RSL receives Veterans hub funding

The federal government announced it will provide RSL Queensland a $5.445 million grant to help establish a Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in Ipswich.

The new centre will provide greater local access to specialist services for more than 14,000 current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members and their families in the Ipswich area.

The project is a collaboration with Mates4Mates — an RSL Queensland charitable initiative — and GO2 Health — a Brisbane-based general practice offering comprehensive veteran care.

RSL Qld Deputy CEO Troy Watson said it was a “crucial” development.

“We’re looking forward to delivering a centre that will allow us to expand our services and support for the veteran and Defence community in the region,” Mr Watson said.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the announcement was a delivery on his commitment for services “tailored to the specific needs of our Defence personnel, veterans, and their families”.

“This is great news for our local ex-service community in Ipswich and surrounding areas, and this much-needed service will make it easier for people to access the practical support they need close to home and help with their transition to civilian life,” Mr Neumann said.

“I advocated strongly for a Hub in Ipswich because we’re a garrison town that’s home to the biggest Air Force base in Australia in RAAF Base Amberley, and our region has one of the largest defence and veteran populations in the country.”

The project involved consultation with the community over the past year.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Matt Keogh said avoiding a cookie-cutter approach and reflecting the unique community were “essential”.

“The consultation undertaken with the local community in the development of the business case gives me confidence [RSL Queensland and Mates4Mates] will be able to deliver a Hub that fits the needs of the local community.”

Beau Miller, an Augustine Heights realtor owner whose husband is an ex-serviceman, said the establishment of such a hub was promising but needed to deliver genuine help.

“My only worry, as with every government organisation, is where is the money being spent? How is it being monitored?

Is it actually making a difference in those people’s lives?” Beau said.

“It’s great to have it, but I don’t think it’s the complete fix for what they need.”

The Ipswich Veterans’ and Families’ Hub will initially provide support through the West Ipswich Mates4Mates site and other existing RSL Queensland facilities, before moving to a permanent site, once established, by mid-2026.

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