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ALP national executive drops the hammer on Labor Club sale

By johnboy - 27 July 2009 15

[First filed: July 25, 2009 @ 10:48]

The Australian brings word of the ructions and ruminations within the very highest levels of the Australian Labor Party over the sale of the Labor Clubs here in Canberra.

    The national executive has intervened to stall the sale of four highly profitable Canberra clubs to the CFMEU-owned Canberra Tradesmen’s Union Club for between $20 million and $25m after it received legal advice the clubs were last year valued at $50m.

    The national executive believes the clubs, set up to “render financial aid” to the ALP, represent more than 50 per cent of the party’s national asset base.

    National executive sources told The Weekend Australian there could be full national intervention in the ACT branch if it continued to “refuse” to provide information about how it valued the four Canberra Labor clubs and their rivers of poker machine revenue and what it intended to do with the proceeds of the sale.

It would be nice if the natural party of government in the ACT wasn’t also the owner of a huge chain of bars and the operators of vast numbers of poker machines.

But can we get there from here?

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
ALP national executive drops the hammer on Labor Club sale
Skidbladnir 9:41 am 13 Aug 09

Charlie, check the reports instead of believing the industry body, Clubs ACT.

We are the public voice of the club movement – a key role of which is to interact with the media (press, radio and TV) and present a good public image of clubs and the club movement.

The reality reported in the Community Contributions is that Canberra’s gaming scene isn’t pretty. They just can’t put that in a glossy leaflet or a television commercial, because that would damage their brand.
Also, gaming machines don’t so much inject money as recycle money into the local economy.

Charlie09 8:24 am 13 Aug 09

DrKarl said :

CFMEU and the Labor Party the differences is?

Get rid of all of these gambling S#$T-holes, they rip the guts out of our society, and dripple a little bit of money to charities to justifier their presents.

– DrKarl those S#$T holes you so dare to S#$T on inject a great amount of money into the local and regional community. Ask most of the community groups and organisations that are sponsored by Clubs – I don’t think they would share your opinion.

Skidbladnir 11:46 am 28 Jul 09

No.
They count as political contributions, which although not required to be reported to the Minister since the ALP changed the laws, are still required to be reported to the GaRC, who then includes them in the report tabled to the Legislative Assembly under the provisions of ‘continuity of historical data’.
Just in case someone wants to bring back that oversight capacity.

(It needs to be reported to Elections ACT and the AEC in any case)

These are actually spelled out in that link above, which provides background data along with quoting the governing Act.
I am by no means an expert on these things, I just have a tendency to read dry government reports.

AG Canberra 11:38 am 28 Jul 09

Do donations to political parties (from any club) count toward ‘community contributions’?

Skidbladnir 9:30 am 28 Jul 09

Jb had a point, the Act (Section 65) allows a lincensee to classify a contribution under ‘sport’ so long as they ‘develop or encourage sport or sporting or recreational activities’ (subject to a few other conditions).

The Act also make a point of:
(d) maintenance of sporting facilities that are available to the public, whether generally available or only for limited periods;

Skidbladnir 9:11 am 28 Jul 09

That is just relative to Net Gaming Machine Revenue.
When the best ‘community contributor’ is Federal Golf Club spending $588k on ‘sporting activities’ even though they only had $31k of NGMR, so only need to contribute $2182, only using the percentage might be a bit misrepresentational.
The golf clubs’ number of gaming machines is tiny.

(ie: Since Federal Golf are owners of gaming machines they have to report all spending in the four contribution categories. By benefit of being one of the best golf clubs in Australia, would spend quite a lot of money on sport even if they didn’t have gaming machines.)

If I ever get spectacularly bored I might do a rundown of clubs\contributions\relative scale, etc. But franky its a lot of terribly dull number crunching to get a worthwhile news piece out of.

johnboy 10:58 pm 27 Jul 09

Bear in mind that “Community contributions” include capital improvements at the clubs involved.

So sports clubs improving their own facilities can look like angels while feathering their own nests.

DrKarl 10:56 pm 27 Jul 09

“Thank you Skidbadnir” They are worse than I had expected. I,ll join one of the best contributing clubs.

Skidbladnir 10:41 am 27 Jul 09

Friska
Contributing the enforced minimum 7% NGMR community contribution does not balance off the millions of dollars in cashflow the clubs receive through encouraging poker machine gambling.
The Labor Clubs make contributions at slightly above the enforced minimum, while the contribution across all Clubs in the ACT was 14%, or double the enforced minimum.
Labor is not in it for community outcomes, they’re in it for the cash.

http://www.gamblingandracing.act.gov.au/Documents/Community%20Contributions%20Report%202007-08.pdf
(Each FY’s reporting comes out around the following October)

Canberra Labor Club: 8.17% of NGMR
City Labor Club: 7.13% of NGMR
Ginninderra Labor Club: 7.03% of NGMR
Weston Creek Labor Club: 7.20% of NGMR

All Clubs’ % of total NGMR contributed: 14.67%

For the record, the best contributers in terms of %NGMR contributed to elgible causes were
Federal Golf Club: 1888.47% of NGMR
Yowani Country Club: 212.48% of NGMR
Murrumbidgee Country Club: 175.90% of NGMR
West Deakin Hellenic Bowling Club: 86.18% of NGMR

Most of which went on contributions to sporting and recreational activities.

housebound 9:58 am 27 Jul 09

The CT did report on the Redpath issue (and how unhappy some ALP elements were with that), but I don’t remember seeing any detailed coverage of the national executive intervening directly to block the sale of the clubs because of the alleged undervaluing of the clubs. This news (here) was the first I had hard anywhere that the clubs were valued at double the $20 million price the CT reported earlier, and that this would lead to action.

Reporting part of a story does not mean the story is reported.

Friska 9:09 am 27 Jul 09

Dr Karl says – dripple a little bit of money to charities to justifier their presents.

The Labor Club contributes more then a dripple to charities.

jackal 9:51 pm 26 Jul 09

housebound said :

And not a word on this from the Canberra Times. Perhaps too scared the masses might draw a link between that and the way the ALP manages the ACT?

WTF? the CT broke the news last sunday about the national ALP postponing the ACT conference because of the CPSU affiliation and the labor club sale, and predicted the sacking of bill redpath in part because of this issue. but of course, it is scared about reporting news. real scared.

housebound 2:13 pm 26 Jul 09

And not a word on this from the Canberra Times. Perhaps too scared the masses might draw a link between that and the way the ALP manages the ACT?

DrKarl 1:05 am 26 Jul 09

CFMEU and the Labor Party the differences is?

Get rid of all of these gambling S#$T-holes, they rip the guts out of our society, and dripple a little bit of money to charities to justifier their presents.

cranky 9:35 pm 25 Jul 09

So its OK to sell the clubs to the CFMEU for 20-25 mill, but (probable) offers from Southern Cross, Vikings, Hellenic Clubs (etc) for more like market value are knocked back?

A CFMEU sale returns up to 25 mill, and little room for ACT Labor to introduce further restrictions on pokie numbers, ramped up tax take, and more draconian smoking laws, without upsetting the comrades. Plus whatever further restrictions the lefty/greeny/pinko crowd believe should be visited on clubs.

Sale to an established club group at almost double the sale price means that ACT Labor make double the fortune, are off the hook, and can impose any of the above ‘benefits’ on the new owners, with no union backlash.

Where is the logic?

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