Local sub-branches are unsure what to do after NSW RSL announcement of fundraising blanket ban

The worry is that the fundraising ban will affect the upcoming Poppy Day drive.
The worry is that the fundraising ban will affect the upcoming Poppy Day drive.

The missive imposed by The Returned and Services League of Australia NSW’s new council of a blanket ban on fundraising activities has local Nambucca Valley sub-branches scratching their heads.

RSL NSW President James Brown issued the directive on Monday of a voluntary suspension of all charity fundraising activities across the state after an internal inquiry discovered ‘irregularities’ in dealings with fundraising monies.

New NSW  RSL President James Brown was appointed earlier this year after the previous council was stood down amidst allegations of improper dealings. James Brown is son-in-law to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo by Janie Barrett.

New NSW RSL President James Brown was appointed earlier this year after the previous council was stood down amidst allegations of improper dealings. James Brown is son-in-law to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo by Janie Barrett.

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"This suspension is happening because RSL NSW had determined its technical fundraising procedures are not compliant with the required standards," the directive states.

A combined meeting was held today in the Nambucca Shire in which local sub-branch members were able to air their grievances about the move from the state governing body.

The mood from members is one of anger over the way the ban was rolled out.

President of the Nambucca Heads RSL sub-branch Bill Shepherd was unable to comment properly on the matter because of inadequate communication between the state branch and local sub-branches.

“I’ve got no idea what’s happening. And that’s the problem here,” Mr Shepherd said.

“The first I heard about it was on the radio and the newspaper like the rest of Australia.

“It’s annoying, but there must be an obvious reason for it and we just have to comply.

“Current welfare work will not be affected. The only effect it will have is that we can’t raise additional funds.”

Mr Shepherd said the issue was likely to be resolved in ‘weeks rather than months’ according to information he received—good news for annual remembrance day fundraising activities.

Today’s meeting ended with a resolution to write a letter to the state branch to try to elicit more information.

“Until we find out what’s really going on, we can’t do anything else,” Mr Shepherd said.