Cessnocks doors close

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And as liquidation of the 93-year-old Coalfields facility becomes likely for the club, which has been languishing under the weight of about $13 million debt, its patron and president are hoping an investor will come to an 11th hour rescue.

The club’s most recent president Robert Hodge said Monday’s closure was “devastating” for the community and would leave a big hole in an area where there were few public golf courses – most being privately run.

Mr Hodge, who has been a member for 37 years, is a former professional golfer and lives a stone’s throw from the clubhouse, said the course had been a place where many world class golfers had competed as juniors.

“We just desperately need an investor to take over the club,” he said.

“I’m still reeling from it all. It hasn’t hit me yet.”

The club’s board signed up for a partnership with Daracon for a $30 million redevelopment about a decade ago, which included a residential subdivision, a new clubhouse and an 18-hole course designed by golf legend Jack Newton.

The completed redevelopment was known as Stonebridge.

Administrator Simon Thorn from PKF Australia said on Monday the decision to close the club was not based on one particular thing.

He cited a collapsed amalgamation negotiation, an unresolved Environment Protection Authority clean-up notice and the fact that the club “financially, has not been trading well” as reasons behind the move.

The creditors’ meeting is scheduled to be held in Newcastle at 9.30am on Monday, May 13.

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