Golf sub­scrip­tions stay, for now

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY ROBERT MUIR

Most of the 201 vot­ing mem­bers at Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Golf Club Re­sort’s 2018 An­nual Gen­eral Meeting were happy to em­power the Board of Di­rec­tors to in­crease an­nual sub­scrip­tions up to 10%.

But the ma­jor­ity vote did not reach the re­quired 75% for the Spe­cial Res­o­lu­tion to be suc­cess­ful.

Be­fore­hand, club pres­i­dent Gil Cunningham ex­plained to at­ten­dees the board strongly be­lieved the rise sought was nec­es­sary to put a dint in, not over­come by it­self, ris­ing club costs.

He out­lined sub­stan­tial in­creases ex­pected with elec­tric­ity, fuel costs and Fox­tel ser­vices. “We en­joy great fa­cil­i­ties at very rea­son­able costs,” the pres­i­dent said.

“In the board’s view, we should all be putting our hands up for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. We should be pre­pared to share some small in­crease in fees short-term.”

Club life mem­ber and past pres­i­dent Stu­art Spinks said there has never been a time in the past 30 years of YMGCR when there has been more need to in­crease the an­nual mem­ber­ship fees.

“In the first year it would cost us $25 – 48 cents a week or seven cents a day – and that is only if the board ac­tu­ally im­posed the 10 per cent each and ev­ery year,” he said.

“We have made losses for the last three years in a row. Prior to that we had made prof­its year af­ter year for the last 50 years.

“We are cheaper by a long shot than any of the clubs we tra­di­tion­ally com­pare our­selves to, mainly along the Mur­ray River. Our cur­rent full mem­ber­ship fee is $315 or $380 for a coun­try mem­ber. Most other clubs that we tra­di­tion­ally com­pare our­selves to are $600 to $700 – roughly dou­ble what or club is charg­ing and some of them are still not mak­ing a profit.

“We can­not go on liv­ing in fairy land of mak­ing loss af­ter loss while still keep­ing the an­nual fees so low and think we can sus­tain it.”

Mr Spinks re­ceived strong sup­port from the likes of Jo Ang­win. But there were some speak­ers, in­clud­ing Mick Birchall, who said num­bers of pa­trons had sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced and he wanted the club to en­tice more peo­ple through the doors.

For­mer club pres­i­dent Lou Boz­zola said he was against the move for higher sub­scrip­tions. He sug­gested a wait and see ap­proach fol­low­ing the re­cent depar­ture of the CEO af­ter five years in the job and a fresh ap­proach by a new CEO.

Fol­low­ing the res­o­lu­tion’s de­ci­sion, Cathy Spinks said the mat­ter can be han­dled again by the club be­fore the 2019 AGM, at a spe­cial meeting if so de­sired.

A new Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer is ex­pected to be known by year’s end ac­cord­ing to Mr Cunningham, fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion in Au­gust of Richard Hogg.

“The process is well un­der­way,” Mr Cunningham ex­plained. There were 107 ap­pli­cants which speaks vol­umes to me how this club is viewed. We’re now in the process of short­list­ing the ap­pli­cants.”

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