Dubbo City Bowling Club is poised to embark on a new era after its merger with the Dubbo RSL Memorial Club was approved in principle.
The two registered clubs had lodged an application with Liquor and Gaming NSW as the final step of a process started last year.
The agency has confirmed the merger has been approved in principal, but does not take effect until it is advised of the proposed settlement date that the transfer will take place.
Dubbo RSL general manager Gus Lico reports from advice received, settlement may occur on or about April 10.
The bowling club initiated the move towards a merger last year, against a backdrop of financial challenges detailed in its annual report.
When asked if he had a message for bowling club members and the wider community going forward, Mr Lico was frank.
The message is very clear, use it or lose it.Dubbo RSL Club general manager Gus Lico
"The message is very clear, use it or lose it," he said.
"Dubbo RSL has made the decision to assist another fellow club so the opportunity to continue to bowl for this club is not lost.
"The process has been quite lengthy and along with management time and substantial monetary investment we want to be in a position that we can be profitable from the outset."
One-third of NSW clubs were showing signs of financial distress, the most recent 2015 NSW Club Census showed.
The battle for survival is playing out in Dubbo, where earlier this year Dubbo Railway Bowling Club was put into liquidation.
Mr Lico reported hundreds of clubs, particularly bowling and golf clubs, had either closed or amalgamated and forecast the trend would continue throughout the state.
He said the biggest challenge for the amalgamated club was "change".
We must remain relevant and change with the times.Mr Lico
"We must remain relevant and change with the times," he said.
"What we used to do does not work for the generation coming through and therefore change is inevitable.
"It is extremely important that members and the community embrace the changes for the business to work and continue to grow."
Under the merger, a relocation of the bowling club facilities to new premises is on the cards.
Mr Lico confirmed they had been "actively looking at future options and the likelihood of a rebuild".
But he said it was "highly unlikely" this would happen in the next 18 months.
Once the land was purchased the planning process would start, which could take the best part of 18 months to two years to have appropriate plans drawn and then "the course of appointing a reputable club builder who understands clubs", Mr Lico said.
The building process itself would be another lengthy process, he said.
"So all in all, we could be looking at three plus years," he said.
"Dubbo RSL is committed to ensure that this amalgamation is realised to its full potential and so time is secondary to the ultimate result."
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