Staff at the troubled Katoomba Golf Club are owed $130,000 in unpaid superannuation, funds they risk losing if the club cannot reopen.
Many of the staff have not been paid supernanuation since February last year. They are also owed $30,000 in holiday pay and other entitlements and some fear they will never receive a cent.
The future of the club, which is sponsored by the Reed building group and which closed its doors on July 1, is still unresolved. At a second creditors meeting at the club last Friday, the joint administrator, Brian Silvia, said the club had incurred $4.6 million in trading losses in the last four years.
He said the club had kept trading with money lent to it by Katoomba Escarpment Estate (KEE), a company associated with The Reed Group. KEE leases the club land from the council and owns development land near the course. KEE is now owed $9 million, Mr Silvia said.
The Reed group has had major financial issues in recent times. Its construction arm was placed into administration in June last year, closing down work on the Great Western Highway Hazelbrook toWoodford section.
The road contract has since been taken over by Abigroup, which continues with the 3.5 kilometre upgrade.
“It’s possible Reed may be able to refinance various companies that are in administration,” Mr Silvia said. But this depended on negotiations with the major creditors, Westpac and the ANZ Bank.
“If he [company owner Mr Geoff Reed] can do that, then he might have the funds to reopen here [at Katoomba]. The position should become known in the next few weeks.”
Mr Silvia said if the club went into liquidation, the government would pay the staff their $30,000 but they were likely to lose the unpaid superannuation.
One staff member, who spoke to the Gazette on condition of anonymity, said even if the club reopened, he wouldn’t return to his job.
“We’ve been given promises for over a year and a half that we would get paid. I wouldn’t work for them again,’ the employee said.
One of the added problems for the golf club is the need to maintain the grounds and facilities, both to minimise vandalism and to be ready for a possible reopening.
Mr Silvia said Reed had funded some greenkeeping but now the members had been asked to volunteer.
Paul Jones, a member since the 1980s, was happy to help out. “We’ll volunteer to cut the hedges, do the garden and keep it tidy,” he said.
He said members were keen to see the club reopened. “We’re not going to join another club until we know what’s happening here.”
His mate, John Wilson, praised the staff of the club. “The ones that have stayed have been so loyal,” he said.
The creditors’ meeting was adjourned for 45 days to allow Reed more time to negotiate over refinancing. Reed is also due to meet with Blue Mountains Council and the club on August 12.