THE Catholic priest at the centre of a storm over donations to St Vincent de Paul believes the needy in Fiji would welcome clothes and other items being sent to the tip.
Monsignor Brian Rayner, the parish priest at Catherine Laboure Church, Gymea, was refused permission to take clothes, towels and sheets from skip bins at the society's Sutherland shop to send to Fiji.
When he asked for clothing for a visiting missionary priest, he said he was told to go through the regional welfare office or "pay for it just like anybody else".
Monsignor Rayner said he had been assured these and other matters raised in a letter by regional president Michael Towke were being addressed.
The priest, who recently retired as the principal Catholic naval chaplain, had sent donated goods to Fiji since being posted to HMAS Cerberus in Melbourne in 1993, where it was the practice.
"Living standards in about 60 per cent of Fiji are of Third World standard and our shipments are greatly appreciated," he said.
Since moving to Gymea in 2005, he and parishioners have sent 75 containers to the Catholic archbishop and nuns in Suva for distribution to families, schools, boys' homes and a maternity hospital.
Donated items are stored in a container and garage at the Gymea church and are carefully packed into two containers for shipment every six weeks.
"I have asked them at various times to let us know if there is anything they don't need and the answer is always 'no, we can use everything you send'," he said.
Donated goods include clothes, footwear, toys, tools, fishing equipment, small electrical appliances, furniture, bikes and even a tractor.