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Bronte RSL Club denies meeting illegitimate

Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith outside Bronte RSL

Bronte RSL Club has denied accusations made by attendees of last week’s liquidation meeting that the decisions made were illegitimate and lacking in transparency.

Newly elected President of the Bronte RSL Club and secretary of the sub-branch, Simon Paterson, stressed that only members were invited to the meeting and that the vote was legitimate.

“At that meeting, Club members voted almost unanimously against the motion and resolved to keep the Club in existence with a view to reinstating a new Club within the proposed redevelopment of the Macpherson Street site,” Mr Paterson said.

“This has been voted and supported by the Bronte RSL Sub-Branch head office and part of the deal with land owners Bronte RSL Sub-Branch and the developer.”

This was supported by sub-branch President, Peter Hillman.

“It was run right,” Mr Hillman said. “Obviously there are some disgruntled people, but people think there is a chance for the club to continue. Only seven people voted with that block to end the club. The other 40 voted for it to continue.”

Mr Paterson said lawyers were present at the meeting to oversee the vote.

“A new Club Board was elected at the meeting over the watch of an administrator working within the constitution and bylaws.”

The decision to continue the club was conditional on the club providing a commercial return to the sub-branch to provide community services it had heretofore provided, including “the well-being, care, compensation and commemoration of serving and ex-serving Defense Force Personnel and their dependents”.

“These days, community clubs need to offer a lot more than poker machines, bingo, and a meat raffle to attract patronage,” Mr Paterson said. “Our goal is to create an offering which encompasses a range of uses, which might include a gym and other health, community and family-related services.”

Mr Paterson would not respond to accusations that the meeting was “a coup d’état” on the part of developers.

“The plans for a new club are a quarter or a fifth of the size of the original club,” said Mr Hillman. “The club could not continue in the old building. Costs were too high.”

Mr Hillman could not confirm membership checks were made at the meeting and was unsure of when there was last an Annual General Meeting. “Even if they hadn’t had an AGM, I know the committee has been meeting, the board of management has been meeting,” he said.

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