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​Historic RSL NSW reforms pass Parliament

Published date: Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Historic reforms to RSL NSW have passed NSW Parliament, in the wake of the Bergin Review into the League’s charitable fundraising activities.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals championed the amendments to the Returned and Services League of Australia (New South Wales Branch) Incorporation Act 1935, aimed at restoring the heart of the iconic veterans’ organisation and ensuring greater accountability to its members.

Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott said the measures would empower each individual member of RSL NSW to vote for their new board of directors as part of representative voting reforms.

It will replace the current procedure of 352 NSW sub-branches each having one vote, to elect members of the governing body of the League in NSW, currently the State Council.

“These historic reforms will democratise RSL NSW and ensure it is accountable to its members and the broader NSW community, who have supported the League in wartime and peace over the past century,” Mr Elliott said.

“The past few years have been a tumultuous time for RSL NSW. I’ve travelled around the state consulting with the rank-and-file sub-branch members, and it’s clear that they are eager for the RSL NSW to get back to its core business of supporting veterans and their families.

“This will build on the positive work over the past year by RSL NSW State Council as well as address the recommendations of the Bergin Review into the League’s charitable fundraising activities.”

Amendments to the Act will:

  • Establish a board with a minimum of three and maximum of ten directors,including at least one independent director;
  • Introduce a representative voting system where each member has one vote;
  • Ensure directors disclose any financial interests;
  • Enables remuneration of directors; and
  • Ensure RSL NSW tables an annual report to the NSW Parliament.