RSL Bowling Club valued at $4 million

By DAWN COHEN

THE BALLINA RSL Bowling Club, threatened with closure, is a multimillion dollar site, general manager Bill Coulter confirmed yesterday.

The bowling club, worth more than $4 million, should close to solve a cash flow problem created by the new NSW poker machine tax, the RSL club announced at a members' meet- ing on Sunday.

The Canal Road property was purchased by the RSL Club Ltd for about $200,000 from the Department of Lands more than 20 years ago to replace a green at the River Street club needed for a car park. But now the bowling club loses more than $100,000 a year.

The RSL club's gross annual income from poker machines of more than $9 million will bring a tax bill of more than $1 million by 2010.

A reorganisation of the club's catering facility turned a $300,000 loss between 2001-2002 into a small profit by 2004, said Mr Coulter.

Similarly a TAB loss of $80,000 is expected to reduce to $20,000 following a refurbishment. But the general manager does not believe the bowling club loss can also be reprieved.

Michael Gray, Men's Bowling Club president, disagrees. He cited documents of an offer from a local builder to build a motel in front of the bowling club last year.

"It could have helped, but the board turned it down without even paying the courtesy of discussing it," he said.

Mr Coulter said he was not aware of such an offer.



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