Kevin Mack says abortion clinic hassle an issue for the police

WOMEN who feel harassed by anti-abortion protesters were yesterday again urged to take their grievances to police.

Albury mayor Kevin Mack said that remained the only option for people who believed they had been hassled by people outside the Englehardt Street clinic.

Cr Mack said the council had been assured by the Albury local area command that it was “the most appropriate regulatory authority” to deal with complaints.

“Anyone accessing the clinic who feels harassed or intimidated is advised to call the police immediately,” he said.

The council told the Rights to Privacy Albury group on Wednesday night that it could not create an exclusion zone in Englehardt Street to keep protesters away from the clinic.

That was followed by the release of a separate statement at midday yesterday.

In that, the council said it had “reinforced” earlier advice that creating an exclusion zone on a public road “is not supported by the NSW Local Government Act” and so “urged the petitioners to take up their cause with the state government”.

Cr Mack said the group had acknowledged the receipt of Wednesday night’s emailed letter.

“They basically are asking us to do something about it, which is quite quizzical, given that we have taken legal advice, we have spent money on this process, we have gone right down this path,” he said.

“I am confident in my capacity as a Victorian policeman and as a councillor that this council has gone above and beyond with this matter.

“If we could do something to solve this riddle we would.”

Cr Mack said the council would continue to provide support where it could.

But said the tabling of general manager Frank Zaknich’s report at this month’s planning and development committee meeting would represent “the end” of the issue for the council.

“It’s done and dusted,” he said.