EVANS: 'We'll have a meeting on the footpath if we have to'
MEMBERS have been told they will be allowed to set foot inside the Warwick RSL Memorial Club tonight despite fears they could be denied access to the community-run club.
Hundreds are still expected to attend the long-standing Warwick venue tonight, some with the hope of electing a new management committee to lead the club forward.
Acting manager Ben Wagner said patrons would not be locked out of the venue.
"If people want to gather and have a meeting that is quite alright," he said.
But Mr Wagner said RSL Club staff had been instructed by a majority of the management committee to tell patrons an official special general meeting would "not go ahead as per legal advice".
While Kings Theatre will be off limits, Mr Wagner said members would still be permitted to enter the club tonight.
Those who called for a special general meeting to vote on whether to oust the current management committee are adamant it will go ahead.
Warwick real estate agent Darryl Evans spearheaded a petition that triggered the meeting.
"I have every legal and constitutional right to hold a meeting," he said.
"I'll be attending tonight as per the advice. My request for a special meeting is a lawful request and if the club doesn't hold the meeting it is in breach of its constitution.
"We may go and form our own meeting on the footpath if we need to, which is entirely legal.
"Everything I did complies with the (Associations Incorporation) Act."
At the meeting, members will be asked about whether to remove Mrs Geraldine O'Neill OAM as president of the club and whether to remove the entire management committee.
Mrs O'Neill yesterday said she would not attend the meeting on the grounds it was unconstitutional.
In a public notice displayed in the club, Mrs O'Neill referred to legal advice which stated the meeting would likely be unconstitutional.
Secretary Lindsay Goodwin said the opinion was not legally binding and maintained the president did not have authority to cancel the meeting.
He urged members to attend the meeting at 7pm tonight.
The Warwick Daily News attempted to contact Mrs O'Neill for comment but did not receive a response.
Note: This report refers exclusively to the Warwick RSL Memorial Club and not to the Warwick RSL Sub-branch.