Ballina bowlers battle to save club
By DAWN COHEN and BREE PRICE
A GROUP of bowlers is hoping to force the Ballina RSL Club into calling a general meeting to vote on the future of its bowling greens.
An RSL bowlers lobby group, Club Convention, sent Ballina solicitor Mark Flynn to the club on Tuesday with a letter signed by 42 sub branch members, demanding the board call a general meeting of members.
Ballina RSL Club general manager Bill Coulter said the club didn't see 'any value in holding another meeting at this time'.
However, Mr Coulter said further inquiries were being made following the receipt of the letter.
Club Convention president Brian O'Grady said the RSL club's constitution stated the board must call a general meeting if five per cent of voting members asked for one.
"All we want is for members to discuss the proposed closure of the bowling club, and to show the directors what they want," Mr O'Grady said.
"We have not been given that opportunity by the RSL Club board."
In February, the Ballina RSL Club Ltd told a members' meeting the new NSW Government poker machine tax created a potential cash flow problem best solved by the closure of its bowling greens in Canal Road.
Last week, Ballina RSL Club board chairman Bob Grant wrote a letter to members, advising them that architects had been commissioned to draw up a master plan for the redevelopment of its bowling club in Canal Street.
Two months ago, the Ballina RSL CLub board refused to act on a similar request from Club Convention signed by 200 ordinary members. The board claimed only sub-branch members fulfilled the constitutional regulations, Mr O'Grady said.
The signatories to the latest request constitute more than five per cent of the 800 former defence force members who form the subbranch.
"They can't get out of it now," Mr O'Grady said.
"They have to announce a meeting within three weeks and the meeting has to be held within two months."
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