Murwillumbah bowls faces closure
ONE of Tweed's oldest licensed clubs is battling to stay afloat, but has been offered a lifeline.
Management of the troubled Murwillumbah Bowls and Sports Club has however been accused of procrastinating over a rescue offer by the Murwillumbah Services Club.
The Services Club has been kept waiting for a reply to the deal which could keep the bowls club and its central Murwillumbah property several hundred metres away in community hands.
Services Club CEO Guy Diven confirmed his club responded to a call by the bowls club management for "an expression of interest in amalgamation" but was still negotiating an initial "memorandum of understanding" (MOU).
"We would like to see that happen as quickly as possible," said Mr Diven.
"But it's been going on for the best part of six weeks."
Last week the bowls club called an informal meeting of members attended by the full board, financial auditors and club solicitors to "discuss the financial position of the club".
The Tweed Daily News was told members were informed the club was in dire financial straits and would seek to amalgamate with the services club.
The meeting came just over a year since club members agreed to a potential sale of the club property to a developer who would turn it into a supermarket complex with bowls played on artificial greens on the roof.
That deal is understood to have collapsed in the global financial crisis.
"It's preservation of community assets. That's it in a nutshell," Mr Diven said of the amalgamation proposal. "If the bowling club falls who wins? A developer. Possibly.
"It's a wonderful community asset that has been funded and supported by the people of Murwillumbah for 89 years."
Mr Diven said the Services Club's rescue offer was "hamstrung by the lack of the MOU being signed."
Once signed, he said the proposal would first be put to a vote of bowling club members.
"Subject to the outcome of that vote, we would take it to our members," he said.
Secretary-manager of the bowling club Helen Avery was not available yesterday and a club receptionist said Ms Avery was the only person who could comment on the issue.