BILL O’CHEE VOTES NO TO WOMEN AT TATTS

The Courier-Mail - - BUSINESS - an­thony.marx@news.com.au WITH AN­THONY MARX X @An­tho­nyMarxCM

THE STA­TUS QUO

WOMEN won’t be al­lowed to be­come mem­bers of the Tat­ter­sall’s Club if the mood of this week’s an­nual meet­ing is any­thing to go by.

Hun­dreds of gents packed the Bris­bane In­sti­tu­tion on Thurs­day night as the high­ly­con­tentious is­sue of al­low­ing fe­males to join once again flared up. City Beat spies tell us that pres­i­dent Stu­art Fraser and other top guns, who ap­peared to be push­ing for a change, will now re­treat to weigh up their op­tions, which in­clude a pos­si­ble vote on the is­sue down the track.

One irate mem­ber asked Fraser whether he’d step down if a vote fails, since it’s about the third oc­ca­sion the is­sue has arisen dur­ing his time on the com­mit­tee. Fraser point­edly said he wouldn’t re­spond to the ques­tion.

We hear for­mer Na­tional Party Sen­a­tor Bill O’Chee (il­lus­trated) was the stand­out backer of the sta­tus quo on the night, voic­ing the sen­ti­ment of many in the room who sup­port keep­ing the her­itage and tra­di­tions of the 153year-old club in­tact.

He won ap­plause af­ter he took a pot­shot at an emailed sur­vey of 5600 mem­bers, which drew a re­sponse from 1600.

It de­liv­ered an in­con­clu­sive re­sult on a gen­eral ques­tion about chang­ing mem­ber­ship that didn’t specif­i­cally can­vas al­low­ing women to join.

“I’ve seen enough sur­veys in my time in gov­ern­ment and the style they are writ­ten is struc­tured to­wards the an­swers you want,’’ he said.

CLUB CHAL­LENGES

WHAT’S clear is that the mem­ber­ship base is age­ing and pa­tron­age is fall­ing, the meet­ing heard. Like many clubs th­ese days, Tatts faces the per­pet­ual chal­lenge of at­tract­ing new blood.

In­ten­si­fy­ing that prob­lem is a bot­tom line that has been hurt by lost rent from its Queen Street Mall ar­cade.

In­deed, three sig­nif­i­cant ten­ants -the Sono Ja­panese restau­rant, Bankwest and Vir­gin Mo­bile – have all va­cated re­tail space in the past 12 months. That’s de­prived the club of about $2.3 mil­lion in an­nual rev­enue.

Op­po­nents of change ques­tioned whether al­low­ing women mem­bers would re­ally im­prove the fi­nan­cial out­look.

Af­ter all, mixed mem­ber­ship hasn’t nec­es­sar­ily helped the Bris­bane Club, which is un­der­stood to have suf­fered a loss this year.

It cer­tainly didn’t make a dif­fer­ence to the nowde­funct Polo and Queens­land Rugby clubs. O’Chee even sug­gested that most Tatts mem­bers

would gladly cough up an­other $100 each to im­prove the out­look. He could not be reached for com­ment yes­ter­day.

But what’s the longert­erm so­lu­tion? There seemed to be a con­sen­sus that the re­tail space needs to be filled while the food and bev­er­age of­fer­ings should be im­proved.

CARRY THAT WEIGHT

TEAMS of spon­sored vol­un­teers car­ry­ing 42kg packs for 42 hours started climb­ing up and down the stairs of Sun­corp Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

They’ll be there through to­mor­row, when cer­e­monies play out for the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of World War I.

It’s all part of a three­year-long fundrais­ing drive by for­mer Army en­gi­neer

Sean Mulqueen to raise $120,000 to build a memo­rial gar­den next to the sta­dium for the 41 Aus­tralian troops killed in Afghanistan.

Mulqueen hopes his 60 vol­un­teers will help gen­er­ate up to $50,000. There’s even talk that the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments will kick in some dough to get the project over the line.

WEL­COME CREW

IF the PNG wel­come crew for next Sat­ur­day’s APEC sum­mit in Port Moresby makes a good im­pres­sion, you can thank Jodie BacheMcLean.

The Bris­bane-based con­sul­tant spent four days there last month train­ing 160 lo­cals in the finer points of pro­to­col and cor­po­rate eti­quette.

Bache-McLean, who heads up JDW Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing, likened it to help­ing the vol­un­teers who made the Com­mon­wealth Games a suc­cess.

“It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence to em­power those peo­ple,’’ she told us yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.