the recession, putting Club Banora on the right path is now even more important to its future.”

More than 400 people attended a briefing session about the plan held at Club Banora.

“At the meeting, half of the meeting plus one would need to vote in favour of changing that part of the site from core to non-core so the plan can go ahead,” he said.

The AGM will be held at the Twin Town Services Club in Tweed Heads from 6.15pm.

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