Marrickville RSL continued to pay its senior staff six years after closing, investigation finds

Source: THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

ONE of Sydney’s oldest and best known RSL clubs incurred losses of more than $4 million after it continued to pay senior staff for six years after closing its former premises and moving the club to a small office next to a brothel.

An investigation by Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority into the closure of the Marrickville RSL found an extraordinary tale of how for six years the club continued its licence out of a small rented office while it pursued a number of mergers with other clubs.

“The club closed its former premises at 359 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville on 31 December 2007 and for the past six years has rented a small office space at 1/269 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville which offers no facilities for members,’’ the authority said. The office space rented is above a bottle shop and next to a large brothel.

“In 2008, the club sold its former club property to a developer for over $10 million but did not receive the first instalment of the purchase price until early 2009, with final payment in July 2011.

“Payments made by the club to senior staff and officers, including the considerable salary of the then secretary and, to a lesser extent, honorariums paid to the club’s eight current and one former director, were a major driver of the ‘huge sums’ spent by the club,” the authority said in its decision.

The Office of Liquor and Gaming will now pursue the then club secretary, Dalley Robinson alleging he is not a fit and proper person to run a NSW licensed club. During the investigation, lawyers for Mr Robinson said he was unable to give evidence due to an undisclosed medical condition.

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