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RSL NSW 'ruined' if charity status revoked

AAP logoAAP 11/11/2016 By Gemma Najem and Rebecca Chirichiello

RSL NSW boss John Haines says the league would be ruined if it lost its charity status following an investigation into allegations senior figures took more than $2 million in consultancy fees.

Rod White, the national president of the RSL, and NSW RSL Treasurer Bill Hardman have stood down and two other state councillors have been asked to do the same amid claims they took the money and failed to properly declare it.

The Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission is investigating.

"If we decide to take compliance action, which could potentially include the revocation of charity status, we will publish this on the Charity Register and on our website," ACNC Assistant Commissioner David Locke said in a statement on Friday.

Mr Haines says the organisation would be crushed if its charity status was revoked.

"It would devastate us," he told AAP.

"We're looking at the name of the RSL ... and what they've done for the last number of years for veterans and their families.

"It would probably ruin our organisation."

Ms Haines promised to co-operate with any investigation and take action based on an interim report to be released in late November.

"We're not going to dodge our responsibility," he said.

"We understand there is a possibility there is a stretching of the law by some of our colleagues. It's sad."

The ACNC said it had been encouraged by the level of co-operation shown by RSL's new acting National President Robert Dick.

"They are committed to working with the ACNC to ensure the beneficiaries and assets of the charity are protected," Mr Locke said.

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