25
Jul 2018

Katter demands answers after string of RSL Club closures

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25 July 2018: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter holds grave suspicions about the closure of yet another RSL Club, this time in Mareeba, and is determined to get to the bottom of it.

This week, the much-loved Mareeba RSL Club closed its doors for business despite having thousands of members and providing popular social activities, including a cinema.

Management released a statement on the RSL’s Facebook page blaming ‘unforeseen circumstances’ for the shock closure.

But Mr Katter reckons there might be more to this story and questions whether five club closures is more than just a ‘coincidence’.

Mr Katter said, “There are now five RSL clubs in the Kennedy electorate that have closed – Mareeba, Atherton, Tully, Mt Isa and Charters Towers. So what is going on here? We need to ask for an Inquiry by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), the closure of five clubs is beyond the realm of comprehension.

“Is the only common thread here; someone pushing the needle from Brisbane, perhaps?

“We want investigations and we want answers because these have been wonderful services to our community particularly Mareeba – it dominates the main street and is one of the major watering holes in town.”

Mr Katter intends to write to the DVA and the State Minister responsible for Clubs in Queensland with a series of questions including -

Did the State Government lead them to believe that money that was made available was a grant or at the very least, a soft loan (a- pay- it- back- if- you- can) that turned out to be a very hard loan that none of them could service?

If the assets are sold, we want to know where the money goes? See if you’re in Brisbane you might say - ‘we’ve got all these headaches so let’s just sell all the little ones off, get the money from selling them off, put the money in the bank and that’ll subsidise the ones in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Brisbane.

We want to know who actually owns the buildings – is it the local club? Or is it RSL Clubs Queensland based in Brisbane?

Mr Katter said, “There’s a possibility that it’s all innocent and it’s just a sign of the times. But five clubs? Every big town in Far North Queensland has lost its RSL in the last 10 or 12 years so we want to know what’s going on here.”

Mr Katter understands that the Mareeba RSL’s ‘Sub-Branch’ will aim to continue providing welfare support to veterans; it’s the actual club or commercial wing/operation that has shut down.

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Contact Details

Innisfail
P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

Canberra
(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au