Geoff Helisma |
The Maclean RSL Sub-Branch will soon put the Maclean Services Club on the market.
The sub branch’s president, Steve Walton, said 78 per cent of members who were present at the sub branch’s recent meeting voted in favour of the sale.
“Members decided to sell the property and explore new opportunities to deliver welfare services to local veterans,” Mr Walton said.
“However, with the building leased to the Maclean Services Club until 2022, a quick sale is not expected.
“Since 1999, over 50,000 Australian servicemen and women have protected our borders and served on operations in East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“As ex defence force members move to the Clarence Valley to either work or retire the Maclean RSL Sub-Branch will need the right recourses to serve the needs of our current and future veterans.”
Mr Walton said that the RSL’s “head office organised a valuer to inspect the building” and that head office would soon decide how the building would be marketed and at what price.
He said the sub branch has “a strategic plan, established in 2017”, to manage its transition to a new premises once the services club is sold, which says “the Maclean RSL Sub-Branch must always retain a presence in the town”.
“The building was originally purchased by the returned servicemen and women of Maclean in 1948,” Mr Walton said, “with a memorial hall added to the club rooms in 1959 and further additions in the 1990s.”
The services club’s manager, Steven Fraser, said it wasn’t “appropriate to make any comment at this stage” about the potential sale.
However, he did say that “rumours circulating around the town about selling the bus and cancelling raffles are untrue”.
Meanwhile, the Chatsworth/Iluka sub-Branch has recently become a chapter of the Maclean Sub-Branch. Mr Walton said.
“This will allow members in Iluka to continue to serve their community in the usual way while Maclean takes over their administrative and financial management,” Mr Walton said.
“We’ll do books, etcetera, and they can get on with their job of supporting, commemorating and respecting our veterans.
“Consolidating rather than closing smaller sub-branches ensures that ANZAC and Remembrance Day commemorations and support for veterans can continue in as many locations as possible.”