Old Bar and Taree RSL Sub-branches have celebrated the removal of a ban on fundraising for veterans and their families in NSW.
Fundraising was suspended in August 2017 after it was discovered some processes could expose hundreds of volunteers to penalties associated with NSW charity laws.
RSL NSW was the subject of an inquiry and investigation by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission after financial wrongdoing allegations felled the previous State council.
But as of June 12, barbecues, cakes stalls, trivia nights, auctions and sales are back on the agenda.
Lifting the ban has saved Old Bar Sub-branch. The two-year ban caused a financial hit, leaving the club in dire straits.
This brought significant hardship to the point where according to its president Geoff Gillard, the Sub-branch "nearly went under."
"It's great news, we've missed out on the last couple of years being able to sell poppies and badges for Anzac Day," Mr Gillard said of the ban's removal.
The news is a much needed morale boost for the tireless volunteers.
"It's looking really positive, we're looking forward to the future," Mr Gillard said.
The club will meet tonight to begin the process of applying through the NSW Department of Fair Trading to resume fundraising.
This will be required by every Sub-branch in the State.
Taree secretary Ted Hill said the Sub-branch will be back in action in time for Remembrance Day in November.
"We're holding off until we have concrete confirmation and we'll need to contact the people that allow us to set up our tables out the front of their stores," Mr Hill said.
He said the Sub-branch managed through the two-year ban thanks to wise financial decisions.
"We were astute with looking after our funds and investments and the result of that is we will be fiscally sound for the years ahead," Mr Hill said.
"Had we not done that, we would have been in hot water like other smaller Sub-branches."
Activities and commitments throughout the year are reliant on Sub-branch funds.
"It (funds) helps with Anzac Day, providing lunches for veterans and help families give our members a good send off," Mr Hill said.
Wingham Sub-branch president Terry Gould told Wingham Chronicle Wingham Memorial Services Club, Rotary Club of Wingham and several individuals provided strong support during the ban.
"We're very lucky to live in Wingham," Mr Gould said.
RSL NSW president James Brown said the restriction was put in place to protect volunteers from unintentionally breaching laws and risking fines or criminal penalties. The organisation is undergoing a host of changes to restore trust across the State.
Memberships take a hit
Taree and Old Bar Sub-branches revealed memberships have suffered in recent years.
With fundraising back on the table, Mr Gillard is confident of getting new faces involved.
"We're taking a step forward now," he said.
In the last two years, several Taree members died or moved into nursing homes.
With 175 members on the books, Mr Hill said the number of active members is declining.
"We're lucky if we get 25 people to our meetings," Mr Hill said.
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