Com­bined Club opens door to dis­cuss fu­ture

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - CHAR­LIE MCKIL­LOP

IT MAY boast one of the most sta­ble fi­nan­cial records and best water­front vis­tas of any non-for-profit club in Far North Queens­land, but mem­bers of the Com­bined Club are not happy.

Per­ceived short­com­ings in the mem­bers’ pri­or­ity seat­ing pol­icy and the des­ig­nated out­door smok­ing ar­eas have left many feel­ing they no longer have a place to call their own.

Com­bined Club pres­i­dent Jen­nifer Hill said the man­age­ment com­mit­tee was well aware of the con­cerns and re­mained com­mit­ted to do­ing ev­ery­thing in its power to give mem­bers a say in the club’s fu­ture.

“It’s their club. We know a lot of mem­bers have turned away and we want them back,” Ms Hill said.

“We have a good, strong, ded­i­cated team of vol­un­teers who are ca­pa­ble of meet­ing the needs of mem­bers and also the com­mu­nity’s needs.”

Ms Hill was elected on a plat­form of gain­ing more in­put into the “care­ful fi­nan­cial and strate­gic plan­ning” nec­es­sary to keep the club vi­able dur­ing the high and low sea­sons as well as to ful­fil its com­mu­nity char­ter.

A mem­bers’ fo­rum this Satur­day would not be a “whinge­ing ses­sion” but an open and trans­par­ent way of tak­ing on board con­struc­tive crit­i­cism and in­put, she said.

“We were stuck in a rut two years ago but we have to move on,” Ms Hill said.

Plans were al­ready in place for a new lounge area where mem­bers could con­gre­gate for the Fri­day night draw with­out hav­ing to book and wait for a ta­ble if they did not in­tend to dine at the club.

A push to re­in­state the pre­vi­ous des­ig­nated out­door smok­ing area would need to be con­sid­ered in the con­text of le­gal re­quire­ments, the coun­ter­views of non-smok­ing pa­trons and the im­pli­ca­tions for ac­cess to the bar and din­ing ar­eas.

“I’m not sit­ting on the fence, I am keep­ing my mind open to all op­tions,” Ms Hill said.

“I have to ad­ju­di­cate the right of mem­bers to abide by the law but I do care, I care if our mem­bers have is­sues and that’s why we’re hav­ing the fo­rum.

“If mem­bers of the Com­bined Club would like to come along at 3pm on Satur­day, I look for­ward to their in­put and shar­ing a drink to­gether at the club’s ex­pense.”

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