The story 'Safe access zone possible’ (The Border Mail, February 22) reported that the legal advice obtained by Albury Council provides that it is possible to declare a safe access zone under the Local Government Act. However the recommendation to the Council's meeting on Monday evening is that council take no further action and wait until legislation is considered by the NSW Parliament, possibly in April or May.
While the legal advice does mention some problems with enforcement and possible challenges, it should not stop council from deciding on action to stop the bullying and harassment of women visiting the fertility clinic in Englehardt Street.
A number of decisions by council often are subject to legal challenges but this hasn't stopped council from making decisions in the past. Further if council does adopt the safe access zone in the terms suggested by the legal advice, then any subsequent action is possibly minimised. Also it would put the council in a strong position to request the member for Albury Greg Aplin support the legislation when being debated in the NSW Parliament.
However I would not hold my breath waiting for the current NSW government to act, as this legislation does not involve selling public assets or demolishing sports stadiums to rebuild.
It is about time that Albury Council supported women attending this clinic and stopping any bullying and harassment of women who are seeking medical attention.
The actions in Englehardt Street have gone on for long enough and now the women attending this clinic should be given free and unimpeded access and not have to run the gauntlet. I urged Councillors to adopt the Safe Access Zone in Englehardt Street as drafted by their legal advisors thus allowing women safe access to this clinic.
If people want to protest they could do it in Dean Street. Let’s get on with it and show the state government what can be done.
Peter Hood, Albury
Car parks are flawed
The designs of car parks are to fit in as many cars as possible and not take into account their Occupation Health and Safety requirements that are required for other work places. Our car insurance policies could be reduced if they were designed correctly as the majority of us would have witnessed or had their car involved in a car park accident.
The design of car parks dates back to when the majority of cars were sedans and station wagons but with increasing numbers of 4WDs and SUVs, the vision has been decreased significantly. Firstly all car parks should be designed to have traffic flow in one direction only. This should have always been the case to allow good traffic flow.
Secondly the car park should be at least an angle of 15 per cent instead of parallel parking. This would allow better vision of oncoming vehicles when reversing out of your car park. Thirdly there should be a walking path in front of the vehicles large enough to allow a pram to fit.
Children walking behind vehicles are always a concern as they are difficult to see and they may not be aware of the reversing light.
John Walker, Wangaratta
Letter of the week
The winner of the letter of the week is Sheridan Williams, of Chiltern. You can collect your prize from the offices of The Border Mail at 1 McKoy Street, Wodonga.