RYE CFA crews are reeling after being barred from holding their main annual income earner – the tin rattle.
Mornington Peninsula Shire has scuttled the popular holiday fundraiser as it is considered too dangerous and poses public liability risks.
Captain Glenn Diamond said members had been looking forward to the day and the usual banter with motorists at the traffic lights at the corner of Nepean Highway and Dundas Street.
He said the tin rattle – a major fundraiser over the past 10 years – was usually held on the first weekend in January. The average annual take is about $10,000.
“The shire has said ‘No’,” Captain Diamond said. “It appears they don’t want to accept the liability.”
The ban is expected to curb the usual funding activities of other volunteer services, such as lifesaving clubs and SES crews, and compounds losses incurred last year through COVID-19 restrictions.
Rye CFA’s tin rattle usually coincides with the Rye Gift and the polo at Portsea when crowds are busiest. This year 18 firefighters had planned to “make a day or it” while raising funds for a good cause.
That was until the shire’s Traffic and Transport Team scotched the idea saying they “do not consider [the tin rattle] to be a safe activity on our roads”.
“Normally the types of intersections that people want to collect from are … the busier ones [with] high speed limits – which is considered very high risk as pedestrians still get killed by vehicles travelling even at 50km/h,” event support officer Alexis Miall said.
“Often the volunteers doing the collecting are not trained in traffic management or used to working on roads, etc. Therefore, it is a very high risk activity.”
Ms Miall said the shire “would rather support your organisation to collect money in high-pedestrian environments, such as footpaths in commercial areas, or low-speed environments, such as carparks”.
“Therefore at this stage we do not provide approval for the intersection collection.”
She suggested the brigade apply for a street stall permit.