Ian and Chris Robins operate Food is Free and the Purple Dove Awareness Group.
Ian and Chris Robins operate Food is Free and the Purple Dove Awareness Group.

Couple get council reprieve to continue charitable work

AFTER coming under scrutiny from Southern Downs Regional Council, the charitable Robins duo have something to cheer about.

The couple, Chris and Ian Robins, run the Food is Free initiative from their home at The Summit, as well as not-for-profit organisation the Purple Dove Awareness Group and provide food and toiletry hampers to Granite Belt Water Relief.

The pair were sent a 'Show Cause' notice by SDRC in July, with the council claiming they were acting on complaints from the community.

Council argued they didn't have the required approvals to conduct their business.

But at Wednesday's monthly general council meeting, councillors voted unanimously to waive the approval fee, of $1450, and allow the couple to continue on business as usual.

"The Purple Dove Awareness Group have been integral in, and have a passion for, providing support for the community of Stanthorpe and district," Cr Sheryl Windle said.

"All the funds they raise are donated to cancer charity, Hope Horizon, so I support the motion.

"They do an amazing job."

The Robins have been given until June 30, 2020, to lodge the necessary approvals, at no cost.

"This is very unusual. I can't remember a time where we've said we won't charge any application fees," Cr Jo McNally said.

"We usually give a discount for not for profits. Obviously councillors understand what this group is doing in the community and thank them for that."

Council were also sent a petition in support of the Robins, as well as dozens of encouraging letters.

Chris Robins said it was a huge weight off their shoulders.

"We're really thrilled about it. That allows us to be able to put that money into more non-perishables for our farmers," she said.

"The way we saw it is that, that money could be spent in the community, for our cancer patients and for our farmers.

"It's been stressing us out for a while now."

Chris said their application has been prepared and is ready to go.

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