The new owners of Wallacia Golf Club say it faces an uncertain future and potential closure because of ongoing uncertainty over the site’s future.
Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (CMCT) confirmed this week that Panthers Group has yet to renew its lease to continue running the club and golf course, which expired on February 28.
CMCT wants to build a cemetery on the golf club’s land at Wallacia and retain a smaller golf course and community facility in the future. It is facing strong opposition from parts of the community as well as Council and local State Members.
CMCT CEO Peter O’Meara said Panthers would be unlikely to renew its lease until the conflict is resolved.
“It is a shame that there is now a very dark cloud over the club, however I understand the Panthers’ position that they do not want to continue operating a facility that continues to lose a lot of money – as it has done for a number of years – and want an assurance there is a chance to make the club financially viable,” he said.
“We have committed $5 million towards the renovation of the golf course and facilities on the site, however the opposition of the Council now places them in severe doubt.”
CMCT will commit to retaining the golf course for five years in its current form, before a full renovation to create a contemporary nine to 13 hole golf course designed by well-known golf course architect, Harrison Golf, to operate for the next 70 years.
The scope of works for Penrith City Council approval also features landscaping, tree planting and public domain upgrades and space for other recreational activities, like dog walking or jogging. This has been estimated to cost $3 million.
Last week, Councillor Bernard Bratusa declared the site was not right for a cemetery.
“There is no rugby league out there, there is no netball, there is no hockey, that is the only recreational space,” he told the Weekender.
“We’re all going to die, but it’s not the right place for a cemetery. Lets find the right place, let’s find a solution.”
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.