Chairman’s Report

After a sustained period of profitability it is disappointing to record a loss in the amount of $232,701 for the financial year.

2018 was a most challenging year for the Club industry as a gloomy economic outlook and rapidly changing social environment combined to place significant pressure on the traditional revenue streams of licensed Clubs. In addition, Club revenue was severely impacted by the kitchen and bistro building works with most operational segments incurring a substantial decline in trading during the five month building period. Whilst your Board anticipated the building programme would have some impact on trading and planned accordingly, the level of decline in activity was immediate and significant.

Trading has since recovered and your Board continues to review all aspects of Club operations and anticipates an early return to profitability in the near future.

Members requesting further information on the Annual Reports are welcome to contact Club Reception. On that note I remind you the 2019 Annual General Meeting of Panania East Hills RSL Club Ltd has been set down for 7.30pm on Monday the 8th April 2019. This year the Agenda notes a resolution requesting the meeting approve the awarding of Life Membership to Mr John Watts for his contribution to the Club over many years. The Board strongly endorse the Resolution.

The $1.5M bistro refurbishment completed in August 2018 was undertaken in response to the urgent need to upgrade the existing cramped and antiquated kitchen facilities and to meet the future requirements of the Club’s function and catering trading. At the same time, a review of the contract catering was performed in response to declining bistro sales and a significant amount of negative feedback received from members and patrons through social media and in-house responses.

Following an extensive tendering process it was agreed to change contract caterers in September 2018. The Board well recognizes that this decision has upset many Club regulars further exacerbated by a difficult and challenging changeover period however the Club continues to work with the new Caterer to ensure the standard of food service provided meets the expectations of our membership. The Board recognizes further improvement is required and continues to monitor and review all aspects of Bistro operations.

At this time I also acknowledge our former caterer, Robin Melwani and his Staff, and thank them for their contribution to our Club over the past eight years. Robin always presented a welcoming and courteous presence and remains a close friend of our Club.

Members may be aware the Club has for some time been engaged in discussions with Canterbury Bankstown Council regarding the renewal of the Council owned leased land occupied by the Club carpark, Canterbury Bankstown Tennis Association court complex, netball courts, cricket practice nets and extensive surrounding grounds.

These discussions have now been placed on hold pending the outcome of the Council prepared proposed Deepwater Park and Kelso Parklands Draft Plan of Management (PoM) exhibited for public display and comment in late 2018. Your Board believes the draft PoM presents a number of serious challenges to the Club’s ongoing viability and capacity to support our many local sporting and associated organisations. In response the Club has prepared a submission to Council supported by the Association and our many other sporting organisations. We trust further discussions with Council will allow our concerns to be addressed in a manner that satisfies both parties. Members interested in obtaining a copy of the submission are welcome to contact Club Reception.

Our relationship with Panania RSL Sub Branch, Panania RSL Youth Club and our many associated and sponsored sporting bodies continues to prosper. The enormous success of the annual Anzac Day Dawn Service and the extraordinary number of teams playing under the Panania banner is testament to the many volunteers who unselfishly contribute many hours of their time in ensuring these events and competitions are managed and operated with the highest level of skill and efficiency. I congratulate you all on an outstanding effort.

On behalf of the Board of Management of Panania Diggers, I extend my sincere condolences to the families of our members who have lost loved ones over the past year.

In closing I also wish to acknowledge the support and industriousness of my fellow Directors and our Staff during a difficult and challenging year. As always your Directors will continue to strive to ensure your Club continues to prosper and meet your expectations.


Tony van der Kley


Panania Diggers