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Blue Mountains News

Council Calls on State and Federal Governments to Cover Anzac Day Costs

Source: Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 12 Jan 2017
The Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, has responded to the cancellation of the Anzac Day marches across the Mountains due to the cost of traffic management and security measures imposed by the NSW government, saying, “The possible cancellation of ANZAC day marches is incredibly sad. It is a direct result of NSW government regulations. This is as upsetting to me as it will be to the community.”

The Mayor said that Blue Mountains City Council certainly shares the community sentiment for ANZAC Day as an important national day of remembrance and commemoration.

“It is important for the community to know that the Council has not cancelled the 2017 ANZAC marches,” said the Mayor. “This is a decision of the event organisers and not a decision of the Council. I know any decision to cancel the traditional ANZAC Day marches would be done with extreme reluctance by the RSL sub branches.”

Since 2015 it is a NSW Government requirement for all organisations, including community groups, to have a Traffic Management Plan in place for any event that involves the temporary closure of public roads, in the interest of public safety. Traffic management for these event road closures can no longer be conducted by volunteer personnel such as the RFS or SES.

Council has been supporting local RSL branches to conduct ANZAC Day marches since this regulation took effect to the value of approximately $35,000, in recognition of the requirement for traffic management plans and the associated cost.

“I have appealed to the NSW Government to fix this problem that comes under their area of responsibility,” said the Mayor. “The Council has assisted as much as possible within available resources, to help RSL sub branches with the traffic management costs over the last two years but the government has maintained the policy.”

Then in late 2016, new regulations imposed by the NSW Government require the installation of water barriers as additional traffic management and security measures, which come at significant additional cost to event organisers.

The Mayor said, “I am not questioning the need for safety measures but I think the NSW Government should fund the changes that it is requiring of event organisers, many of which are community groups and non-profit organisations.

State and Federal Governments should ensure the success of this nationally significant day, by helping to assist with funding and logistical support for the additional security requirements and not expect councils and community to pick up the cost.”

The Mayor said that the Council has repeatedly brought this issue to the attention of both the State and Federal governments.  “I wrote to the NSW Government again in the last few weeks on this issue with no response to date. We will continue to advocate for State and Federal Government support for this event of national importance.”

The Council is also actively seeking advice on other practical and more cost effective long term alternative solutions to water barriers or concrete barriers. Council continues to work with event organisers and NSW Government agencies to ensure the ongoing success of ANZAC Day commemorations.

 
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