Mayor keen to avoid the past mistakes of others
MAYOR Matt Burnett says he’s determined to keep the Gladstone Bowls Club site a community asset as to avoid similar mistakes in the past.
The club will still be able to apply for grants in order to expand its clubhouse and does not need freehold title over the land.
“This is state-controlled land which is held in trust by council and leased to the bowls club,” Cr Burnett said.
“As long as it’s still held in trust by someone in our community and not freehold — which doesn’t give them opportunity to sell it.”
Cr Burnett said he had no problem with the club having trusteeship over the land should they require it for grants.
However, he said ‘freehold’ title was a sticking point.
“I wanted to make sure the club didn’t get freehold title — it’s community land and community property,” he said.
“The only way to honour those people who have put those hours in for many years is to make sure the land is never sold to a multinational or a company that doesn’t care about the cent sales, sausage sizzles and fundraisers.
“A classic example was an article in The Courier Mail last week about Indooroopilly Bowls Club who had been in liquidation for a number of years and was sold for $1.3 million.
“This is exactly what I am trying to avoid.”
Cr Burnett also cited examples closer to home.
“It wasn’t that long ago that Gladstone Rugby League built a Leagues Club and then all of a sudden they went into receivership, lost it and now it’s owned by Woolworths. It wasn’t that long beforehand that we lost the RSL.”
Cr Burnett said the current bowls club committee was doing a “fantastic” job and expected their future endeavours to be successful.