RSL Saves TOP Cause

Blacktown City Sun - 21st January 2003

Magistrates from Blacktown local court have been sending drink drivers and unregistered motorists to the Traffic Offenders program (TOP).

This has been in Seven Hills since the 1980's. But the program was nearly shut down last month after the directors realised that cash from their own pockets and the local donations they were receiving couldn't sustain the program any more.

Last week, Blacktown RSL saved the program by donating $20,000.

Blacktown RSL general manager Alan Middleton said the club was proud to be associated with TOP.

"Speeding and drink driving cause so many injuries and deaths and we are happy to work with an organisation that is making such a positive difference to people's driving behaviour," he said.

"As far as good causes go, they don't come any more worthwhile than this."

A TOP director, David Bamford said 4700 people had been referred to the Program, which involves eight lectures over a seven week period.

"One gentleman who did the program ran a small business and he made his assignments compulsory reading for every member of his staff," he said.

"These people are also becoming advocates for their peer groups and you can't measure that in dollars."

Mr Bamford said the only thing keeping the program running was the grant from Blacktown RSL.

"Without the funding from Blacktown RSL we can't run the Program," he said. "It's as simple as that."

By AARON PARNELL