South West Coast MP Roma Britnell is calling for Health Minister Jenny Mikakos to step in and find a solution to issues with rubbish collection at the Port Fairy Cemetery.

Cemeteries come under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health, with local cemeteries like Port Fairy managed by government appointed trusts made up of volunteers.

Mrs Britnell said at the very least, the department should provide funding for rubbish collection and other essential services.

“Here you have a group of volunteers who go above and beyond to make sure the cemetery is looked after so people have a place to pay tribute to their loved ones.

“They clean the toilets and make sure the grounds are maintained – They give up their time for the good of the community.”

Mrs Britnell said government cost shifting meant councils were trying to make savings wherever they could.

“Council has a right to be paid for the service it provides, but this creates a difficult situation for the volunteer groups which manage facilities on behalf of the Government,” she said.

“Unfortunately, this won’t be the last case we see like this and you have to question what will happen at local halls and sporting grounds and other facilities owned by government, but managed by trusts.

“I call on minister Mikakos to step in and for the department to take responsibility. I am sure the local ambulance station and the police station are not expected to pay for their rubbish collection so why should a volunteer group managing a facility on behalf of the government be expected to pay?

 

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