Council bears cost, but shirks responsibility

Latrobe Valley RSLs will receive funding to cover Anzac Day and Remembrance Day traffic management costs until the end of next year, but could be on their own after that unless another source of funding is found.

At Monday night’s Latrobe City Council meeting councillors voted to provide funding until the end of 2018 when the Anzac centenary commemoration period ends.

According to a council officer’s report, 2017 Anzac Day and Remembrance Day traffic management expenses across the municipality will cost about $23,500.

Traffic management is a legislative requirement once a road is closed for an event.

The motion passed by councillors also resolved council would continue working with local RSLs to lobby other levels of government to meet traffic management expenses on an ongoing basis.

It comes after disagreement between the three levels of government as to who is responsible for traffic management costs on these days. Councillor Dale Harriman told the meeting council could only cover the expenses for the next two years.

“What I’d love to say is ‘we’re covering it for forever and a day’ – we can’t,” Cr Harriman said.

“We’re only doing it for two years to work out how we’ll do it in the future.”

He said council would continue to investigate options for other levels of government to cover the costs.

Council will also investigate the possibility of sourcing corporate sponsorship and engaging other service organisations to assist with traffic management operations.

The situation will be reviewed ahead of 2019 Anzac Day and Remembrance Day planning.

Council first paid for traffic management expenses in 2015 as part of the centenary of Anzac Day.

In late 2015 Traralgon RSL revealed signage and contractor costs for 2014 Anzac Day services in Traralgon and Glengarry were $10,500 – money that could have been spent on veteran welfare.

Councillors unanimously voted to support the motion.