I refer to Cr M. Kitchener’s letter to the Times of February 17. For the record neither council nor Team Gash have been keeping anyone in the dark as alleged. Council was one of the first councils to publish a discussion paper to inform residents and ratepayers about the complex issues and implications shortly after the original announcement of the proposed merger in December last year. Team Gash councillors have been attending many community and forum meetings to speak about the merger proposal and media coverage has been extensive.
In January, council took its formal position to object to the merger proposal in its present form because it was considered unworkable. An information flyer produced by council has been progressively distributed to households over the past couple of weeks. As mayor, I made personal representations to the delegate and our local members to ensure a second public inquiry was held in Ulladulla. I fully supported the need to run a community survey which shows 71.3 per cent of residents are against the merger.
Cr Kitchener is being deceitful referring to me having secret conversations with Premier Baird. Yes, I have had conversations and I informed all councillors about those. These conversations were about explaining why council objects to the proposal and not about any deals for a provisional council as Cr Kitchener alleges. There were 12 councillors present who voted unanimously to object to the proposal at the January meeting.
The use of sniffer dogs in pubs, clubs and festivals is a waste of money and endangers the lives of people who do take drugs.
In 2013 of the 17,746 people who were searched by police after so called detection by dogs it was found that 64 -72 per cent of these searches were false indications. In the cases were drugs were found, the amounts were small and for personal use and resulted in 2.44 per cent of convictions.
The National Drug and Alcohol Research Center conducted research of festival goers – 62 per cent responded that they would take drugs regardless of the presence of sniffer dogs, when they used would change but it would not stop.
As Mr Charlton would be acutely aware many people find an interaction with the police very stressful and to include sniffer dogs in that mix makes for a very negative interaction with the police. It has in fact been implied that freaked out young people have unintentionally overdosed due to the presence of sniffer dogs at festivals.
One wise person said to me that asking people to not take drugs was almost the same as asking people to not have sex before marriage - ludicrous and outdated.
Our society is awash with drugs and one of the most chronically abused is alcohol. Instead of sticking our heads in the sand or using punitive measures we should be redirecting precious resources to educate, treat and make safe illicit drug use through drug testing.
Regarding the long term viability of this nation I believe that the current Liberal government is un-Australian. It has no regard for Australian owned businesses or of anything other than the short term benefits to the coffers to support their short sighted policies.
The sale of the Van Diemen’s Land Dairy to the Chinese and the likely sale of Australia’s biggest cattle station also to the Chinese proves Morrison and his cronies are un-Australian.
It’s a government happy to see the demise of superannuation, home ownership, jobs for Australian mariners, car industry workers, scientists and other skilled professionals and the loss of agricultural lands and water rights to foreign enterprises.
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