club news

CEO update on ILGA and PDRL - 11.12.14


Dear Members,

The Parramatta Leagues Club (PLC) is committed to providing its members and stakeholders with regular updates regarding its response to the complaint lodged by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).

The complaint has highlighted a number of issues surrounding governance of the PLC Group. These issues will be addressed to ensure that Member's interests are protected and enhanced both now and into the future.  

ILGA response

Due to the actions undertaken by the previous Board, the Club is responding to a complaint from ILGA that could result in a penalty of $275,000 or more. Although these instances occurred under a different Administration, the current Administration is accountable to the Regulator and the Authority.

Fortunately for all of us a number of governance improvements have already been implemented. The objective of Club Management is to now demonstrate to ILGA that the Company has addressed the issues raised in the penalty notice and that our Member's interests and assets are in good hands.

In addition to governance reforms a disciplinary committee consisting of PLC Chairman Steve Sharp, PLC Director Geoff Gerard and myself are reviewing recommendations from the Club's legal advisers following a review more than 6000 pages of evidence.

These recommendations include appropriate disciplinary action (including expulsion) of any Members or Staff associated with the breaches identified. The report has also highlighted concerns outside the jurisdiction of ILGA that the Club is now obliged to further investigate. The disciplinary committee along with its advisers will examine these areas and action will be taken where required. 

It is anticipated that both the ILGA and the disciplinary committee process will be completed by the first quarter of 2015.

Parramatta District Rugby League Club (PDRL)

The Board of Parramatta Leagues Club (PLC) has been corresponding with the Board of PDRL since December 2013. This correspondence has been in effort to address significant governance and financial concerns as well as constitutional issues.

In the February 2014 correspondence from the PLC Board to the PDRL indicated that ongoing funding would be contingent on specific reporting conditions. This responsibility was accepted by the PDRL Directors to ensure it would comply with its financial reporting requirements to Members. 

It is the view of the PLC Board that these conditions have been not been met and that the financial and governance concerns have also not been addressed.  Those current concerns include:

  • The validity of the PDRL Chairman's membership and his eligibility to stand at the 2012 PDRL election.
  • The acquisition of PDRL and PNRL memberships for family and associates of the PDRL Chairman in 2012. 
  • A 44% rise in PDRL expenditure over the past two years without explanation or consultation with PLC on cost management.
  • The passing of motions to vary PDRL membership conditions in 2012 and 2013 without the Chairman declaring a conflict of interest as per the Corporations Act and PDRL constitution.
    • The postponement by the PDRL of the 2014 AGM and Board election.

These concerns have been heightened by the recent correspondence and complaint received from ILGA. Three current directors of the PDRL have been asked by PLC to show cause as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against them on the basis of the complaint lodged with ILGA by OLGR.

Despite this action, they have refused to step aside and have ignored the recommendations of Senior Management and independent legal advice in attempting to allow ineligible persons to vote and stand at the 2014 PDRL election.

As PLC Members are the primary source of funding for PDRL, funding for the 2015 financial year and beyond will be withheld by PLC until these issues are addressed.

Why this action has been taken

The Board of the PLC and Parramatta National Rugby League has taken this action as it believes strongly that the brand of the Parramatta Eels has been, and continues to be, significantly damaged by the behavior of some individual PDRL Directors.

This course of action has not been taken lightly and I would like to assure all members and stakeholders that the funding of junior football and community related services, currently administered by PDRL, will continue under alternate arrangements already identified.

This current situation combined with the 6000 plus pages of evidence provided by ILGA highlights why constitutional and governance reform are vital to the future of the PLC group. 

As advised at the May 2014 AGM, the PLC Board is committed to constitutional reform and in November the first meeting of the constitutional reform committee was held. From a number of applicants, three members were selected to assist with the process.

The scope of this committee is to review advice from our specialist Club legal adviser along with PLC Board input and consult members on reform initiatives for the orgainsation.

This process is off to a very positive start and I am confident that constitutional reform is in good hands. Special thanks to Joy Cusack, Chris Jurd and Andrew Cordwell for volunteering their time and expertise in this vital initiative.

Conclusion

I am committed to providing regular updates to our Members on these important issues.

If you have any feedback or you have further information on these matters that may assist us please don't hesitate to contact me on (02) 8833 0782 or email rachael.chippendale@parraeels.com.au



Bevan Paul
CEO Parramatta Leagues Club 



Update on OLGR investigation of Parramatta Leagues Club - 02.11.14

On Friday afternoon, I received correspondence from the CEO of the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) detailing 16 grounds of complaint (with multiple examples within each ground) against the Parramatta Leagues Club (PLC), select members of the former PLC Board and a former executive of the company.
Based upon a lengthy and wide-ranging investigation from the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR), ILGA have issued show cause notices against five individuals on the grounds that they are not fit and proper to be directors of a registered Club.

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