NSW Labor has condemned Acting Minister for Veterans, Geoff Lee, for failing veterans
and the wider community this Anzac Day.
Appearing in budget estimates today, the Acting Minister confirmed that he had not
offered any additional funding or resources to RSL Sub Branches to help them comply
with COVID-19 safe practices this Anzac Day while hosting marches and services
Services and marches in Greater Sydney can have up to 500 people attendees if they
are given a specific seating area and 2000 people if allocated a specific seat.
Events outside of Greater Sydney can host up to 3000 people if allocated a specific
seats and 500 if given a specific seat.
Asked by Shaoquett Moselmane MLC if there was any specific funding to help RSL Sub
Branches comply with COVID-19 safe practices, Acting Minister Lee said “not to my
Mr Moselmane said the Acting Minister and his government had left RSL Sub Branches
around the state “in the lurch”.
Shadow Minister for Veterans Greg Warren said he was appalled by the Acting
Minister’s treatment of current and former Defence Forces personnel.
“The Minister’s message for veterans today was crystal clear. This Government will not
offer you funding or support to help preserve and honour the memory of those men and
women who bravely served our nation,” Mr Warren said.
“Where are RSL Sub Branches meant to find the extra funds to comply with the COVID
19 restrictions? How are RSL Sub Braches meant to enforce COVID-19 safety
“How does the Acting Minister expect RSL Sub Branch members – many who are
elderly and have mobility issues – to set up and pack away 5000 chairs?
“The Acting Minister unashamedly admitted that the budget for the Office of Veterans
Affairs was ‘not huge’, but if this Government genuinely cared about veterans they
would find the money to make this work
“To claim that Anzac Day is ‘arguably the most important day in the nation’s history’ but
refuse to help fund or support those hosting services and marches, is simply paying lipservice
to our state’s veterans.”
Unfortunately, Acting Minister Lee forgot what day Anzac Day was held on, incorrectly
stating it was on March 25, instead of April 25.