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November 30, 2022

Bangalow Bowlo amalgamation

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In reply to Sol Ibrahim’s letter (14 September): I totally agree that the future of Bangalow Bowlo is in the hands of the members. However, Sol is playing games with us by painting the Keep The Bowlo Local (KTBL) solution in glowing terms while picking the absolute worst possible scenario for the amalgamation with Norths Collective.

There are two risks: 1) The Norths Collective sell off after ten years. 2) The KTBL group take over, but they fail.

Of the two risks the KTBL is by far the bigger.

Norths Collective have been doing mergers for over 30 years and have not sold off one club.

However, if the KTBL group takeover fails, the Bowlo will either go into liquidation and we lose everything, or they claim they will consider an amalgamation with Cherry Street Bowling Club. Time they won’t have as this can take 12 months or more, even if Cherry Street is interested.

Sol talks about giving the club away but, with Norths Collective the Bowlo stays here in Bangalow, we will still be members and we will have a good financial club with upgraded facilities. We don’t have that guarantee from KTBL.

KTBL claim they will make the club poker-machine-free, but in their financial plan they will be keeping them for at least six years. Why worry about getting rid of poker machines when the hotel has 19? Profits from club poker machines at least go back into the community unlike those at hotels. If this group is hell bent on getting rid of poker machines why keep them for six years or longer. Is this really a ‘pokie-free business plan’? (And why not get rid of alcohol too, it does more damage to the community.)

The MOU being developed by the Bangalow Bowlo and Norths Collective ensures that poker machines will be a small part of the future club. When Sol talks about poker machine revenue as $50k/pa I assume he means gross turnover… the actual profit is closer to $15k.

The current Bowlo board has every right to run the club and they have the right to negotiate an MOU. The members will be presented with the MOU and have the right to vote ‘YES’ or ‘NO’.

Imagine trying to do an MOU with every member having a say! It would never get done! We elect a board to run the club to avoid this type of idiocy.

As I understand it the Club owes the bank approximately $445k and the ATO $130k with a repayment plan negotiated for repayment by August 2023, provided each future BAS is paid in full. The next BAS is due late November and will be approximately $80–85k. 

Last financial year the club had a loss of $213k. So far, this year, monthly losses have been in January, February, May, June, and August. Profits have been in March, April, and July with an overall loss of $34,713 for the first eight months of 2022.

All this despite professional and competent management by the board and staff who have been working tirelessly and they are now able to get a resolution to the situation and do the right thing by the club and community.

Now let’s dream about the future as seen by KTBL group.

Studying their financial plan shows that revenue increases from $2.31million to $3.081 million in six years. An increase of $770,678.

Membership revenue will increase from $12.8k to $40k in three years… good luck there!

However, it is the costs where their figures become very suspicious. An increase from $2.252m to $2.539m in six years. Revenue up $770,678 but costs only up $287,204. Come on – this is not remotely realistic.

I was a Bangalow Bowlo board member 2012–19, Chairman of the Board 2013–19, life member and keen bowler and I ask that if you are thinking of voting ‘NO’ to the amalgamation please check out the KTBL proposal on their website for yourself.

It won’t take long to see the glaring holes and optimistic hopes, even for those who are not great with numbers.

Gerry Swain, Newrybar

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