The following summary of the judgment in Tweed Heads Bowls Club v. FC of T is provided to help you self-assess if your club is a society, association or club established for the encouragement of a game or sport. For a copy of the published case judgment see Tweed Heads Bowls Club v. FC of T.
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The objects in the club's constitution included:
- to take over the Tweed Heads Bowling Club
- to promote the game of bowls and… other sports, games, amusements, entertainments and recreations
- to construct and maintain such bowling greens, courts and grounds …and to construct, furnish and maintain clubhouse pavilions and other buildings in connection therewith, and
- to carry on the business of caterers for the purpose of supplying refreshments liquid or solid to persons using or to visitors to the Clubhouse and premises.
The club had a 70 year history of playing bowls. Intra and inter club bowls tournaments and championships and national and international events were conducted. The club had eight qualified coaches and employed three full-time greenkeepers and one full-time gardener.
Club membership was:
- 830 bowling members - 530 male and 300 female
- 170 non-bowling members - persons who no longer bowl or spouses of bowling members
- four life members.
Only bowling members could attend and vote at meetings and hold office on the board. Bowling members were either registered bowlers or qualified through the club's training program including six two-hour lessons on the indoor green and six one-hour lessons on the outdoor greens.
There was an internal quarterly magazine, Rapport, which was forwarded to the members of the club outlining the principal activities of the club and future significant events.
The club's facilities were on four levels and included outdoor and indoor bowling greens and associated facilities, and restaurants, bars, poker machines and function rooms.
Approximately 70% of the area of club's premises and its fixed asset value were directly applied to bowls or the promotion of bowls.
The club had over 400,000 visitors annually to play the poker machines and enjoy the facilities. Profits were reinvested into club facilities and the promotion of bowls.
The tribunal member was satisfied on the evidence that the non-bowling activities of the club had not overtaken the club's main object. It was noted that the club's vast reserves were earmarked for further improvements to both the sporting and club facilities.