President vows club will stay open

MARYBOROUGH Golf Club president Alan Gees has rejected suggestions that any impropriety had landed the club in financial dire straits.

Mr Gees was responding to a statement in the club's November newsletter by immediate past president Kim McKenna who expressed concerns about the information in financial management reports.

“There's no wrongdoing at all,” Mr Gees said yesterday.

“We weren't getting reports we should have been getting.

“We've been slow in putting up our fees and that's probably where we went wrong.”

Mr Gees said all debts would be paid and he had sought a meeting with the council – the club's biggest creditor – to arrange paying off an outstanding rates bill of $35,000 which included about $13,000 in unpaid rates from last year.

“We will pay everybody,” he said. “There's no chance this club will close.”

Mr Gees, who has been a member for 20 years and joined the committee a year ago before becoming president on September 14, said all Christmas parties that had been booked were safe.

He called on the club's 600 members and the community to show their support.

There are 400 playing members registered with the club.

An audit of the club's 2009-10 accounts questioned whether the club could continue as a going concern and last week the club treasurer reported an average monthly shortfall of $15,000 to $20,000.

Mr Gees said fees and prices had been raised and costs cut and this financial year he was confident the club would turn around to show a profit or, at worst, a minor loss.

“Whenever you put fees up you get resistance but ... we need to do it to survive,” he said.

He said the committee had assumed tighter control of the club and put in place an ordering system so no money was spent without approval.

“We're in the process of doing up a totally new business plan which will monitor everything on a weekly to monthly basis.”

Mr Gees said it came to light earlier this year that there was a lack of funds and when the yearly figures were put together it was worse than expected because some money was owed that the committee hadn't known about.

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