Cannington and Districts Bowling Club could be booted from premises if proposal passes council

Cannington and Districts Bowling Club could be booted from premises if proposal passes council

THE Cannington and Districts Bowling Club will be given a notice to vacate their George Street West premises by June 30, if council pass an item at the February council meeting.

It could mark the end of the club’s 49-year tenure at the site, which has been on a month-to-month hold over lease with the City of Canning since December 2015.

Governance and solvency issues have plagued the club since June 2015 when it was deemed insolvent with debts of $180,867, including $106,455 owed to the Australian Tax Office.

In July 2015 the club was issued a breach of lease notice after it was found to be trading while insolvent before it engaged an a management accountant to implement improvements to governance.

In the year since the club has paid down debt, and strived to increase membership through social means such as poker, however only has 59 registered playing members.

Canning chief executive Arthur Kyron said the club facilities were in poor condition and the lack of membership meant the time to close the club was now.

“We’ve been following this club for sometime. I understand and the situation isn’t improving, the facility is continuing to deteriorate and the membership is not improving,” he said.

“I think there is an obligation for us to act as expeditiously as we can to resolve this.”

Mr Kyron said that since 2015 there had been opportunities for the club to address concerns despite being on a month-to-month lease.

“I don’t have an in depth history of the club, but if the club were serious about establishing its business to the future they would have presented a business plan, a long term plan looking at how they would become more financially viable,” he said.

“But each approach we have made to them has not been responded to in that kind of way, I think it’s a red herring that it’s about the holding over lease.

“If the club came to us with a straight forward methodical plan then we would have reconsidered the lease arrangements.”

Mr Kyron said the club could not be treated differently to any other struggling sporting club within Canning.

“The only way I can think the club could be (saved) would be if the council made the decision to invest into this club, but why would we treat this club in a different way to how we treat the other clubs in Canning,” he said.

Mr Kyron estimated a refurbishment, including the removal of an asbestos roof would cost up to $1.58 million and a rebuild would cost up to $4 million.

The item recommends serving a notice to vacate the premises by June 30 2017, to demolish the facilities and to pay two years membership for members at a club of their choosing.

Mr Kyron said it was time to draw a line, but appreciated the club would be emotionally hit hard.

“Sometimes the best thing to do is call it what it is; the most compassionate way to do this is to set an end date and enable the members to join other clubs and we are recommending council give them financial means to do that,” he said.

“That enables them to continue to play bowls; there is nothing more genuine or authentic than that,”

“It’s always hard (to close clubs) there is a period of grieving we need to understand.”

Mr Kyron said there were no plans to change the sites zoning from parks and recreation.

“There are no plans whatsoever to change the zoning that will be a completely separate process, there is no predetermined outcome,” he said.