darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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September 23, 2011

A new bus to assist veterans and other community groups will be purchased by the Bairnsdale RSL Sub-branch after it received Federal Government funding, according to The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

Mr Chester said the RSL would receive $33,500 which would be added to the organisation’s own funds to purchase the new vehicle.

Funding has been provided under the Veteran and Community Grants program with the RSL hoping to take possession of the new bus next month.

Mr Chester said the RSL was experiencing strong demand amongst veterans and welfare groups for transport to and from activities, including meals on wheels.

“There are an increasing number of veterans and older people within Bairnsdale and outlying communities participating in a range of activities organised by the local RSL and other community groups,” Mr Chester said.

“Along with transportation to and from meals on wheels days at the RSL, the current bus has also been used to take veterans shopping and on short day trips to towns such as Lakes Entrance and Sale.

“I commend the hard work of the RSL, particularly Treasurer Bruce Vallance and Welfare Officer Janine Shurmer, for obtaining the funds to continue and improve a much needed community service.”

Bairnsdale RSL Sub-branch Manager Shane Pendergast said the new bus would have 12 passenger seats, four more than the current vehicle.

“One of the key reasons for seeking funding to purchase a new vehicle was the increase in demand for transport from our veterans and welfare groups,” Mr Pendergast said.

“The bus itself will have four more seats than our current model which allow larger groups to participate in activities.

“It is also important that we have a reliable vehicle as some of our members live between 15 and 20 kilometres away.”

For further information on the Veteran and Community Grants program log on to http://www.dva.gov.au

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