Services club directors leave

TWO directors of the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club board, Tony Stackhouse (who is also the president of the Grafton Rhinos Rugby League Club) and president David Savins, have resigned.

Former deputy president Ian Reid has stepped in as acting chairman and the board will continue as a seven-member board until the next AGM in March 2012.

Mr Reid confirmed the club was reviewing its sponsorship of the Grafton Rhinos next year because "it did not represent value for what we were getting back". The Rhinos had enjoyed a $10,000 sponsorship this year and will put a proposal to the club at its board meeting on Monday.

Mr Reid said "two or three" Rhinos players had been banned for unacceptable behaviour but the review of sponsorship was not related to the bans.

Mr Stackhouse said he disputed the claim that the Rhinos had not provided value for the club, considering it purchased more than $10,000 worth of packaged beer for resale.

He said he resigned from the board because he did not like the way it was run - specifically that he was not invited to an important extraordinary board meeting in which it was decided to sell the South Grafton Ex-Services Butchery (including the freehold) and pay out its previous workers.

Mr Stackhouse said he agreed with the butchery sale, but as a board member he did not like being excluded from decisions that may have financial implications for the club.

Mr Reid said the board decided to sell the butchery because it was not performing sufficiently financially.

He said the club's outside poker machine area (for smokers) was trading very well but it was difficult to make a profit in clubs because of taxation burdens.

"You can have a high turnover but not a profit," he said.

"The new poker machine legislation will destroy a lot of clubs.

"This Wilkie character, I mean, by him saying he's going to save a few gamblers he's putting thousands out of jobs.

"Our club is up for $300,000 to convert the machines to take the smartcards."

Mr Reid said South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club donated $18,000 last month to various local causes, including the Men's Shed, sporting clubs, schools and prostate cancer research.

The Examiner tried to call Mr Reid back for further comment but he was unavailable.

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