MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council says it is not responsible for telling Rye CFA not to hold its annual tin rattle on the first weekend in January.
Despite sending an email saying the tin rattle could not go ahead, the shire now says Victoria Police, and not it, is responsible road collections (“Tin rattle ban upset for firefighters” The News 26/1/21).
The council last week said it was a “big supporter of tin rattling activities where it is safe to do so” and that police had confirmed that the council “would not be required to provide approvals in future”.
The shire’s interim director of place Jessica Wingad said it was unclear why the council had even been asked to issue an approval in the first place.
The shire has not explained how one of its officers thought they had the power to approve or ban road collections.
This is cold comfort to CFA crews who feel they were denied permission by the council’s traffic and transport team to hold their popular holiday fundraiser as it was considered too dangerous and posed public liability risks.
The tin rattle held annually for the past 10 years usually raises about $10,000.
Captain Glenn Diamond said firefighters had been looking forward to this year’s collection day and the usual banter with motorists at the traffic lights at the corner of Nepean Highway and Dundas Street.
Logistically, it could only be held on the first weekend in January when many visitors and beachgoers flocked to the peninsula.
Now that time has passed, Captain Diamond says members can only look forward to next year’s tin rattle to raise the much-needed money.
Cr David Gill is so concerned about the CFA’s lost opportunity that he says the council should reimburse the $10,000 usually raised.
“We need to show some respect to these volunteers who risk their lives on our behalf,” he said.
“They are an essential service and they shouldn’t have to waste their time on minor matters such as this.”
Cr Gill said issues such as the roadside collections should come to a public council meeting for a decision “rather than being made by officers”.
“It doesn’t matter who is at fault, it should be rectified. The mistake should never have happened.”
Other volunteer groups, such as lifesaving clubs and SES crews, will no doubt be happy with the council’s clarification.