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RSL NSW President reiterates that ANZAC Day commemorations can go ahead in NSW

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The President of RSL NSW has today reiterated that ANZAC Day marches and all other commemoration services can go ahead across metropolitan and regional NSW this year.

Ray James, OAM spoke with Ben Fordham on 2GB this morning and said that calls for the Sydney CBD March to be moved to the Sydney Cricket Ground are misguided considering that it is a long-standing tradition for veterans to pay their respects to the fallen as they pass by a cenotaph.

“RSL NSW sub-Branch volunteers are working around the clock to ensure that marches and commemoration services can go ahead this year – there’s no limit to how many marches or services we can host in Sydney or any other location in NSW,” Mr James said.

“I encourage all veterans, regardless of whether they are a member of the RSL, to offer their support and assistance to their fellow veterans to coordinate COVID-safe commemorations in their local community.”

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has been hosting ANZAC Day rugby league games at the famous ground since 1927. The Sydney City Roosters will clash with the St George Dragons on 25 April at one of the biggest games of the NRL season.

Mr James said that RSL NSW has a long-standing collaborative relationship with the NRL, SCG Trust, and Australian Defence Force who host a significant commemoration service before the main COVID-safe, seated event.

“It’s disappointing that we can’t gather at commemorations and events as we have in the past, but we must respect the health and safety of one another and work towards resuming life as we knew it before the COVID-19 pandemic.”

RSL NSW is conducting ongoing risk assessments and has the full support of the NSW Government to increase the number of veterans who participate in the Sydney CBD March while considering road closures, hostile vehicle mitigation, crowd control, and other COVID-safe event planning requirements.

Veterans can submit their expression of interest to participate in the ticketed Sydney CBD March by entering a ballot coordinated by RSL NSW. Places will be allocated across each service branch and conflict from WWII to current operations.

People across NSW are encouraged to stay local and rally their neighbours to ‘Light up the Dawn’ again this year. For more information about ANZAC Day commemorations across NSW visit rslnsw.org.au.

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