Issued: Sunday, 24 April 2016
Local communities will have the opportunity to preserve important pieces of our state’s military history and put them back on display under a new $1 million funding package.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice Troy Grant and Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott today announced individual grants of up to $60,000 would be available for the upgrade or installation of war memorials and plaques, and the upgrade of community halls used by veterans groups.
“I know there’s so much important military history in our suburbs and towns that has fallen into disrepair or been targeted by vandals and is in danger of being lost, and that RSL sub-branches, councils, historical societies and community groups have expressed a keen interest in preserving,’’ Mr Grant said.
“I’ll be encouraging those who have an interest in preserving and displaying this history to apply for these grants, so that the bravery and sacrifice shown by so many in the past can been seen and reflected upon by generations to come.’’
Mr Grant said examples of how the grants could be used include plaques at places of historical significance in the state’s wartime efforts, or restoration and display of honour roles with the names of those who fought and died in war.
Mr Elliott said he was pleased that community halls would be eligible for funding.
“During the Centenary of the Anzac (2014- 2018), we need to ensure that our war memorials continue to stand proud and strong,” he said.
State President of the NSW Branch of the RSL of Australia Rod White welcomed the funding, saying in regional NSW in particular there were projects crying out for support.
“Some of these areas have lost their local RSL sub-branch due to changing demographics, but they still have rich wartime histories that deserve to be preserved and on display. We welcome the protection of community halls for use by our veterans,” he said.
The allocation of $1 million is from uncollected gaming prize money and will be administered by Liquor & Gaming NSW in consultation with the NSW Branch of the RSL of Australia and the Office of Veterans Affairs. It is anticipated applications will open in May and an independent panel will assess the projects and make recommendations to Government.
Further details including how communities can lodge expressions of interest for funding will be published on the Liquor & Gaming NSW website at www.liquorandgaming.justice.nsw.gov.au
The funding is in addition the NSW Community War Memorials Fund which provides grants of up to $10,000 to help repair, conserve and restore war memorials across the state.