STARTING SOON: Bundy residents are being asked to help deliver the Veterans Support Centre.
STARTING SOON: Bundy residents are being asked to help deliver the Veterans Support Centre. Contributed

Bundy folks asked to dig deep to help Diggers

WORK has begun to build the best Veterans Support Centre in regional Australia right here, and now you can help our Diggers.

Last year the RSL Sub Branch revealed it bought the former Chinese restaurant site at 69-71 Takalvan St.

But transforming the centre will come at a cost and an appeal has been set up to cover some of that cost, with work expected to start next month to refit and refurbish the buildings,

The centre will offer welfare, support and well-being programs to help veterans, their families and reduce social isolation. It will also have an emergency accommodation unit.

The comprehensive services would make it the best vet support centre in regional Australia, to Bundaberg RSL Sub Branch president Paul Tramacchi.

While the RSL Sub Branch does not profess to have no funds of its own - a significant amount was used to buy the property and has been allocated to the project - Mr Tramacchi said contrary to what some believed they did not receive gambling or alcohol proceeds from the Bundaberg Services Club.

"The RSL building at Quay St does belong to the Bundaberg RSL Sub Branch, which most people recognise,” he said.

"The Bundaberg Services Club ... has a 10-year lease until 2024 of those premises. The RSL Sub Branch retains offices, meeting room and library with exclusive occupation rights during various commemoration days and our income is substantial but fair under the circumstances.

"However for some years now the only income derived from those premises is rent and the myth and rumours that Bundaberg RSL shares in the proceeds of gambling and liquor sales is completely false.”

Any financial or in-kind support would be used to refurbish the emergency accommodation living area, kitchen areas and welfare area of the centre, he said.

The centre needs single beds, air-conditioners, TV, linen, cooking equipment, painting, a commemorative garden, phone and internet services installed, new windows and security screens and new doors to allow disabled access.

"The text and details contained in our GoFundMe appeal is not only limited to funding dollars, but includes any any help what-so-ever (in kind) from the business community, tradies and the wider general community,” Mr Tramacchi.

The Bundaberg region has a long and proud history of service. More than 25% of the population in 1914 went to war. Of those more than 3000 young men and women, 700 never returned.

Mr Tramacchi said today's population would contain a significant number of descendants and support for the project would help see it delivered sooner than the expected three or four years.

To help out, visit http://bit.ly/2lmCRah.



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