Car washes scrubbed out
COUNCIL officers say groups who conduct public car washes to raise money are damaging the environment and risking lives - and must be stopped.
Sporting and community groups are outraged they could lose thousands and miss crucial fundraising opportunities if the Cairns Regional Council today approves new regulations to ban public car washes.
If the measure is passed, stopping car owners from washing vehicles on roads or driveways at home is next.
A report to go to the council recommends a ban of "unlawful" roadside and car park washes while offering "potential" donations to groups who would lose money as a result of measures aimed to stop contaminants entering waterways.
Edmonton Storm Junior Rugby League Club president Barry Beswick said those calling for the ban "had rocks in their heads".
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Mr Beswick said sporting groups would not be able to effectively fundraise to send teams to events such as the Laurie Spina Shield in Townsville.
The team won the under-11 Laurie Spina Shield after making the journey – paid for through car washes across Cairns.
"They’ve got rocks in their head if they do this – you’ll have no one playing sports soon," Mr Beswick said.
"Some families can’t afford to fork out $1000 to send their kids to rep commitments."
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said a recent car wash fundraiser made the organisation $500.
She said the foundation and other groups would have to hold other events such as sausage sizzles instead of the washes but said they were not unsafe.
"They are hard work," she said.
"They are a good one for small community groups and kindergartens."
The report up for vote today calls for the council to give donations of concert tickets, free use of community halls for fundraisers or gifts through the mayor’s discretionary fund to groups who formerly used car washing as a means of fundraising.
The report says the contaminants from car washes are potentially harmful to the environment while also posing a risk to life through "uncontrolled behaviour".
The report suggests providing a mobile washbay facility, which previously cost too much in maintenance for Townsville and Gold Coast councils, providing a permanent washbay facility for $50,000 or introducing the regulations.
It says car washes: unlawfully release prescribed water contaminates to stormwater; do not have the required permits to conduct the activity on a roadway; compromises the safety of people washing the vehicles; does not meet council’s water conservation policy; opposes state and national government initiatives to protect the Great Barrier Reef; and are not equitable among the commercial building and car washing industries.
It says if the council chooses to stop charity groups from washing vehicles on roadways it would also have to adopt a new policy for residents washing vehicles on driveways and roads adjacent to their homes.
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Down the drain:Charity car washes might be a thing of the past if Cairns Regional Council gets its way.
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