RSL sub-branches close whilst group sits on millions

The Returned and Services Leagues Clubs (RSLs) of NSW are rolling in money, but precious little is being spent on veterans. Some NSW state sub-branches sit on millions of dollars in assets, especially property assets, because they don’t trust higher levels with their money, whilst the RSL nationally is legally a charity. Meanwhilst, multiple RSL Sub-branches close because they lack the legal expertise and funding to fight property battles. The iconic Five Islands RSL at Speers Point NSW – a treasured venue on the shores of NSW’ Lake Macquarie – sold in 2014 for just over $1m, a figure which barely buys a house on the shores of Lake Macquarie. Continue reading

Tourism News Headlines


Veganism is getting the crowds in

Veganism is often considered a hippy pursuit. But the results are in – visitors, especially city people visiting regional towns – love options, and Castlemaine in Victoria is attracting crowds based on its animal-friendly practises. Nikki Medwell, pictured above, is able to run an animal shelter on the funds raised by her vegan B&B. Continue reading


Albany Premier Hotel burnt down by licensee

Another tourism operator has burnt down his own hotel in an apparent insurance job, but with a twist – he tried to stage a robbery excuse too, complete with fake CCTV footage. Licensee Graeme Cooper is alleged to have done extensive damage by arson to the historic Albany Premier Hotel in WA. Four other people – accomplices – were charged before Cooper was. Continue reading


No Plan B for bus driver with broken arm

A heroic Greyhound bus driver avoided a more serious accident after a cow drove through his coach’s windscreen. Isolated, the man drove with a broken arm to seek medical help, the NT News reports. Continue reading


RSL board being paid off with development $$$

If you felt that RSLs have had more focus on profit than on veterans, you’re right. The ABC has revealed that the RSL federal president, along with three other board members, have been paid together $300k a year for at least three years from the RSL’s billion-dollar nursing home development offshoot, RSL LifeCare. The NSW board members’ positions at least are prohibited from councillors taking what it calls ‘a position of profit’ within the organisation. Continue reading


Complete plastic bag ban edging closer

South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT have all banned single use plastic bags. Now a Great Barrier Reef town in Queensland are taking their own council-lead initiative to ban the bag – and local people, including the supermarket, are on deck. Continue reading


Backpacker tax could lead to major IR reform

Instead of charging backpackers 32.5% tax, the federal government now propose charging them 17.5% from the first dollar overall – and hitting their arse on the way out with a $5 departure tax. Nick Xenophon has proposed that Australia’s unemployed may be better suited to pick fruit – and being that Xenophon’s crossbenchers and Pauline Hanson’s quintessentially regional constituents will benefit, the major parties are pricking up their ears. Continue reading


Regional airports need red tape cut for tourism

Entrepreneur and aviator Dick Smith has said that regional airports will continue to suffer unless red tape is cut allowing private jets and helicopters to more easily access the regions. Continue reading


Grey nomads turning ruined town into attraction

Photo: Stonemason Ron Johnson works a wall of an historic building in Farina, South Australia.
Ever fantasised about restoring a historic building? Well a bunch of grey nomads are spending a season of labour every year on restoring the outback town of Farina, South Australia. About halfway between Port Augusta SA and Birsdville QLD, the town has long been abandoned – but a meagre bakery income, two stonemasons, some elbow grease and a plan have gotten Farina to a stage where a museum of artefacts could open next year. Continue reading


Ciobo – a minister with tourism credentials

The new Minister for Trade, Investment and Tourism is someone who actually knows about the big business of tourism – he’s been the federal member for the Gold Coast since 2001 and is trained in economics – meaning the $190 fee asian tourists pay on entry could be on the chopping block. Continue reading

Indigenous help with northern bleaching observations

Photo: Mangrove bleaching. One of Australia’s most sparsely populated areas, the Gulf of Carpentaria, has indigenous rangers observing significant coral and mangrove death from ‘coral bleaching. Indigenous rangers are now working with scientists from multiple universities to make observations of coral bleaching across an extraordinarily-sized area. Continue reading

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