Maryborough RSL meeting - A massive turnout was seen before doors were open to members of the club. Photo: Cody Fox
Maryborough RSL meeting - A massive turnout was seen before doors were open to members of the club. Photo: Cody Fox Cody Fox

RSL sub-branch leaders refuse to budge on member demands

ANGRY Maryborough RSL sub-branch members described a special meeting at the club on Sunday as a 'complete waste of time.'

More than 100 members arrived at the venue with the intention of voting on four motions, including the proposed removal of their president, George Mellick and his vice-president Robert Anderton.

They wanted to install caretaker leaders of the sub-branch to hold office until next month's AGM, to be held on February 23.

Sub-branch members stormed out the of the club after the meeting wrapped up, telling the Chronicle State and District RSL representatives would not allow their vote to go ahead.

"Nothing happened, it was a waste of time," one veteran said as he walked to his car.

Other members said they were disgraced by proceedings, claiming the meeting was steamrolled by those in authority.

The Chronicle understands the district and club president did not allow the motions to be voted on because they did not follow the proper procedures.

"The meeting showed there is a disregard for the members' views and wants. We should have walked out with a new leadership," another member said.

Sub-branch member, Paul Houston described the meeting as being like a cattle auction.

"There were lots of loud voices and people had to be asked to watch their tone. It started to get a bit tense before the meeting closed," he said.

It came after a heated start to the morning when guests and reporters were barred from entering the club.

Police were later called to the Lennox St premises by members who felt the meeting should have been open to the public.

Aggrieved members are unhappy with the current leadership of Mr Mellick.

They have previously made allegations of mismanagement and a lack of transparency against him.

Mr Mellick has refused to comment on these allegations on multiple occassions in the past.

They also raised questions over the hiring of the club's general manager, Craig Lenihan.

Mr Lenihan is due back in Maryborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with allegedly faking military credentials and the alleged improper use of service decorations.

Sub-branch member, Dr Tom Dunn told reporters in the carpark that he had never seen so many people at an RSL meeting before.

"Our motions were never allowed to go forward but we were advised that there will be an independent investigation into the allegations," Dr Dunn said.

Although they were not allowed to vote on the motions, Dr Dunn said he was satisfied the issues will be probed.

"I am reasonably satisfied, as long as the welfare of the sub-branch members and the club are taken into account," he said.

District president for Wide Bay and Burnett, Trevor Williamson refused to comment on the decision not to allow the vote to go ahead.

Mr Mellick also drove off without answering questions on the nature of the meeting.

He also refused to comment on assault allegations made against him on Remembrance Day last year, for which is he is due to face court on February 18.