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Byron Shire
November 30, 2022

No guarantees with Bangalow Bowlo amalgamation, councillor warns

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Keep the Bowlo Local group spokesperson, and Byron councillor, Asren Pugh. Photo www.asrenpugh.com

A local group of residents have warned of ‘unlimited pokies, Sydney ownership and minimal sporting club support’ if a large entertainment corporation amalgamates with the Bangalow Bowling Club. 

Club members will vote on the proposal at 11am, Sunday November 13. 

Keep the Bowlo Local group spokesperson, and Byron councillor, Asren Pugh, is urging Bowlo members ‘to do their homework before they vote on November 13 on the proposed amalgamation with Norths Collective’. 

‘We know it’s an emotive issue. We all love our local Bowlo, and want to see it succeed, but we need to make sure we’ve all read the MOU [memorandum of understanding] for the proposed amalgamation. 

‘Sure, the proposal might sound good on face value – but it’s important to read the fine print. 

Beloved local Bowlo

‘Our beloved local Bowlo would be owned and controlled by people 600km away in Sydney. 

‘Norths will own all land and buildings from day one. 

‘The number of pokies will increase to ten and up to 15 after three years. And after ten years, they can put in as many as they like – who knows how many they’ll squeeze in!

‘Sporting clubs are likely to be way worse off, with no guarantees on ongoing funding and support. 

‘Quite frankly, there are no guarantees with any of it. There is a “get out” option for just about every clause. 

‘We could see the Bowlo sold off after as little as three years and developed into something else entirely. 

‘Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. 

‘What we are proposing is an alternative – one that doesn’t rely on pokies and keeps it in local hands.’

The clear alternative 

‘The alternative is clear – local management, less, and then having no pokies, retained community asset and a three-step plan to fix and maintain. 

‘We will stabilise within six months, then within 24 months embark on a pathway to profitability, and finally steady state and capital improvements within five years’. 

‘Read more at keepthebowlolocal.com’.

Proponents for the amalgamation with Norths claim the club’s future would be more financially secure under Norths’ management.

In July, the club’s Vice President, Atosha Clancy, told The Echo, ‘The financial situation has deteriorated since we were advised by the accountant in January to seek other options. The Bangalow Bowlo now sits on the edge’. 

Atosha added, ‘Personally, I can’t see how the club will exist in another ten years without a massive ($3M–$5M) injection of capital’. 

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  1. It will go the same as Murwillumbah bowlo. Easy pickings for those greedy companies. Keep it local, or expect to lose it completely. Don’t sell out. Have faith that you are capable. If you don’t you will lose it forever


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