TASMANIA is blessed with many community and service clubs that support and run events that enrich our lives.
Members of these clubs volunteer and organise events and then donate the profits straight back into the community.
Their reward is camaraderie and the knowledge that they are giving something back to a state that has given them an unrivalled lifestyle.
For decades Launceston's Carols by Candlelight has been an iconic Christmas celebration in Launceston's City Park.
Similar events are held around Tasmania and, indeed, throughout Australia.
This event is for families and a community and the musical talent is invariably local as well.
The Launceston event has been organised by the Riverside Lions Club for 55 years and it is their major fundraiser.
The profit from the event goes to The Examiner's Empty Stocking Fund which in turn distributes it to four major charities to help the less fortunate.
When we read about this Lions Club deciding that the red tape, insurance and occupational health and safety costs are too much for it to handle then we know that something is dreadfully wrong.
The club is happy to man the gates and coordinate the event on the day but, quite understandably, its members haven't got the time to spend up to seven months complying with local and state government regulations and red tape before they even open those gates.
Volunteering is about manpower and meeting people - it isn't about filling out countless forms and taking on some enormous legal responsibility for a charity event.
Yes, there are regulations which ensure safety, but there also needs to be common sense.
This isn't an isolated incident. Launceston's Festivale has long laboured under onerous regulations just so its volunteer committee can deliver one of the nation's best food festivals.
At one other local sports event, an organiser was planning a corporate viewing tent and was told that regulations dictated that it must include a disabled toilet even though no one with a disability was attending.
Many of the restrictions and regulations are applied by local government which is really passing on what is imposed at a state level - it is death by red tape.
There must surely be a way where community events have a one-stop government location that covers the paperwork. They would have the expertise, know the dangers, provide the paperwork and also provide the scissors to cut through that red tape.
Launceston cannot afford to lose the Carols by Candlelight - it won't happen.
It is an event for this city in City Park so it has the Launceston City Council written all over it.
Ironically it is the council which requires most of these OH&S regulations for its park to be used so it must have the expertise to cover this part of the paperwork and compliance.
Mayor van Zetten, a challenge awaits you and your aldermen.