After decades of business and countless ANZAC Day services a beloved community club is set to close its doors to the community this week – as residents and the local Council raise concerns about plans for the site’s re-development.
“I have learned today that this Wednesday night, Concord RSL Club will be shutting its doors for good” City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas said.
“The news comes as a shock to me and I am sure it will come as a shock to the Club patrons, former RSL sub-branch members and the wider community who have all been kept in the dark about the plans for the future of the site.”
In late 2018 the NSW Branch of the Returned & Services Leagues of Australia (RSL) took control of the Club and premises, and dissolved the Concord RSL sub-branch.
“The particulars of the dispute between the sub-branch and RSL NSW have been well reported and I do not seek to offer commentary on those matters, however I do have significant concerns about the impact that the dissolution of the sub branch and the closure of the Club will have on our area and on our community,” Mayor Tsirekas said.
The State Government is currently considering plans for an eight storey high rise development on the site.
“I don’t know exactly what RSL NSW are planning for the land because they have not provided that detail to me, to the Council or to our community,” Mayor Tsirekas said.
“I can tell our residents right now – we will fight tooth and nail against an eight storey high rise development on the Concord RSL site.”
The land on which the RSL Club now stands was sold by Concord Golf Club to Council in 1955 under a covenant that stated the land was only to be used for “public recreation generally”. In 1963 the land was then sold on to the Concord District RSL Sub branch under a Covenant that stated the land was to only be used for an RSL Club and other associated recreational uses.
“This land was always intended to be a place for locals to come together as a community,” Mayor Tsirekas said.
“I plan to work alongside the local Member and Minister for Veterans to ensure that there is an open and transparent conversation with the Council and the community about the plans for this site and that, at the very least, any plans provide a meeting place for our veterans.”
At their May Council meeting, the City of Canada Bay Council endorsed an item calling on the NSW Minister for Veterans, the RSL President and the Concord Club Administrator to meet with Council and discuss the issue.