Boolarra Folk Festival

Ms BATH (Eastern Victoria) (18:45): (2109) My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, and it relates to a fantastic festival. I am asking on behalf of the festival, but I think it has a far wider context for our community groups and festivals. Carolyne Boothman at the moment is the acting president of the Boolarra Folk Festival, a festival that has been going for 20 years. It is a highly successful and joyful community festival bringing in all the best of our folk music but also food. There is massive community involvement, and it also brings tourists into the fantastic area of the Boolarra.

In the past their traffic management system used volunteers, and those volunteers completed a course through the Latrobe City Council very successfully. I think it was a good working relationship, and the 4-hour course was conducted by volunteers. In speaking with Carolyne this afternoon, the Boolarra Folk Festival has an exemplary record in terms of traffic, pedestrian and vehicle safety throughout its 20-year history. They have been told by Latrobe City Council—and this is no fault of Latrobe’s—that they can no longer do that 4-hour volunteer course and that they have to do a five-day course in order to become traffic management safety personnel. Carolyne said, ‘Our volunteers cannot take five days off work, and if we have to pay for those five-day courses or even the time off work in terms of reimbursement, it will just not be feasible for these small, community-based groups’, and across our rural and regional areas this will be the case. She has tried to make contact with Regional Roads Victoria in Traralgon—she has emailed, called and visited the physical premises—to no avail.

I ask the minister to provide context around what is required of volunteers during festivals in order to have traffic management systems in place that provide safety but not to have to attend a five-day course. It is very preclusive, and we do not want to see the demise of our fantastic festivals, community organisations, exhibitions and activities that involve car management systems. Could the minister please contact Carolyne Boothman—she is quite happy for that—but also outline in a broader context around these festivals what will be done and whether it can be done so that it is achievable by our fantastic volunteers well into the future.