Tony Townsend, owner and operator of one of Sydney’s more loved venues, The Sandringham Hotel in Newtown, has made it clear that he, partnered with lobby group Unhappy Banking, will be challenging the bank’s decision to appoint a controller of the venue following the business’ recent move into receivership status.
Townsend, who took the issue to a panel of business advisers, described the situation as irrational, with the panel themselves concluding that there is “no rational case” for the bank to appoint an overseer of the business. This opinion is shared by top dog of Unhappy Banking, Geoff Shannon, who slammed the case as criminal, adding: “They didn’t just shift the goalposts, they took them away,” according to TheMusic.
The Sando was recently forced into receivership due to the recent demise of the local live music scene, though many believe that the bank is acting too harshly on the family owned iconic watering hole. “Couldn’t understand how or why a bank with whom I had a successful and ongoing relationship could come in and change the rules to effectively force my wife and I out of the business we’ve built up hands-on over the years.” Townsend said, “We never missed a payment to the bank, we were on track.”
Townsend maintains that they were never once late for a payment, and, up until now, enjoyed a fruitful relationship with their bank, BankWest, who has appointed Jack Lucas of JP Lucas Hotels as the new controller.
So here is where you can help. The Sando are organising a rally on Sunday, 26 August at Sydney Park, which will then march up King St to the Sandringham Hotel, similar to the rally that saved Melbourne’s The Tote in recent times. A petition is also set up, so feel free to get your name on that.
This is our time to shine and help the local music scene. Once we lose a couple of venues, the rest are soon to follow and we will have no one to blame but ourselves! Get amongst it.