Bathurst RSL Sub-Branch president David Mills says he is hopeful that RSL NSW members will pass a new constitution at their next meeting in May, allowing sub-branches to resume fundraising.
Mr Mills was reacting after the RSL NSW sub-branch members voted down a proposed constitution 68 votes to 32 on Tuesday during an extraordinary general meeting in Sydney.
The constitution aimed to increase transparency and efficiency, and restore fundraising activities.
RSL NSW said currently 160 of the league’s 352 sub-branches are at risk of closing due to their inability to resume fundraising.
“These sub-branches are smaller and mostly in country areas,” it said before the voting.
“We must help them to operate and provide support to veterans and local communities. The proposed constitutional changes are designed to ensure RSL NSW can remain sustainable for decades to come.”
Mr Mills said the decision on Tuesday was made through a democratic process.
“The decision has been made by a majority,” he said.
“We will work towards the adoption of a constitution at the earliest possible time.”
He said the decision will affect the Bathurst RSL Sub-Branch.
“We are unable to fund-raise while these issues are being resolved,” he said.
“We are not as badly hit as other sub-branches.
“It will impact on our budget and services we provide, but we will be able to provide support to veterans and the community.”
Mr Mills is hopeful that members will pass the constitution at the next meeting in May.
“The way I voted is irrelevant because we all now have to follow the way the majority voted,” he said.
“We will work towards the adoption of the constitution at the earliest possible time.
“If we don’t adopt a constitution in May, I think as a sub-branch we will be really disappointed.”
A public inquiry was launched last year into the finances of RSL NSW after its former president was accused of misappropriating funds to the tune of $475,000 over a period of six years.
A fundraising ban was announced following the inquiry and it is in place for around 12 months.