Ballina RSL drawing up a master plan for bowls club

By Dawn Cohen

Ballina RSL Club is drawing up a master plan for redevelopment of its bowling site.

In a letter sent to 17,000 members yesterday chairman Bob Grant announced the club had commissioned architects to prepare a master plan to guide redevelopment of the Canal Road property.

The club has guaranteed its 350 bowlers the greens will remain open until June 30 next year.

General manager Bill Coulter, however, refused to be drawn on whether the decision spelt the end for the bowling club.

"We are considering redeveloping the site, but the type of development is still under consideration," he said.

"There are still a lot of matters to be investigated. The master plan will cover the whole club."

In February the RSL club 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 which operated at a loss.

Last month the board held individual meetings with the Ballina sub-branch, the men's, women's and Sandflies bowl- ing club committees reiterating the problem.

Men's bowling club president Michael Gray remains hopeful.

"The development application process could take for ever," he said.

"It may not get rezoning approval."

Mr Brian O Grady, president of Club Convention, the bowlers' lobby group, said he was not surprised at the RSL club's announcement yesterday.

"We believe they have been planning the redevelopment for years," he said.

"We are determined to fight on."



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