The lifting of a ban on fundraising by RSL sub-branches has been welcomed on the Far South Coast.
RSL NSW announced on Wednesday sub-branches could apply to hold sausage sizzles, cake stalls, meat raffles, trivia nights and auctions to raise funds for veterans their families in need following its decision to end a two-year ban on the practice.
In a media release, RSL NSW president James Brown said fundraising by sub-branches was suspended in August 2017 amid concerns compliance failures could expose potentially hundreds of volunteers to penalties under the law.
"The restriction on fundraising was necessary to protect our hardworking local volunteers from unintentionally breaching the law and risking hefty fines or, in the worst case, a criminal penalty," he said.
Bega RSL sub-branch president Gary Berman said the end of the ban was "a welcome relief".
"If we're allowed to fundraise again, it's a very good thing to happen," he said.
"Now we can fundraise again in our own right, which was the status quo from the beginning."
He said investments returned about $5000 a year to the sub-branch, but with the town's yearly Anzac Day commemorations costing about $3000 it meant there was not much wiggle room when they were unable to fundraise.
The sub-branch used to raise $1300 a year from fundraising, he said, and since it stopped they had to draw down on the interest from their investments more heavily which impacted on running costs, charity work and the scholarship program run with students at Bega High School and the Sapphire Coast Anglican College.
District secretary of the RSL for the Monaro and Far South Coast and Merimbula RSL sub-branch secretary Tony Toussaint said it was interesting to see the ban had been lifted.
"It would seem there is very little difference from what we were doing before," he said.
"As far as I know, the local sub-branches on the Far South Coast, I've never known them to do the wrong thing."
He said the money raised from fundraising needed to be used for charitable purposes, but smaller sub-branches had been at the serious risk of closure due to a lack of funding.
He said his sub-branch spends about $6000 to $8000 per year on welfare and used to fundraise about $5000 to $6000 a year, so had been running at a loss while the ban was in place.
In related news, over the last 18 months the Bega sub-branch has lost 18 members from deaths or transfers, and out of the current 44 members the oldest member is 93 and the youngest is in their early 60s.
Mr Berman said anyone interested in joining the sub-branch could call him on 0409 888 248.
Along with how the RSL's former president Don Rowe is facing fraud charges, there have also been financial scandals in the head office at Anzac House in Sydney.