The Hon. Jason Clare MP
Minister for Defence Materiel.
The first of 30 decommissioned Leopard tanks to be gifted to RSLs around Australia was officially presented to Jerilderie RSL in NSW today.
As part of Remembrance Day commemorations, Governor of NSW Marie Bashir AO officially handed over the tank to the RSL.
Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare said Jerilderie was one of 30 RSLs who would receive a tank.
“These seven metre long, 42 tonne tanks were first purchased in 1977,” Mr Clare said.
“They were the mainstay of Australia's armored capability for three decades. They served the Army well and have now made way for the next generation tank – the M1A1 Abrams.
“They have been decommissioned at Defence sites in Puckapunyal, Bandiana and Darwin and will be transported to their new homes at RSLs across the country.”
Mr Clare said it is expected that all tanks will be delivered to their new homes by mid next year.
“The RSLs will be responsible for the preservation of this chapter in our military history,” Mr Clare said.
“They’ll put them on display and keep them maintained so communities across the country can appreciate their scale and power.”
So far, 24 RSL Clubs are confirmed to receive a tank are:
· Beenleigh RSL,
· Bendigo RSL,
· Bribie Island RSL,
· Bunbury RSL,
· Canberra Services Club,
· Collie Cardiff RSL,
· Echuca and Moama RSL, Echunga RSL,
· Epping RSL,
· Esperance RSL and Esperance Museum,
· Forester-Tuncurry RSL,
· Ingleburn RSL,
· Jerilderie RSL,
· Kilcoy RSL,
· McLaren Vale RSL,
· Mount Gambier Community RSL,
· City of Palmerston RSL,
· Port Kennedy RSL,
· Port Augusta RSL,
· Rutherglen RSL,
· Seymour RSL,
· Upwey - Belgrave RSL,
· Woodford RSL,
· Yarrawonga-Mulwala RSL.
The remaining six RSLs are in the process of finalising local approval and will be announced once these approvals are given.
Imagery of the Leopard Tank is available at www.defence.gov.au/media/download.
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