Council holds firm over new Lolly Run format

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
The Lolly Run at Christmas in 1964.
Camera IconThe Lolly Run at Christmas in 1964.

The City of Kwinana is sticking to its guns and will not reinstate the Christmas Day Lolly Run in its original format — despite community backlash.

The 65-year-old tradition sees Santa and his helpers travel on the back of utes to deliver lollies to children from 7.30am on Christmas Day.

But the City said the event posed an “unacceptable” health and safety risk and this month made the controversial decision to create a new-look event. The new format will include two specially designed trucks and experienced drivers escorting volunteers through the streets each night in the seven days leading up to Christmas. It has been met with opposition from thousands of residents.

Michael Williams presented a petition of 1586 signatures to the council last week calling for the decision to be reconsidered.

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Mr Williams said the Christmas Day Lolly run had been held in Kwinana since 1954 and had not missed a year since. He said it was an important event to the community and that the new look event only seemed to “increase risks” associated with the event.

But mayor Carol Adams said the City would not consider reinstating the event to its original format.

“The safety of our volunteers and the community must be our first priority,” she said.

Cr Adams said the City had reflected on the OHS risks associated with the Lolly Run after the “terrible incident” at Curtin University that resulted in the death of a young man at his workplace. “The City must ensure its risk-management policies, processes and practices are best practice,” she said.

The City the said the event posed residual risk ratings of “high” and “extreme”.

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