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Veterans club left out in the cold and looking for a new home

New hope: Hughes MP Craig Kelly has made a pledge to help the Veterans’ Motorcycle Club find a new home, so it can continue to meet.A veterans’ club, that provides support and a social network for local returned servicemen, has experienced two major blows this month.
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TheVeterans’ Motorcycle Clubhad been lobbying with the Federal Government to convert an unused depotbuilding at its Holsworthy barracks into a “Veterans Precinct”.

This plan has been squashed by theDepartment of Defence, whichsaid the site was “unsafe for the proposed use”.

The club’s second blow camewhen it wasgiven an evictionfor itsMenai clubhouseof14 years.

Club member Rex Marshall said he was disappointed the government was not supporting the Veterans’ Precinct plans.

“Weare trying to get them [the department]to look for alternative for us, which they don’t seem to be interested in doing either,” Mr Marshall said.

“We are still fighting [the owner of club’s current site], but they will just keep telling us the same thing;‘if you are not out, then stiff cheddar’.

“So we just have nowhere to go and I don’t know what we will do actually.

“Our whole ethos is bring veterans together to help them.”

These returned servicemen all members of the Veterans’ Motorcycle Club.

Each pin on the map below showswhere some of theVeterans’ Motorcycle Club members haveserved:

Mr Marshall said the club offereda social network for returned servicemen, through motorcycle riding.

He said the aim of creating a precinct was to bring veterans with other interests together.

A spokesman fromDepartment of Defence said:“The Department of Defence acknowledges and supports the valuable work that the Veterans’ Federation/Veterans’ Motorcycle Club and other external support organisations do to support and address the mental health, social and family related issues that impact veterans”.

“However, the area of land identified by the Veterans Motorcycle Club is unfortunately not suitable for the purposes of setting up a Health and Wellbeing Precinct for Veterans,” the spokesman said.

“The parcel of land currently has a number of contractor demountables on the site and the remaining facilities are old and in very poor condition.”

He said records also showed that asbestos was present in the buildings and the contamination issues associated with the property made it “unsafe for the proposed use”.

“The buildings are not habitable and in most cases they would not meet Building Code of Australia standards,” the spokesman said.

“Defence plans to demolish the buildings and re-mediate the site.

“The land is also located in close proximity to other Defence land identified for disposal as part of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.

“Accordingly, the granting of a lease is at this time not in keeping with Defence’s plans for the land.”

Details:theveteransprecinct南京夜网orvmcsydney.org.UPDATE: HUGHES MP WILLING TO HELPHughes MP Craig Kelly met with the club on the weekend and has vowed to help find them anew base.

“I have spoken to [the site’s owner], and requested that they be a good corporate citizen and consider giving the veterans at least a six-monthextension rather than just kicking them out,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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