City asked to ‘zone out’ abortion clinic

A PETITION demanding more protection for vulnerable women attending the Englehardt Street abortion clinic will be presented to Albury Council’s next meeting.

Dr Pieter Mourik has been the face of the petition which has been circulating for almost three weeks.

He said he expected a tally this weekend to show at least 2000 people had signed the petition and that should be enough for the council to alter its by-laws and create a clinic exclusion zone.

He said councillor David Thurley would present the petition as a supporter of the cause.

“We believe the council has a duty not to fob us off and say it is a police and state government problem,” Dr Mourik said.

“They should respond to the majority view.

“I would wonder if there has been a petition to the council anywhere near that figure.”

Twelve months ago, a petition calling on the NSW government to invest more in regional arts infrastructure attracted more than 3000 signatures in Albury.

Dr Mourik said the councillors were acutely aware of the massive community response.

“They need to discuss this on behalf of the community,” he said.

The council has resisted pressure from Dr Mourik and his supporters to re-visit the issue.

A recent press release said the state government was better equipped to deal with the issue.

But Dr Mourik said not all councillors agreed with that view.

He understood most councillors were “totally supportive”.

“We are not interested in Parliament at this stage,” he said.

Councillor Darren Cameron said he disputed Dr Mourik’s claim that he had majority support of councillors.

“He will find what we have told him privately and in the press release is true and that council has no ability to stop peaceful public protests,” he said.

“I am not aware of any dissention among councillors over the press release issued after consultation with all councillors.”