An Elite Sydney Golf Club Won’t Pay Back JobKeeper Despite Making Millions In Profit Last Year

Memberships at the Royal Sydney Golf Club are $30,000 per person, and boast names like Malcolm Turnbull and the Packer's.

Royal Sydney Golf Club

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An elite golf club in Sydney won’t pay JobKeeper back, despite turning over a $3.5 million profit at the end of last year.

A financial statement from the Royal Sydney Golf Club in the affluent Eastern Suburbs shows a $2.8 million claim on the now-defunct Government wage subsidy, the Sydney Morning Herald has revealed.

Its memberships have welcomed Sydney’s most prestigious circles over the years, including the likes of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and the Packer family.

According to the newspaper, sign-up costs are nearly $30,000 per person, equating to an additional $20 million in annual fees in 2020.

The revelation comes after the golf club was also challenged in April for a $17 million redevelopment proposal that would disrupt bird habitats by cutting down almost 600 trees.

General Manager Michael Solomons told the SMH that the golf club applied for the original subsidy because it was eligible to do so, and used the money to pay 140 staff members.

JobKeeper ended in March this year, despite renewed calls to reinstate it for employees unable to work at the moment, as four states and territories, including NSW, are currently in lockdown.

“The clubhouse is again closed and as a consequence, about 150 of our staff (of a total of 220) are again unable to work due to the COVID health safety protocols,” Solomons said. “The club continues to pay these staff in full.”

Royal Sydney Golf Club joins a number of well-off institutions slammed for not paying back JobKeeper despite their financial returns during the pandemic, including a number of private schools, and multi-national retailer Harvey Norman.