April 23, 2019
Murgon RSL Sub-Branch will be hoping the Coalition secures victory at the upcoming Federal Election so their proposed Drop-In Centre can go ahead.
LNP Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien announced on Monday that a re-elected Liberal and Nationals government would provide $450,000 towards the project.
“This money will get the building up and running and operational,” Murgon Sub-Branch president Trevor Williamson told southburnett.com.au
The centre would be constructed on a 1700sq m block of land in Stephens Street West, between the Murgon Courthouse and the South Burnett Regional Council offices.
The land is the site of a former Women’s Health Centre.
The Sub-Branch has already bought the cleared and level block from Queensland Health.
It has also purchased a triangular block of land at the rear of this area, former Queensland Rail land, for a later Stage 2 of the project which would include low-cost RSL accommodation similar to that offered by the Kingaroy-Memerambi Sub-Branch in Kingaroy.
Mr Williamson said all the planning and engineering reports had been done for Stage 1, which would include a large meeting room, a drop-in area and a private welfare office that would be used by the Sub-Branch.
“All the plans have been drawn up, everything is ready to go,” Mr Williamson said.
He said the meeting room would be available for hire by the community.
The drop-in room would include soft chairs and a TV, and would provide a place for people to sit and talk away from the Murgon RSL Club, which is where most of the Sub-Branch’s welfare activities now occur.
The new facility will be more private, and will also have parking at the rear.
It will also include male, female and disability toilets, and a small kitchen area for making tea and coffee.
“The project has been a couple of years in the making,” Mr Williamson said.
It would be “100 per cent owned and operated” by the RSL.
He said the Sub-Branch’s welfare needs were increasing as many servicemen and women were getting elderly.
“Our welfare requirements will continue to grow; they won’t get less,” he said.
The Murgon Sub-Branch has also recently taken over responsibility for Goomeri ex-service personnel, which became a chapter when its sub-branch closed about 18 months ago.
Mr O’Brien said he was very excited about the project.
He said the drop-in centre was a key priority for the Liberal and Nationals because of the significant benefits it would deliver for veterans and the Murgon community.
“The Murgon Sub-Branch is experiencing rapid growth in membership, and they need a larger premises to deliver better welfare and advocacy services, and family-friendly social facilities,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This project will help veterans who have served to protect our country, and who deserve to have a place of their own to socialise and receive support.
“This Drop-In Centre will serve veterans and the community, with a Welfare and Pensions Office and staff, a large meeting room with conference facilities available to community groups such as the local Parkinson’s Support Group.
“It will also house the Sub-Branch Memorabilia Collection and Historic Photo Gallery, and information so that school children will be able to learn about Australia’s Defence history, ensuring our Anzac legacy is remembered by future generations.”
Mr O’Brien said the funding was an election commitment and has been fully budgeted.