Media statement – Beresfield Golf Course

26 Aug 2022

City of Newcastle (CN) has been advised by the operators of Beresfield Golf Course, Avana Pty Ltd, that they intend to abandon their lease of the council-owned facility on 31 August.

CN is bitterly disappointed by this decision, which comes just two years into a five-year lease offered to, and signed by, Avana in 2020 following a review of their business plan and financial statements.

Despite returning healthy profits for the past five years, Avana approached CN in June 2022 requesting the early termination of their lease citing financial difficulties and operational constraints imposed by the continued wet weather.

CN endeavoured to work with Avana on a feasible solution that would ensure the continued operation of Beresfield Golf Course for the community.

However, they responded with an unacceptable proposal that sought to shift the costs of operating and maintaining the facility onto Newcastle ratepayers, while Avana would still benefit from the net profits.

Avana has also written to the members of the Viney Creek Golf Club to advise them of their decision to abandon their lease. CN is extremely concerned by a number of false claims made in that communication.

Despite the assertions in their communication to members, the Viney Creek Golf Club does not "belong" to Beresfield Golf Course, it is owned and run by Avana Pty Ltd and was set up by that company in November 2016. As such, members concerned about club memberships paid just two months ago should speak with the owners about a prorated refund.

An additional claim that the competition schedule will continue to operate post Avana's departure from the course is also false. Having been given just two weeks' notice of Avana's intention to walk away from their lease, it is not possible for CN to secure another operator for the club within this time.

CN has written to Avana today to inform them that they are in default of their lease obligations and must remedy that default or CN is within its rights to seek any damages resulting from the default.

Should they continue with their intention to abandon their lease on 31 August, CN will explore options to secure a new operator for the Beresfield Golf Course going forward.