Some members of the Cyprus Community of NSW have raised a number of concerns around the current Board and its recent actions ahead of an Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for Sunday, August 27.
According to a press release issued by ‘Concerned Members of the Cyprus Community of NSW,’ some members “hold grave fears for the future of this 94-year-old community organisation.”
Members said in the press release they were concerned about:
- The current Board’s failure to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in February this year according to the Community’s Constitution, as well as not providing members with the 2022 Financial Statements;
- The Board’s failure to provide the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) with the 2022 Financial Statements and Annual Information Statement by June 30; and only three of the seven directors on the Board have been registered with the ACNC. Members said this jeopardises the Community’s status as a charity.
- The lack of an Audit Committee, as required by the Constitution, since two members of the Audit Committee resigned to take up positions on the Board.
- The rate of 15 per cent per annum interest currently being borrowed by the Board from Cyprus Capital.
- Whether the Board is following the requirements of Liquor and Gaming NSW in relation to its 60 poker machine licenses.
- The rezoning and redevelopment of the Cyprus Club at Stanmore and whether the Board has finalised a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) and Development Control Plan (DCP) before they progress with any development application.
Concerned Community member, Mary Antoniou, said “these are extremely serious and urgent matters.”
“It is not unreasonable for members to have concerns and to be demanding answers from the Board – but any questions we put to the Board are ignored,” Ms Antoniou said.
Another long-term member, Nicos Mavrakis, added that “we have grave concerns for the future of the Community.”
“The assets are now valued at $65 million, at the very least, and these should be leveraged to deliver ongoing community services for all and securing the financial future of the Community. What are this Board’s plans and the current financial position?” Mr Mavrakis asked.
‘These concerns will be addressed’:
In response, the President of the Cyprus Community of NSW, Andrew Costa, said these concerns would be addressed at the AGM on Sunday, August 27, at 3pm at The Cyprus Club in Stanmore, Sydney, and he encouraged everyone to attend.
With regards to the specific concerns mentioned above, Mr Costa told The Greek Herald they had been addressed “in the Community’s three newsletters during the Board’s first year in office and in the Annual Report now received by members.”
Mr Costa further clarified that:
- Financial statements and notice of the AGM were posted as part of the Annual Report on August 3 this year and should have been received by today.
- There is an Audit Committee of three members as per the Constitution.
- All seven directors are registered with ACNC and ASIC.
- Board members share member concerns around borrowing and club debt.
The debt originated from the purchase of the six houses which consolidated our property holdings and has proved to be a very wise investment. The Cyprus Capital loan was entered into by the previous board, when the club was under immense financial strain. The rate of interest was equivalent to private loan rates at the time. Banks would not lend any further money because prior to the re-zoning approval, the land was valued far less than it is now. Cyprus Capital prospectus was offered to all members.
- The requirement for DCP and VPA and dedication of a large portion of our property to the Council was removed by Planning NSW as part of our re-zoning approval, saving the community tens of millions of dollars and many months or even years of negotiations with the Inner West Council.
A future DA proposal using our land can now by-pass council and go straight to Planning NSW.