The New South Wales Government Planning Department has approached Registered Clubs with a new blanket advice that they can build aged care and retirement villages on club land. Any effect it is a green light that other developers don’t enjoy. The government says if the lands is suitable for a club, its suitable for accommodation for the elderly. The advice creates great opportunities for clubs, like medium rise villages above car parks.
While some media groups jumped on the issue stating the clubs were creating a captured market for their poker machines, the reality is clubs have been building aged care facilities on their land for over 20 years. Villages however are a new. Gosford RSL last year opened its first village on land it donated at a value of $9 million. The village is owned and operated by a Trust with all profits going back into the village – not to the club.
Clubs will have another attractive advantage when building a village. In addition to no cost of the land, the community facilities will already exist – with a built-in liquor licence! No doubt this will be tough for a private developer to compete against.