1 May, 2018
Today I want to pay tribute to the fantastic work of my local RSLs, which did a fantastic job commemorating Anzac Day this year. The day started at the Doncaster RSL, which was attended by a large number of people and led by president Charles Collins. It was fantastic to see so many young people attending and participating in the services and marches.
It was also an honour to once again march down a packed Yarra Street, Warrandyte, with our veterans, who were joined by local school students and the mighty Warrandyte Bloods. The march went down Yarra Street all the way to the Warrandyte cenotaph, where the ceremony was presided over by the eloquent and effervescent John Byrne. I want to congratulate David Ryan, president of the Warrandyte RSL sub-branch, and Delwyn Caulfield for their work in putting the day together.
I want to make special mention of the Warrandyte RSL sub-branch, which organised a community working bee a week before Anzac Day to help prepare the grounds. Unfortunately the branch has been let down and is unable to repair a collapsing retaining wall, as they have not been able to secure the $7500 from this state government to fix it. It was after I was told this by the RSL that I received personal assurances from the Minister for Veterans that these funds would be available for the RSL from his department. To date the minister is yet to answer any of the constituency questions I have asked regarding this issue and asking him to review his department's denial of these funds. For a reasonably small amount of money, it is sad that this minister and this government are refusing to help the Warrandyte RSL to ensure their grounds are safe for residents and visitors to the branch.