THE Nowra RSL Sub-Branch claims defence has lied regarding army’s lack of participation in this year’s Anzac Day marches at Greenwell Point and Nowra.
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President Fred Dawson said defence’s claims the RSL had not requested army’s support for this year’s services were “simply untrue”.
And he has a letter to prove it.
The South Coast Register ran a story on it website [www.southcoastregister.com.au] where a reader questioned where the army presence was at this year’s Anzac Day services at Greenwell Point and Nowra.
When asked a defence spokesperson said “the request sought support from HMAS Albatross and did not include the Australian Army.”
“That is a downright lie,” Mr Dawson said “and it doesn't paint the RSL in a very good light. It portrays we had not done our jobs which is certainly not the case.
“We again requested support from the Parachute Training School [the letter was dated February 16] as we have done for many years.
“PTS personnel have participated in both the Greenwell Point Dawn and Nowra marches for many years. Up until last year they provided the catafalque party at Greenwell Point.
“Last year was the first time we had navy act as the catafalque party at the Nowra march.”
In a letter of response, the PTS commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Croser told the RSL that “they were not able to provide personnel this year due to mandated policy from command that outlines participation at public duties.”
In his letter he also stated the majority of the PTS would be on training exercises in the Corowa area at the time and “the resources required to return unit members to Nowra in a timely and safe manner during a high tempo training period could not be supported.”
LTCOL Croser said he had liaised with HMAS Albatross to provide the required personnel.
Mr Dawson said he had no problems with army being unable to provide personnel but questioned why defence had lied.
“Why did they lie to the South Coast Register?” Mr Dawson said.
“They should apologise to the Register for lying to you.
“When you ask questions you expect truthful answers.
“How can you operate if people don't tell the truth?
“And while they are at it they should apologise to the RSL as well for dragging us into their lies.”
Defence was contacted for comment on May 4 but is yet to respond.
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