Rent hike for Nambucca Heads RSL Car Park deemed too costly


NAMBUCCA Heads RSL Club say the terms of a lease renewal for use of the RSL carpark and Anzac Park offered by Nambucca Valley Council are “unreasonable” and could have “significant financial impacts on the long-term viability of the Club”.

The original lease of the land was entered into in 1997 and expired on 7 November 2021.

According to RSL management, “At all times, the Club has only sought for a fair, reasonable and transparent renewal of lease that enables the Club to be financially sustainable and to continue to support our community.”

The RSL Club say the new lease terms include:
1. A rental increase of 95% on the Crown Land sections; including the car park and Anzac Park;
2. Stipulations that the car park must be resurfaced by the Club within 12 months of the lease renewal, to repair sections of damaged pavement.

According to RSL Management there are indications the repair cost could be as high as $1M.

The Board and Management team say they are seeking a fair and reasonable lease, and do not see this current lease as being either of these.

The Board and Management team stated, “The Club needs the support of the community to obtain fair and reasonable lease terms and assistance with payment for upgrade works, reflecting that the lease is over a public car park.”

Robert Hunt, Assistant General Manager Corporate Services, Nambucca Valley Council, said the quoted 95% rental increase was inaccurate.

“The rent payable for the final year of the 25 year lease was $42,000.

“The initial rent was $20,000 in 1996 and has increased by CPI over the last 25 years.

“Council did not seek any rental reviews under the lease in that time, so as to keep the rent affordable which, had it done so, would likely have increased the quantum of rent payable and not made it such a big jump when we finally did seek a revaluation for the new 21 year lease, in April this year.

“That valuation was conducted independently by a Coffs Harbour firm and came in at $65,000 p.a. – I do not understand how the club arrives at a 95% increase,” he said.

Mr Hunt said Council had previously made an offer to the Club to obtain another independent rental valuation and if lower, the two parties could split the difference.

“To our knowledge that offer has yet to be taken up by the Club,” Mr Hunt said.

According to Mr Hunt, when the RSL Club constructed its extension, one of the conditions of consent of the development approval was to supply another 137 car parking spaces somewhere in Nambucca.

“Given its proximity to the Club, it was more favourable for the Club to use the adjacent Crown Land managed by Council to construct the additional car park spaces and pay an annual lease fee.”

As a condition of consent, the car park was to be built and maintained to specific engineering standards.

Mr Hunt said the RSL Club has failed to maintain those standards, and as such, repairs to the car park are now necessary.

“The Club has failed to maintain the car park at this standard and therefore Council did not want to lose the opportunity to ensure that, in the next 21 year lease, the car park would be maintained,” said Mr Hunt.

“The proposed lease states that the Club is to have the car park pavement condition tested and assessed by engineers, and a report on its remediation, in the first 12 months of the new lease.

“It is then to provide a further report to Council identifying a staged project plan to conduct the upgrade works over the next 20 years and identify the year of each stage.

“The works did not have to be completed in the first 12 months.”



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