The Ballarat sub-branch of the Returned and Services League is set to call the Midlands Golf Club home.
Negotiations are well underway between the two organisations, which will likely result in the RSL’s shift from its current headquarters at the George Hotel.
The Ballarat RSL moved from Lyons Street to its current location in 2012.
Midlands Golf Club chairman Peter Considine told The Courier it was an exciting opportunity for both clubs and described the potential deal as a “win, win”.
Mr Considine said the plan is for the RSL to simply relocate to Midlands, but believed there is potential for joint business ventures in the future.
“If it goes really well, then we will continue to talk and see what other opportunities of the two clubs working together going forward are,” he said.
Mr Considine hoped the move could be completed by March next year.
“We’ve got good parking, location wise it’s reasonably good – it’s just off the highway for visitors – we have lots of land available to us if they want to do expos and that sort of stuff,” he said.
“It just seems to fit on a lot of levels. In some ways it’s really good too because the two clubs do different things so we’re not going to clash.”
Mr Considine said his club was already in the process of accommodating the RSL, which will include renovations to its premises on Heinz Lane, Invermay Park. This is likely to include meeting space and offices for the RSL’s administrations staff.
“The situation that both clubs are in, both of us see benefits in coming together,” he said.
Ballarat RSL president Alexandra Tascas said the move would provide the branch – which now has around 350 members – more capacity to expand.
“For us, The George has been great for us and (proprietor) Gary Browning has been great for us,” she said.
“We've been very lucky and very fortunate.
“(But) Membership has been growing, parking has been a pain and we need greater access for our veterans. We just need something bigger.”
Ms Tascas said ensuring the branch’s long-term future was also a factor, as it’s understood The George was at one point on the market. Mr Browning confirmed on Thursday that it’s not currently for sale.
“I did say to Gary we have to think of our long term viability. As president you have to make sure you look after your members,” Ms Tascas said.
The RSL moved away from poker machines when it moved to The George and will have no involvement with them at Midlands.
“We’re a traditional RSL and we’re quite happy with that,” she said.
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