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Roland Rocchiccioli - astounded at the ACCC's treatment of Dally Messenger III

Roland Rocchiccioli

ACCC and Messenger: Table of Contents

(from the Melbourne Weekly 24-9-2008)

- Return to the the Dark Ages -
The more freedoms we have,
the more freedoms we are denied.

hear & there

I am a baby boomer, a product of the 1950s. I was born two years after World War II. They were exciting times. Australia was on the march, and as I remember there was spirit of adventure, overt determination, and genuine camaraderie. In my lifetime we have advanced from the horse and cart to the cutting edge of science and technology; social mores have altered drastically and not always for the better. It sometimes seems to me our lack of regard for each other is promoted by blatant ambition, profit, and lack of caring. The bank forced me to sell up and left me penniless, absolutely.

I was astounded when I read a story written by Lawrence Money in the Age Diary. He explained how civil celebrant Dally Messenger had put his name to a letter on behalf of civil celebrants, asking for an increase in the fees of civil celebrants.

After being informed by a funeral Director, the ACCC , without interviewing Mr Messenger, issued proceedings in the Federal Court. Following mediation, Mr Messenger, President of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants, was gagged from comment under threat of further prosecution.

I have no doubt there are finer points of law about which I am totally ignorant. but I am at loss to understand how, in this democratic land of free enterprise, one's request for an increase in payment can be in violation of the Trade Practices Act, and result in a fine and legal costs totaling $64,000?

Mr Messenger has found a supporter in Liberal Senator Judith Troeth. She said in the Senate:"Mr Messenger is a 70 year-old pensioner. He lives with his wife in Melbourne. Obviously he is in no position whatever to pay this money, and I find it extremely ironic that the ACCC - which is supposed to encourage competition, discourage monopoly and look after the small trader, the small businessman, and protect them from big monopolies, is forcing this gentleman to pay this money, which he can certainly not afford:-
"1 understand there are collections being taken up and so on. But I felt it only fair to raise this matter in the Senate because his efforts to 'raise it in other places have not met with much success. I sincerely hope that the ACCC finds reason to take up this case again. look at it again, and consider what its true responsibilities are."

To date friends have collected $17,000. Last night a benefit dinner and show was staged al Bells Hotel, South Melbourne (after this magazine went to press). The evening was to be hosted by Greg Evans, also a civil celebrant, and was to feature performances by Julia Messenger and one of the all-time great clarinetists, AIex Hutchinson.
Anyone wishing to help the cause can email or call 9419 0460
You can contact Roland at

Books for sale from the Celebrants Centre 1300 446 786 Yvonne -
Ceremonies - all
Ceremonies and Celebrations Book and CD
Celebrant Training in History
Marriage Ceremonies
It's Your Wedding by Dally Messenger