BACK IN BUSINESS: A cloud has been lifted off the Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club after its administrators approved an extension of the club’s Deed of Company Arrangement.
BACK IN BUSINESS: A cloud has been lifted off the Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club after its administrators approved an extension of the club’s Deed of Company Arrangement. Trevor Veale

Fishos is back in business for now

ADMINISTRATORS of the Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club approved the club's proposal to extend its Deed of Company Arrangement with the North Coast Hotel Group.

The extension means the club can fully open its doors to the public while giving it six months to pay the full DOCA balance of $1.2 million.

Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club president, Bill Mabey, said this afternoon's vote reflected 'resounding support' from all parties with only one party opposing the proposal at the final vote.

"It (the proposal) will see the club open even though it might be on a limited basis but perhaps a bit more than what we've seen in the past," Mr Mabey said.

"The extension releases the funds to re-open the club but more importantly, it gives us the opportunity to provide benefits to the community and our members."

Former employees of the club, including former secretary manager Malcolm Devine were pleased to be able to negotiate a split of $150,000 allocated in the DOCA trust.

The proposal also guarantees employees will get their payments sooner than anyone else and also allows former staff to interview for the club as it re-opens for business.

An amalgamation with Club Coffs, formerly the Catholic Club, is on the cards with the Deep Sea Fishing Club formally registered as an administrator with the intention to broaden membership numbers and possibly inject funds into the club from any Club Coffs liquidation surplus.

Tensions grew at the meeting when the 10 year extension of the club's lease was mentioned in the proposal.

Coffs Harbour City Council director of business services, Andrew Beswick, made a clear stance the council wasn't going to extend the club's lease.

"I do not see why it is still in there (the proposal) because it's not going to happen under the advice we have," Mr Beswick said.

"The circumstances haven't changed when we received the advice from the minister in July that we have a club that's become insolvent wishing to have a lease extension and effectively to use the lease extension as a way to garner more funds to pay debts of the past.

"Now is that best interest of the trust going forward into the future? That's the judgement that has to be made but with the guidance from the minister we have little room to move at this stage we have no room to move in fact."

Both parties will continue to negotiate an extension of the club's lease. 



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