Anzac Day organisers told to dig into own pockets

 

Community groups organising Anzac Day services across Ipswich were told to pay thousands for professional traffic control after the region's council refused to provide support for the sacred event.

Ipswich City Council bureaucrats shocked veterans' groups this month by revealing they would be left on their own to hire traffic control companies and close roads during the Dawn Service and Anzac Day marches.

Previously, council employees have provided signage and support for several services across the urban and rural region.

Ipswich City Council Mayor Teresa Harding has pledged to reverse the policy.
Ipswich City Council Mayor Teresa Harding has pledged to reverse the policy.

The Anzac Day organising committees, largely made up of older volunteers, were left stunned when staff from the $606.1 million council revealed no cash could be provided for this year's event.

Instead, groups were told community grants worth up to $1000 were available to help cover the cost of paying traffic controllers for the commemorations.

Several people involved in organising events slammed the offer, raising concerns about the time required to complete an application and likelihood of success.

However, after questions from The Courier-Mail, Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding acknowledged the request was "inadequate" and pledged to rectify the situation.

"Some organising committees raised questions about council providing financial support for traffic management as has occurred in years gone by," she said.

"Council has previously provided ad hoc support to some services for traffic management, however the current policy only allows for financial support to be provided to the Ipswich CBD march and associated service.

"This is clearly inadequate and at the next council meeting we will bring forward a policy to ensure services receive the support they require."

The Anzac Day Dawn Service at Ipswich in 2019.
The Anzac Day Dawn Service at Ipswich in 2019.

Bundamba Anzac Organising Committee Chair Brad Strong said his the committee was told it would have to source its own signage, lights and a "small army of stop-go men".

"It could be quite expensive," he said.

"We're a small, honourable committee who have done this for 100 years.

"Of any single community event, Anzac Day stands alone and should be treated properly."

Mr Strong later revealed a council manager had made contact, pledging to investigate what support could be provided.

Groups say the council planned to withdraw support for last year's Anzac Day services before COVID-19 cancelled all events.

The city's largest Anzac Day event through the centre of the CBD will receive support from the council and Queensland Police.

 

 

Originally published as Anzac Day organisers told to dig into own pockets



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