Increasing cost of Anzac Day services a worry for RSL branches

Increasing cost of Anzac Day services a worry for RSL branches

LOCAL RSL branches have told Mandurah MLA David Templeman about the increasing costs of holding annual Anzac Day marches.

Mr Templeman said he was surprised and concerned to hear the Pinjarra sub-branch was required to pay for road closures.

“This year cost the (sub-) branch $8000 and I understand Mandurah’s cost was more than $10,000. This is just wrong.

“It is the most significant day on Australia’s calendar and for many towns and cities, the most important day of the year.” Mr Templeman said sub-branches were required by local councils to have road closures in place for the march and they had to be carried out by certified road management companies.

“The costs will continue to rise and even with subsidies provided by some councils and shires, it could become too expensive for some RSL sub- branches.

“Members from the Pinjarra RSL tell me that they have to fundraise all year just to be able to hold their Anzac Day march.”

Mr Templeman has raised the issue in Parliament.

“We must now come up with a clear understanding that the State Government should pay,’’ he said.

“In the past, Lotterywest has helped, but that funding seems to have become another casualty of the State Government’s community funding cuts.

“The State Government should dramatically subsidise this cost.’’ A spokesman for the Veterans Minister’s office said this year the State Government had, through its LotteryWest grants program, provided the RSLWA with $1.05 million to help stage Anzac Day services across WA.

Since 2002, LotteryWest had made 185 grants to RSLWA and RSL sub-branches totalling $14.5 million.

The spokesman said RSLWA and the WA Local Government Association were in discussion over funding arrangements for Anzac Day services.