Clubs NSW and the Dubbo RSL have thrown its considerable weight behind Nationals Candidate Dugald Saunders’ campaign for the forthcoming State election.
Chairman of Clubs NSW Peter Newell and the General Manager of the Dubbo RSL Club Gus Lico signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the NSW Nationals and Dugald Saunders.
“I’m delighted to receive such great support from an organisation that is so highly regarded in all the local communities across the electorate,” Mr Saunders said.
“All the clubs in Dubbo including the RSL Club have a long history of not just providing a place to socialise but also being a refuge in times of emergency.”
Independent candidate for Dubbo Mat Dickerson said he was not concerned about the agreement.
But, Labor’s Stephen Lawrence questioned Mr Saunders’ acceptance of an endorsement from an organisation that encourages gambling through poker machines.
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“I would not accept the endorsement of Clubs NSW and their unsurprising endorsement of my opponent will not deter me from my campaign against the damaging effect of poker machines in our region,” he said.
Mr Saunders said he understands there is a balancing act required when it comes to poker machines, but it was essential to recognise the significant role clubs play in all their communities particularly through the provision of jobs and local sporting and social infrastructure.
“The good that comes out of Clubs is undeniable; they financially assist many local charities, service and sporting groups through the ClubGRANTS scheme and clubs like Dubbo employ hundreds of people, I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with such a superb local community partner,” he said.
“Clubs in NSW employ 43,000 people including about 23,000 in regional communities.”
Mr Lico said Clubs are proactive in providing hands-on experience for trainees in regional areas.
“I’m particularly excited our Club is supporting the skills delivery initiative which facilitates partnerships between clubs, TAFE and other education and training organisations,” he said.
Mr Lico said it is entirely appropriate for Clubs NSW to form a positive relationship with whomever is in government.
“It is important to have a good relationship with the Coalition, but I daresay we would support whoever is the government of the day because we’d need to do that,” he said. “But, I think the coalition has a good relationship with Clubs NSW because they understand what we are all about and what we do in the community.”