MORNINGTON Peninsula ratepayers will not have to pay $10,000 to Rye CFA because of a “muck-up” by a “junior officer”.
The CFA was told by the officer on behalf of the shire that it could not hold its annual tin rattle because of safety issues.
CFA volunteers traditionally approach motorists for donations every January at the corner of Dundas Street and Nepean Highway.
The shire, after “banning” the tin rattle, later admitted its traffic and transport team did not have the power to stop the collection (“Shire backs down on tun rattle ban” The News 1/2/21).
It said there had been a mix up, and the decision was a police matter.
But this was cold comfort to the CFA, whose captain, Glenn Diamond, said members had been looking forward to the day and the usual banter with motorists.
He said the tin rattle had been a major fundraiser for more than 10 years usually raised about $10,000 (“Tin rattle ban upset for firefighters” The News 25/1/21).
At the council’s Tuesday 9 February meeting Cr David Gill said it was necessary to “look after our volunteers … [especially those that put their lives at risk”. The loss of income meant the CFA would be unable to buy new equipment.
C Gill said the $10,000 was “on a very small scale for us to recompense what was a muck-up.
“I’ve been told [by council officers that it wasn’t a muck-up – well I think it was”.
CEO John Baker confirmed that a council officer sent a letter “denying the right” for the CFA to conduct its tin rattle.
Councillors rejected Cr Gill’s motion to pay the CFA and compensate any other volunteer organisation that protected community health and safety but were unable to hold roadside collections because of COVID-19.