Veteran centre moves forward
THE development application to transform a former Chinese restaurant into veterans centre with accommodation has been lodged with Bundaberg Regional Council.
In November last year the Bundaberg RSL revealed its plan convert the existing building, the former Oriental Pearl Chinese restaurant at 71 Takalvan St, into a multi-purpose facility.
RSL Sub Branch president Paul Tramacchi made the announcement at a special Remembrance Day event.
At the time Mr Tramacchi said after serving their country with pride and honour, many ex-servicemen and women were struggling to get by and the number of homeless veterans had risen dramatically.
"In the past six to 12 months we have come across up to nine or 10 homeless veterans and others with serious issues," he said.
"When veterans fall off the perch the families suffer tremendously.
"Our role is to cater to those people and help make the transition to a happier life easier."
According the the material change of use development application submitted to the council last week, the RSL Welfare Centre will be manned by two full-time staff to provide advice and referrals to past and present service personnel and families.
The premises would also be used for meetings, recreation activities and functions, as well as short-term and emergency accommodation, for veterans and their families.
The accommodation would comprise of a single-bedroom unit on the ground floor and including ancillary storage for materials associated with the accommodation on the first floor.
The facility seeks to provide a low-key alternative for veterans who are less comfortable with the major services club premises in Quay St, which is open to public membership and patronage.
It is also proposed that social events would be held on-site nominally on a monthly basis as well as wakes following service personnel funerals.
Building works would include removal of the existing garage and construction of an open deck to the rear of the building and a small workshop in the garden area.
The workshop would be used by veterans for occupational activities and maintenance of the premises.