Services Club is in dire financial straits

Cobar Services Club secretary/manager Linda Carter is very concerned about the club’s dire financial state and is at her wits end trying to work out how the club can survive.

Cobar Services Club secretary/manager Linda Carter and the club’s board have found themselves once again fighting a tough financial battle to keep the club’s doors open.

Mrs Carter said the club is currently experiencing a “dire financial situation” due to increased operating costs and a dramatic loss in income over the past year.

“Insurance costs are up, bar takings are down, poker machine takings are down.

“I am just doing an analysis on poker machine takings and, when you are down $100K gross from your pokies a month, that’s a lot of money not circulating through the club,” Mrs Carter told The Cobar Weekly on Monday.

She attributes the club’s decline to a general downturn in the town and said the 7 on/7 off mine rosters, which take people out of town every second week, along with the current uncertainty of jobs at the Peak Mine, are also having a detrimental effect on not only the club but also on lots of other businesses in town.

The club has previously experienced serious financial woes and, in August 2010, their
then-board of directors voted to put the club under administration in order to avoid trading insolvent.

At that stage the club owed approximately $250,000 to its creditors.

More three years later, in October 2013, the club was back on its own two feet and operating under their new secretary/manager Mrs Carter.

She and the staff introduced a raft of cost savings measures and also actively sought out ways to bring in more income to the club.

Mrs Carter said it has however been a struggle ever since the club came out of administration.

“We are still paying two loans off from pre-administration and also paying one loan off we took out post-administration to pay out the administrator.

“We don’t want to go down that path again because you are paying them more than what it’s worth. If we go down that path it will be one way,” she said.

Mrs Carter said the board is currently considering selling off the back car park parcel of land and is currently in negotiations with Cobar Shire Council.

“That would only be a short term injection of funds,” she said.

“We need something that will sustain the club. Selling the land will only fix the problem now, give us a cash flow and some money to invest.”

Mrs Carter and the board have called a public meeting next Tuesday to appraise members of the club’s situation.