Nats pledge $250,000 to boost Albany RSL commemorative event fund if elected

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Albany RSL sub-branch president Helen Tasker, The Nationals WA Albany candidate Delma Baesjou and leader Mia Davies.
Camera IconAlbany RSL sub-branch president Helen Tasker, The Nationals WA Albany candidate Delma Baesjou and leader Mia Davies. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

An Albany RSL trust-fund for commemorative events will be kickstarted with $250,000 from the Nationals WA if they return to government after the March State election.

Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies made the pledge at the Albany RSL yesterday, promising to use funds from Royalties for Regions to launch the scheme.

The RSL hosts eight commemorative events a year.

The Albany Anzac Day dawn service is understood to be the biggest in regional WA, attracting more than 4500 visitors a year, with an annual price tag of about $120,000.

The State Government chipped in $70,000 last year — the highest allocation of funding in the State.

Albany RSL president Helen Tasker said the club had relied on support from the RSLWA, Lotterywest and the City of Albany.

But a future fund had been in the pipeline for “quite some time”, she said, as it was “always a battle” to secure funding for commemorative events.

“Commemorative services are only one part of RSL Albany’s work with veterans,” she said.

Albany RSL sub-branch president Helen Tasker, Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies, and Albany candidate Delma Baesjou.
Camera IconAlbany RSL sub-branch president Helen Tasker, Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies, and Albany candidate Delma Baesjou. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

“To have certainty these are financially secure will put us in a better position to concentrate on our second most important role, which is to provide better welfare, health and wellbeing support, and to work with other agencies and provide programs and assistance for our veterans.”

Ms Davies said in recent years the Albany RSL had struggled to maintain the funding required to deliver their eight commemorative events.

“The RSL down here does an amazing job of preserving history by running key events which are integral to our national identity,” she said.

“What we want to do is help them realise their dream of creating a trust fund or a foundation that gives them security to continue to run and grow these events.”

Nationals WA Albany candidate Delma Baesjou said the fund would alleviate the burden on volunteers and encourage other donors to contribute to the scheme.

“Working with private business, charitable organisations and government, the Albany RSL sub-branch intend to raise significant funding which would generate an ongoing return to the RSL and support these events year after year,’ she said.

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