Insurance fears block volunteer

Colin Easther (85) wants to continue volunteering but the Town feels at his age, he is too much of an insurance risk. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d425883
Colin Easther (85) wants to continue volunteering but the Town feels at his age, he is too much of an insurance risk. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d425883

Lathlain resident Colin Easther, a long-standing volunteer with the Town, raised the issue at a special September meeting.

Town community life director Tina Ackerman said the council’s insurance would not fully cover volunteers over 85 years. She said allowing them to volunteer without adequate insurance coverage would be irresponsible.

Its insurance provider is LGIS and its chief executive Jonathon Seth said while he could not comment publicly on individual local government claims, he confirmed the company’s accidental death cover was limited to $5000 for people aged 5 to 15 and 86 to 90.

‘Where a volunteer is 90 and above but is still fit and able to continue contributing to the community by way of volunteering, the local government is encouraged to contact LGIS for further advice on coverage options,’ Mr Seth said.

Ms Ackerman said the Town had a responsibility to Mr Easther and his family, as well all to all of the Town’s volunteers, to ensure no one was put at risk.

She said two volunteers at the Town had been affected by the policy this year and a meeting was planned between Mr Easther, the Town and LGIS to discuss the matter.

Mr Easther admitted he was not as active as he once was.

‘I can’t run a mile, but can still drive a car and get out and about and act as a mentor,’ He said.

‘Even if they took out insurance for just half a day, I don’t mind paying that myself.

‘It gives me something to do and something to give back to the community.

‘I enjoy it.’