CONSULTATION: About 85 Gympie RSL sub branch members yesterday backed plans for an expanded RSL presence in the CBD.
CONSULTATION: About 85 Gympie RSL sub branch members yesterday backed plans for an expanded RSL presence in the CBD. Arthur Gorrie

NEW ERA: RSL expansion plans as golf club dramas continue

GYMPIE veterans have backed new property expansion plans by their RSL sub branch, in a move which will provide for improved veterans' services now and a possible expansion of the RSL Club later on.

Sub branch president Peter Maddocks said the meeting gave a go-ahead for the purchase of the former ambulance chief's residence in Nash St, behind the RSL's Mary Street property.

The house would be used as a drop in and counselling centre and would provide emergency accommodation for homeless veterans.

"We've had to help four veterans who became homeless over the past 12 months," he said.

The meeting was told that in the long run, the property could be redeveloped to allow expansion of RSL club facilities.

Some members spoke of the new era of accountability and transparency which they wanted to see in RSL decision-making processes and welcomed the sub branch committee's decision to seek membership support for the Nash St purchase.

The plans are completely separate from earlier club moves to buy the Gympie Pines Golf Club, which took place with no membership vote.

Scars remain from that episode, which is claimed to have cost nearly $300,000 of club members' money to "investigate."

Although club members were told last year the club was in negotiations with the sub branch about its plans to purchase the golf club and move some and possibly all its operations there, sub branch members say no such negotiations have ever been held.

Mr Maddocks said the house purchase would allow for expanded veterans' services now and a possible expansion of club facilities later on.

More than 80 people attended a special general sub branch meeting at the RSL Club's Orchid Room yesterday.

They were told another special general meeting, this time of club members, would be held on July 29 to consider a motion of no confidence in the club committee, believed to be largely motivated by concern at the way the golf club purchase idea was handled.

Mr Maddocks urged all sub branch members to attend and have their say.

Gympie Times


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