Exasperated president hits brick wall in funding battle
“I WILL find the money somewhere,” said an exasperated Victoria Park RSL sub-branch president Kelvin Liddiard last week.
But the question of who will foot the $70,000 plus shortfall remains. Will it be the Town of Victoria Park, as it still does not have an RSL signature on a legally binding agreement ensuring it will repay the council?
“All I can do is pull my hair out every night and all we can do is keep moving forward,” Mr Liddiard said. “It’s three-quarters done, I’m loathe to abandon it now.”
According to the Town, the memorial wall project for Playfield Reserve next to Victoria Park RSL has a shortfall of $76,500 and despite successful grants and appeals for funding, where the extra money will come from remains a mystery.
“I’ve had no support from RSL HQ, and been really disappointed and surprised that no local businesses have gotten behind this project either,” Mr Liddiard said.
“I have sent out 100 letters to local businesses appealing for donations but haven’t had any response. The RSL’s charter says it is responsible for erecting war memorials but the state executive and finance committee have said they would prefer to spend their funds elsewhere. I think it’s a bit nasty.”
The Town’s report said an email from the WA RSL indicated it would not be supporting the project as it believed their “limited funds should be spent on more needy projects”.
The Town has not been able to forge a legally binding agreement with the Victoria Park sub branch for it to repay the $121,599 cost of building the wall, less its earlier $50,000 donation.
Last October, an email from the WA RSL informed council it was not in a position to sign the legal agreement prior to its committee meeting in the last week of November.
In February, an email from the WA RSL CEO told the Town the matter had been deferred.
The Town is now seeking a meeting with state president Graham Edwards.
“Communications with (Kelvin Liddiard) have always indicated, up until the most recent letter, that they have the capacity and ability to source funding,” the report said.