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Millions at stake as RSL dispute looms

RSL ROW: Gympie RSL Club may merge with the Gympie Pines Golf Club and possibly other sporting groups.
RSL ROW: Gympie RSL Club may merge with the Gympie Pines Golf Club and possibly other sporting groups. Arthur Gorrie

THOUSANDS of Gympie RSL Club and Sub-branch members and millions of dollars are involved in an apparently looming dispute between the two.

And some members are becoming concerned, according to a letter sent anonymously to club and Sub-branch members

The Sub-branch, which owns the club's Mary St headquarters, leases most of the building to the club, keeping its own headquarters downstairs.

The concern centres on a plan announced by club committee members at the club's annual general meeting in March.

The plan involved setting up a new venue at a remodelled version of Gympie Pines Golf Club.

The plan was to also retain the Mary St headquarters and to use its cash flow to set up a new venue.

Sub-branch members, apparently worried at loss of rent if the club moved, say this income funds services.

The AGM was attended by a Gympie Times reporter who is also a club member and who was made welcome after identifying himself at the meeting.

No motion seeking membership endorsement was put to the meeting, although it appeared from the plan's enthusiastic reception that the numbers would have been there.

The Sub-branch committee has been guarded on the issue, but members also at the meeting did not look happy.

Now a letter, from a "Concerned Club Member", appears to call for both organisations to work together more co- operatively.

It also criticises the club committee for not involving members in decisions affecting club assets, and the sub branch committee for not doing more about the crisis.

"I have been trying to understand the situation with the Gympie RSL Club," the letter begins.

"I have learned that the 'club' is a separate entity to the RSL Sub-branch, which is a registered charity that represents RSL Queensland in support of local veterans and wider community interests.

"The RSL 'club' is a registered not-for-profit organisation to support the broad aims of the RSL and support club members."

As a separate entity it pays rent to the Sub-branch and does not directly support veterans, the letter says. It says the plan to buy the golf club "has me confused."

"How does the plan support the RSL or local veterans in any way? No proceeds from the golf club venture will go to the RSL.

"What is the RSL Sub-branch doing about this? There appears to be little action or news on what is happening, except a newspaper report stating that the RSL is not moving and will remain in Mary St.

"How can the funds earned from the club (claimed at $2 million) be diverted to another venture unrelated to the RSL without a vote of club members?"

Topics:  gympie gympie business gympie rsl gympie rsl club rsl

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