RSM Club offers youth hub as part of the solution for reducing crime

State MP Richie Williamson and Nationals leader Dugald Saunders at the council chambers in Casino.

Susanna Freymark

There was a meeting about crime at the Richmond Valley Council Chambers yesterday, Tuesday, June 25.

Media were not invited to the discussion but spoke to State MP Richie Williamson and Nationals leader Dugald Saunders after the meeting about the issues raised.

“The starting point is a regional crime inquiry,” Mr Saunders said.

The State Government has already organised an inquiry and Mr Saunders said his party would help drive it.

Mr Saunders is from Dubbo and he said the crime issues were similar.

But rather than a regional approach to combating crime, Mr Saunders thought it should be a town-based solution. Each country town had commonalities.

“We need pathways and that includes supervision, motivation, education, medication (sometimes), food and love,” he said.

Mr Williamson said, “Our people need to be safe and feel safe.”

“There’s a lot of good intent out there.”

Mayor Robert Mustow, councillor Deb McGillan and general manager Vaughan Macdonald were invited to the crime talk.

He mentioned John Walker from the RSM Club “who is willing to get skin in the game.”

Mr Walker said the RSM Club was in a position to do something.

“And we will,” he said.

He said the club has rented the large former Salvation Army Charity shop building on Walker Street (across the road from the old Oxford Hotel) for a youth hub.

“We’re about to lodge a DA,” he said.

Casino RSM Club had a significant investment in sport but not every youth was into sport, he said.

The hub will be coordinated by Trudy Lamont and will be available to existing groups and services in Casino.

Mr Walker said he had 30 people come to a meeting to discuss the hub.

“We will pay for the space, we will pay for the insurance.”

The space will be what the youth want it to be and could include pinball machines, computers, and a drop-in centre. The boxing club is going to use the space too. Mr Walker said.

It’s an ambitious project.

“We are a community club. We take from the community in gaming machines and through entertainment.

“Our charter is to give back and will invest in this meeting place. We will make it safe.”

Read about how Casino RSM Club donated a bus to the Kyogle Golf Club.

Dugald Saunders outside the council chambers in Casino. Photos: Susanna Freymark

Correction: corrected the pub name in the story from the Royal to the Oxford Hotel as pointed out by our readers.

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