Bomaderry’s two clubs plan amalgamation

16/02/2019 Posted by admin

Bomaderry RSL Club secretary manager Brett Hill and Bomaderry Bowling Club secretary manager Garry Wilbraham talk about the future of the two clubs as one unit.BOMADERRY RSL Club has announced it will amalgamate with the Bomaderry Bowling Club.

The move, if finalised, will be a lifeline for the RSL club which was struggling financially with losses of about $20,000 per month.

If another club had not agreed to amalgamate the RSL Club would have been liquidated.

Negotiations between the two clubs boards started earlier this year after the RSL club put out an expression of interest for amalgamation.

Two clubs answered the call with Bomaderry Bowling Club being selected as a possible partner.

The RSL club’s membership voted in favour of the amalgamation however the agreement cannot be considered formal until the bowling club’s membership votes on the proposal.

Bomaderry Bowling Club secretary manager Garry Wilbraham said the next step in the process was for the bowling club to offer information evenings about what the merger would mean before his club’s members are asked to vote at an extraordinary general meeting.

“This is not a purchase, it will mean the assets and the debts of the club will come across to us. But the assets far outweigh the debts,” he said.

“For the bowling club’s long term growth this is a good move. It also makes sense from a business point of view to have one club in Bomaderry rather than having our two clubs competing.”

The RSL Club has two permanent staff and 15 casual staff and Mr Wilbraham said the Bowling club would look after the staff.

“We will keep the RSL Club going pretty much as it is for the next six months and then re-assess after that,” he said.

Amalgamations and liquidations of smaller clubs are becoming the norm across NSW.

Each month for the past few months two clubs in NSW have put their hand up notifying they are in financial distress.

The club industry blames dwindling profits on a combination of smoking bans, tightened restrictions on drinking, changes in patron behaviour and a push by the government to reduce poker machine numbers.

“There has been a cultural change,” Mr Wilbraham said.

“It’s a bit like the disappearance of corner stores. People’s lives are different now. One example is the six O’Clock swill has definitely gone,” he said.

Bomaderry RSL Club secretary manager Brett Hills said the time had come to reshape the club’s future.

“An amalgamation would mean two groups of members would become one and the benefits of that combined membership would improve the long-term survival of the clubs,” he said.

“This is a good thing for the Bomaderry RSL Club.”

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