Charity ending on public land

THE City of Joondalup continues its process to ban charity clothing bins on public land.

At its December 15 meeting, the council voted to “declare its intention to make a determination… that the placing or maintaining of collections bins on local government property throughout the district is an activity which is prohibited”.

Mayor Troy Pickard said it was the final step in the process the City started in June when councillors voted to no longer issue permits for the installation of charity clothing bins on City-owned and managed land because of ongoing issues at the bin sites, including rubbish dumping, vandalism and graffiti.

At the council briefing, corporate services director Mike Tidy said not issuing permits did not stop a charity from being able to apply for a permit and object to any refusal, taking the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal.

He said for the City to refuse to consider an application, it needed to prohibit the activity.

In September, councillors voted to initiate an amendment to the Local Government and Public Property Local Law, which was finalised last month.

“It has been gazetted and it is now in effect,” Mr Tidy said.

He said the next stage was to make the determination to prohibit the activity, which councillors approved 10-1, with Cr John Chester voting against.

This will be advertised for 21 days, returning to the council to consider any submissions made.

“It sounds like a very long, convoluted process but unfortunately it’s the process we have,” Mr Tidy said.

Spine and Limb Foundation manager Joe Tuson continues to disagree with the council’s decision.

He said the City’s alternative collection methods, which include clothing collection days, were not economically viable.

“The first clothing collection day collected 2900kg at a cost to the City’s ratepayers of $5800 or about $2 per kilogram,” he said.

“In contrast, the administration cost for the reporting of vandalised bin sites for an entire 12-month period was $2100.

“Spine and Limb Foundation collect 192,000kg of clothing from its bins during the same period on council land at a cost of merely 1.1c per kilogram.”

He also said the volume of collected items using the alternative methods were not large enough.

“When you do something that’s contemporary and innovative and a first, there is always a starting point,” Mr Pickard said.

“We commenced our first collection day which was successful and it will only go one direction from here and that is up.”

The City has set up a working group with representatives of the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul and Anglicare to look at more alternative strategies to collect donations.