On 24 February 2017 my community was absolutely shocked when news came through that the Katoomba RSL was on fire.
Sadly, it was mostly destroyed. The club's generosity over many decades, whether through the support of the Clubs Grants program or the provision of a venue for fundraising events, has not gone unnoticed.
The loss of the club will be felt by the wider Blue Mountains community for some time.
I offer my heartfelt condolences to Brian Turner, David White, Brigette Mosely, Nick Darias, the RSL executive team, the regulars, the fabulous staff and all of their families.
It is amazing that nobody was injured as a result of the fire. Nick and his team did an incredible job ensuring everyone got out safely.
I know there will be many difficult weeks and months ahead for all involved with the Katoomba RSL.
With its closure, the Upper Mountains has lost its designated emergency evacuation centre.
I have written to Ministers Grant and Elliott seeking their assistance for the rebuild and re-establishment of our club. I thank the Blue Mountains City Council for its support.