Herbert Elliot, Bob Holmes, member for Capricornia Michelle Landry, Ray Arthur and Nick Quigley at Cockscolm Veterans Retreat
Herbert Elliot, Bob Holmes, member for Capricornia Michelle Landry, Ray Arthur and Nick Quigley at Cockscolm Veterans Retreat

New funding calls for big project at veteran retreat

COCKSCOMB Veterans Retreat is about to receive $25,586 in funding through the latest round of the Australian Government’s Veteran and Community Grants program to provide mains electricity to the site.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said the funding boost for Cockscomb Veterans Retreat would help the hundreds of veterans and their families.

“It’s programs such as this that will help them to continue to live a healthy and independent lifestyle which is incredibly important with the current coronavirus pandemic,” Ms Landry said.

“This funding not only supports local veterans and their families, but has a growing effect within our communities, by supporting local employment and businesses.”

The V & CG program aims to help local ex-service organisations, veterans groups, community and private organisations deliver projects that promote a healthy and independent lifestyle.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said these programs, which are provided through local organisations, were an important factor in ensuring veterans and their families continue to get the support that they need.

“More than $480,000 in grants were awarded through this round and I encourage ­organisations interested in applying for funding to support veterans and their families to review the grant guidelines and submit an application,” Mr Chester said.

Vice-President of Cockscomb Veterans Retreat Herb Elliot said the grant would assist the organisation become a more permanent fixture in the community with the installation of permanent mains electricity at the retreat.

“This supply will maintain our solar battery system and feed 240 volts AC to most areas on the site. The old 12V system is being removed. Digital LED lighting and other services will slowly be installed to bring the site up to a new standard,” Mr Elliot said.

“Cockscomb Veteran Camp came about from an idea that was developed about July 1997, between Vietnam War veterans in the Central Queensland area. The Veterans came up with a plan to develop an area somewhere in the bush as a reasonably isolated camp as a place where fellow veterans could go, when things were getting tough, or when they felt the need to be out of it and alone for a while, or the need to lean on someone for moral support.

“Cockscomb is open to all retired and serving members of our defence forces and their families.”

The grants offer will be available for the initial 12-month period, but if the organisation requires more time to complete its project due to coronavirus, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will consider extending the agreement on a case-by-case basis.

This flexibility will ensure all of the successful organisations can deliver their projects within a reasonable time frame and continue to deliver great support to veterans.

Grant inquiries can be made on the DVA website or by visiting the Community Grants Hub.