Coalition commits $5M to The Oasis Townsville defence support hub
MADURA MCCORMACK, Townsville Bulletin
April 24, 2019
TOWNSVILLE’s premier defence support hub will receive crucial funding regardless of who wins the next Federal Election, with the Coalition announcing $5 million for The Oasis.
The money would allow the veterans hub to complete the final two phases of its headquarters in Oonoonba.
It comes after Herbert MP Cathy O’Toole announced in late March that an elected Labor government would put $4.1 million towards The Oasis.
LNP candidate for Herbert Phil Thompson, a veteran himself, said there were many ex-service men and women who needed post-discharge support in Townsville because of injuries suffered during their time in Defence.
Liberal National Party candidate for Herbert Phillip Thompson.
“Ex-servicemen and women have protected our country and way of life both here in Australia and on operations overseas,” he said.
Mr Thompson, following Labor’s announcement last month, said he would fight “tooth and nail” for any veterans affairs initiative for the Townsville community but had not been approached by the directors of The Oasis Townsville formally for funds.
The facility hopes to provide 24-hour welfare support and employment transition services to serving and ex-ADF personnel and their families in Townsville.
The State Government has previously provided Oasis Townsville with $1.8 million to secure the land on the corner of Darter and Colvin streets and a further $4.3 million toward the first phase, which includes the refurbishment of the existing building.
Phase one of the project includes repurposing the existing building to provide a modern facility supporting the services provided at the precinct.
The second and third phases will include construction of pavilions to enable further service expansion and a cafe extension open to the public.
The funding commitment is part of the Coalition’s larger $63.2 million boost to veterans and their families.
It includes $16.2 million to support organisations like Team Rubicon, RSL state branches, and Soldier On.
Team Rubicon Australia was instrumental in Townsville’s flood disaster recovery effort.