Corrimal club wants $1 million debt waived

Creditors will decide the fate of Corrimal Leagues Club at a meeting next week, almost four years after the venue went into administration with debts of more than $5 million.

Corrimal Leagues Club director Paul Balfour. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Corrimal Leagues Club director Paul Balfour. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Club director Paul Balfour has agitated for the meeting in the hope that creditors will forgive remaining debts totalling about $1 million.

Mr Balfour said rent and the debt repayments - $32,000 and $22,000 a month respectively - had hamstrung the club, making it unable to do better than break even over the past 12 months.

"I'm hoping to gain the support of creditors and the community and make sure the club remains here," he said.

"If we continue to trade, we get to keep 17 to 19 staff."

The club went into external administration in February 2009 and sold assets including its Railway Street premises and car park, two houses on Junction St and a vacant block to clear debt.

It continues to trade at Railway Street on a four-year lease but continuing financial uncertainty means it is unable to book profitable events like weddings or birthdays.

It pays a high rate for power because the agreement is month-to-month, and past suppliers including Fosters continue to refuse to trade with it.

There are more than 140 creditors, including employees and the tax office.

Mr Balfour said several locally based creditors had indicated a willingness to forgive debt in consideration of the club's work supporting the community.

Michael Chan, a senior manager with administrators Jirsch Sutherland, said he was advertising for a company willing to amalgamate with Corrimal Leagues which, as a non-profit organisation, cannot be sold.

Mr Chan suggested the club's inability to turn a profit was the result of a "bigger issue" than its rent and repayments.

"It's got to be a combination of the patronage of the business and just the high cost of running a [club]."

Mr Chan said the creditors meeting in Sydney on December 21 was an opportunity to update creditors and seek their reaction, and to see if they are happy to forgive the company the debt.


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