Dear Fellow Members,
Further to my Message of April 9th, 2020 as you are all well aware our world and life as we once knew it has been greatly changed. I will not dwell upon the COVID-19 virus as we are being kept well informed by both Government and the media alike, whether home or abroad.
Suffice to say, we need to accept the related consequences and restrictions, however unpleasant, in order to present a united front toward the curbing of the infectious spread, and hopefully toward the demise of this insidious disease.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Owing to the Covid 19 situation we were unable to, as has been traditional, hold a pre-AGM Information Evening which enables the Membership to question the Board on specific related questions of the Club’s operations. This along with the holding of the virtual AGM, although necessary to placate our statutory obligations, proved difficult to manage for both Members and the Board alike. However, we did have all Board Members present together with Paul Sanders, the Holdings Company Secretary, and Mr Stephen Anderson, General Manager Mulpha Sanctuary Cove Developments P/L., representing the Establishment Share.
A total of twelve other Shareholders were recorded as virtual attendees. As all relevant documentation had been previously circulated to Shareholders, as Chair, I provided a further verbal precis of my previously circulated report and closed the meeting thereafter. We trust we can return to our traditional methods in the future, which are more meaningful and productive.
Financial Results June 30th, 2020
The unaudited consolidated results provide a loss of is $141,982 loss for the six months as at June 30th 2020. This is expected given the trading complexities currently being experienced throughout all facets of the Club’s operations. I would like to highlight the most important fact, that as at the same date, an amount of $460,500 has been received by way of, applied for, and granted, Federal and State Government rebates owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. For this lifeline we are truly appreciative of these Government initiatives.
At the outset of this crisis we were forced to make some very difficult decisions which provided the loss, by way of redundancies and stand downs, of some 41 of our staff, some of whom have recently returned, compliments of the JobKeeper program. The decision was taken during this difficult time to retain the numbers of the Golf Course Maintenance team, thus protecting the integrity of our two major assets, being both golf courses.
Capital Expenditure – June 30th 2020
Capital Expenditure has been curtailed during the first half of the year owing to the uncertainties. The year to date spend is $211,000 (including GST) with the major items recorded below. We took the opportunity to enhance the Jabiru and Terrace areas by way of enclosing these extensions which will better provide accommodation for functions of varying sizes in the future.
Cash Reserves June 30th 2020
In line with previous advice, your Board have been prudent regarding the investment policy encasing the funds received to date from the various asset sales completed two and a half years ago.
We currently have the following funds on hand with regard to our current liquidity.
It should be noted that we expect a further $2.8m during the remainder of this year being settlement upon land transfer completion by Government for Mulpha and Aveo.
Budget to December 31st, 2020
With the pandemic still in play, forward planning as you could well imagine, is proving to be a considerable challenge. Advice just received from Government in respect to JobKeeper 2.0, is currently being reviewed by Management, and we will inform of the revised position when our redetermined eligibility is confirmed. We estimated our position to be in the vicinity of an annualised profit of $155k as at December 31st 2020, which will include income in excess of $1m from Government assistance plus $160k interest obtained from our investments as abovementioned. It should be recognised that with events everchanging, so to may this figure change accordingly.
As previously advised, our past Captain for four years Paul Smerdon has retired from the position thus bringing forward the appointment of David Francis, Paul’s previous Vice Captain. We welcome David who, as at July 1st has taken over the mantle with much enthusiasm. We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Paul for his amazing energy, dedication and enthusiasm which he contributed to the role both during, and previously, to his appointment as Club Captain. His ability to work with our Course Maintenance Superintendent Paul McLean is evidenced by the product on display. Thanks also must go to Paul’s wife Janeen, who no doubt also shouldered much of this responsibility at home during the period, as is the case with many such voluntary positions, most carrying a 24/7 workload.
To all other internal Club Committee Members, may we also pay tribute for their considerable and unselfish time expended on behalf of the membership.
The Pines and The Palms Golf Courses
As previously mentioned, both courses have been given every attention accustomed to a normal trading year. The Board thought it to be imperative that our two major assets be given sufficient funds as to retain their expected integrity. Given the complexities of these programmes encompassing both courses, we congratulate our Course Superintendent Paul McLean and his team for a job well done under difficult circumstances.
The Pines Irrigation Project
In addition to managing both golf courses, Paul McLean has also had this program under his supervision. In precis, the project has been delivered on time and on budget, with an excellent working rapport between the contractor, our Independent Assessor David Handby, and Paul thus providing the ability to complete the project to everyone’s satisfaction. We now have all 18 holes completed, together with the three practice holes and the Driving Range all covered under the new system which will see the Club fully water delivery compliant on The Pines for the next 50 years. The project came in as contracted at $1,800,000.
The Pines Driving Range
In addition to the Irrigation Project, and given the incumbent Contractor had all the necessary machinery on site, a further contract was let to remodel the Driving Range which will, when completed in the coming weeks, present a visual aspect which will greatly improve not only the current all-encompassing visual effect, from the Clubhouse, but an added improvement for our golfing Members. The construction of contouring and eight target greens laid with natural turf, with four bunkers depicted with white artificial grass thus enabling machinery to collect the range balls, will be framed with the planting of some 750 Pines down each extremity of the range. This will compliment our almost 320-degree views from the completed extension to the Lakeview and Jabiru areas.
Recycled Water – City of Gold Coast (COGC)
After our last report in April 2020 the COGC has not progressed with any further push for facilities to commence using ‘A Class’ recycled water. COGC have issued users such as the Golf Club with new and updated agreements for the use of ‘C Class’ water as the Club has been using in the past. Board and Management are currently reviewing the proposed agreement which will also be assessed by our legal representatives prior to renegotiation and any future execution.
The proposed agreement has seen the COGC adopt a much fairer approach to the associated cost for the use of the water. We will communicate further on this to the Membership along with any future updates related to the potential forced move to ‘A Class’ recycled water.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Paul Sanders for taking the initiative to push back to COGC, their original golf industry proposal and pricing plans, which would have resulted with not only a devastating financial impact for the our Club, but other like users in south-east QLD.
Membership January – June 2020
The first half of the year has seen an increase of activity with an influx of new Membership. The following provides a summary of same.
Equity membership – 34
Corporate membership – 2
Social membership – 2
Access membership – 5
Alternate membership – 2
Voluntary Forfeiture Policy (VFP) June 30th, 2020
The Voluntary Forfeiture program is now starting to stabilise with 24 Members retiring due to various reasons this first half year. Some folk have returned by way of the Social membership given that their golfing days are becoming more difficult. We wish those long-term Members who have departed all the very best for the future and to those who have re-joined for the social aspect, welcome back. As can be noted, the membership is continuing to positively gain as in 2019. To retain perspective, some 437 Members have availed themselves of the VFP since its inception during the past 4.5 years, providing an average departure of 97 per year. This half year we processed some 24 so we are at last entering positive territory with regard to gaining additional membership.
Membership 2021 – COVID-19 Compensation
As outlined in my previous correspondence, the Board has been ever mindful of the inability for, in particular, Distance Members and Social Members to actively take advantage of the Club’s facilities during the Queensland border closure. With the announcement of the border opening by the Queensland Government the Board has completed an evaluation of this position and resolved to rebate affected Members by way of the following.
For the 3-month period of border and Clubhouse closures, Club Credit and compensation will be provided as follows:
*Australian Resident Distance Members will receive a rebate of this amount against 2021 membership subscriptions.
These will represent an amount totalling some $280k which has been included in the forecast to December 31st, 2020. In all above cases, at the end of 2020, any unused Club Credit will not be forfeited, but extended for Member use through to December 31st, 2021.
I need to also advise that a number of Members, who have the Club’s best interests at heart, have approached the Club and advised that they would be willing to forgo any such rebates, given the circumstances, plus the fact that they have enjoyed the limited services afforded by the Club whilst under lock down. I applaud this generous offer and would welcome written advice to that effect should any Member so wish to contribute.
Membership Survey Results
The Survey results are just to hand and firstly may I say it was pleasing to note that of the 750 Members polled a return of 413 valid responses or 55% was received.
I attach a copy of this independent survey conducted through Golf Business Advisory Services of Melbourne for your perusal, a precis of which is tabulated below:
The response of solicited comments accompanying the surveys totalled some 67, mostly constructive will be assessed by the Board over the following weeks. Again, I thank all those who contributed. Click here to view the survey results.
The two major projects as depicted in the abovementioned survey are the Golf Training Acadamy and the extension of the current Clubhouse, inclusive of tennis courts, swimming pool and gym, to allow the retention of our brand, that being The Sanctuary Cove Golf & Country Club. That mandate now evident and confirmed as abovementioned, will enable the Board to move forward and construct for presentation, individual business cases for each particular project. These will be completed with concept plans, requirement rationale, benefit to Shareholders, implementation planning, viability and costing, financing, construction Gant charting, and overall management, for presentation to the Shareholders/membership for consideration and acceptance prior to implementation.
As has always been the case, our Staff need to be congratulated for their dedication and performance during this trying half year period. Owing to the fact that many of our past casual staff have moved on because of the Covid-19 reductions, we now would like to make most welcome our new Food & Beverage team headed by our new F & B manager David Callaghan who is settling into his new role.
It has certainly been a difficult period for our Executive General Manager Paul Sanders and his management and staff alike, and I would like to reiterate on behalf of the Board our sincere thanks to their dedicated involvement. I understand that some decisions handed down by your Board to staff for implementation, are not popular with the membership, however it needs to be confirmed that any form of robust verbal dissent toward any staff member will not be tolerated, and should same be evidenced, disciplinary measures will certainly follow.
As should always be the case a written complaint on any subject should be forwarded to either management or Board for attention. These incidents are rare and to that end we thank all the membership for their tolerance and understanding during this difficult period. We have a further difficult six months ahead however we are in a very stable position with which to combat the ever-changing challenges that continue to come our way.
A huge thanks to you Shareholders at home who have continued to support the Club and to our overseas Members to whom the facilities have been denied by way of the pandemic restrictions, please stay safe and we trust the current position changes to the extent that we can once again give you a warm welcome back to the Club.
Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club
24th July, 2020