ALBURY councillor Darren Cameron has re-ignited the abortion protests debate with a provocative claim the anti-council forces will use the issue to mount another Voice For Indi style campaign.
Cr Cameron has broken his silence by declaring the key players wanting an exclusion zone created around the Englehardt Street abortion clinic were central figures in the successful election of Cathy McGowan in the federal seat of Indi last year.
Retired doctor Pieter Mourik, Susie Reid and Ms McGowan’s sister and Border GP, Rebecca, have been at the frontline of lobbying Albury Council to change its by-laws to stop the weekly protests from members of the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.
Cr Cameron said Dr Mourik had been repeatedly told the council can’t stop the protestors in a variety of forums including meetings and a recent press release.
“It is my contention Dr Mourik believes Albury Council is a miniature version of North Korea where we can stop people peacefully protesting in public spaces like Englehardt Street,” he said.
“He knows that is not true so what is his real agenda?
“I believe their agenda is political.
“They intend to bring political power to bear on the council and ultimately the state member for Albury, Greg Aplin.
“It is designed to create a body of people from which they can harvest political candidates and support in the future.”
Dr Mourik will be looking to add to the 1200 signatures he has already collected today and at some stage present them to the council.
He will be located at the entrance of Centrepoint in Olive Street from 9am.
Dr Mourik said Cr Cameron was entitled to his political thoughts, but was out of step with popular opinion on wanting the protesters banned.
“If an elected councillor doesn’t listen to the majority of his electorate he will live to regret it,” Dr Mourik said.
“We call it the Cathy McGowan factor.
“But I think he is paranoid.
“We are not restricting freedom of speech, we are restricting the violation of privacy which is sacrosanct.
“I think he is signing his own death warrant (politically).”
Dr Mourik said the petition was launched to measure the “significant community interest” in the issue which could force council to re-visit its policy.
The issue is not an agenda item at Monday’s Albury Council meeting as Dr Mourik had hoped.