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Financial woes

Monday, 11th March, 2013

By Emily Roberts

The Broken Hill Golf Club is considering shutting half of the course due to financial difficulties.

BH Golf and Country Club president, Tim O'Neil said they are considering a number of proposals at the moment.

"We are going to take everything to our members," Mr O'Neil said.

"There are a couple of options we are taking to an extraordinary meeting. One option is to shut nine of the holes; another one is to raise fees but we don't want to have to do that."

Mr O'Neil said it had been extremely frustrating, especially since the club had been getting no help from owners Dialena Nominees.

"We're not shutting and we're not broke, but we can't afford to keep the club running," Mr O'Neil said.

"We are looking at strategies so in two years time the club will still be running.

"It's not that we don't have enough members, it's that we have no input from Dialena and it is their responsibility for the upkeep of the course.

"We are paying for the upkeep at the moment."

For many years, a dispute has been running between the club and Dialena. The BH Golf and Country Club claimed that the Mildura based developer has not been adequately maintaining the grounds, forcing golf club members to complete the course's upkeep. In July 2011, then club president, Stephen Tucker, posted a notice on the club's noticeboard regarding the dispute.

The Broken Hill Golf and Country Club is claiming $1.1 million, the amount that the board believes Dialena owes the Golf Club under the obligations
contained in the lease agreement," he wrote.

Mr O'Neil said the members and the board are frustrated as this dispute has been going on since 2008.

"I will do everything in my power to ensure the Golf club isn't shut down," he said.

"Our 18 hole course will continue until we make a decision on whether to shut nine of the holes."

Mr O'Neil said the club is also quite popular especially on competition days.

"On various competitions day you could see 70 people at the course," he said.

"On Saturday we had 79 people. On Veterans Day we had about 30 and we run competitions during the week.

"It is a very big asset for the city, it attracts people here."

Mr O'Neil said they are still in the process of sorting out mediation with Dialena.

"We are trying to figure out a proposed date where we can sit down with them," he said.

"I don't know why there has been such a delay, I can't speculate on that."

According to Mr O'Neil all the members are banding together.

"The amount of volunteers from our members is very good, we use their experience and expertise to help us to keep going," he said.

"We would also be lost without our sponsors."

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