Councillors vote yes on Wollongong’s peculiar alcohol-free zones

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The Greens' 'Sniff Off' campaign present at the Yours and Owls music festival this weekend

Outside the festival gates at Stuart Park on Sunday, ‘Sniff Off’ campaigners sought signatures on a petition opposing the use of sniffer dogs in drug searches. The Greens want  a "harm reduction" approach to drugs, rather than a criminalisation approach, and would also like to see pill-testing at festivals.

Read the article in The Illawarra Mercury, 27 September 2019, by Brendan Crabb

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Greens councillor urges review of alcohol-free zones

Wollongong council has voted to extend the city’s so-called alcohol-free zones for another four years, but deferred a decision on police “tip-out” powers at a new proposed area, Osborne Park. The zonings expire on September 30. Councillors lingered over multiple peculiarities linked to the rules at their Monday meeting. Greens Councillor Mithra Cox made the case for postponing a decision to allow council to evaluate the success of the zones, in line with ministerial guidelines. However, council decided to rubber-stamp the present zoning.

Read the article by Angela Thompson in The Illawarra Mercury 6 September 2018

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Wollongong council won't back marine park covering Five Islands

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ABC Illawarra interview with Jamie Dixon

There's a by-election for Wollongong City Council, Ward 3, on 24 November 2018. In this interview, Greens candidate Jamie Dixon, deals with some tough questions from ABC Radio Illawarra's Nick Rheinberger!

Listen, and see some photos of Jamie, other Greens, and, of course, alpacas.

 

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Council approves synthetic pitch for Kooloobong Oval, despite Greens councillors objecting

Wollongong City councillors have voted to finalise a decade-long agreement with the University of Wollongong (UOW), which will see a controversial synthetic football pitch built at Keiraville’s Kooloobong Oval. The majority of councillors backed the VPA being finalised in its current form. The Greens councillors, Mithra Cox and Cath Blakey voted against the move, along with two Labor councillor.

Read the article by Andrew Pearson in The Illawarra Mercury, 4 September 2018

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Greens name Wollongong City Council byelection contender

Jamie Dixon will contest the November 24 Wollongong City Council Ward 3 by-election for the Greens. The 45-year-old lives in Koonawarra and is an alpaca shearer and psychologist to be. Jamie. ran for the Greens, in the same ward, at the general election last September. Mr Dixon polled strongly then and hopes to go one better this time. The by-election, which the Liberal party won’t contest, was sparked by the resignation of Labor councillor Chris Connor.

Read the article by Andrew Pearson, Illawarra Mercury, 3 September 2018

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No-fish sanctuary at Five Islands backed by Wollongong councillor

A marine sanctuary zone over part of the Five Islands is exactly what marine life needs to ensure it thrives, Wollongong Greens Councillor Cath Blakey said. Under plans proposed by the State Government, Flinders Islet (Toothbrush Island) would become a sanctuary zone, where fishing of any sort would not be allowed, other than Aboriginal cultural and heritage usage. The rest of the Five Islands zone would be a “special purpose zone”, where recreational and commercial fishing would be allowed, including spear fishing, taking abalone, and rock lobster fishing. But gathering shells and marine vegetation would be off-limits as the islands are an important seabird habitat.

Read the article by Ben Langford in The Illawarra Mercury, 2 September 2018.

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Masked protest against ‘secrecy’ on Wollongong Coal order

A group of Illawarra environmentalists, including Greens councillors Mithra Cox and Cath Blakey, wore disguises on Friday as they staged a protest in slow motion over Wollongong Coal’s Russell Vale slag heap. The protest was staged to coincide with Wollongong Coal’s annual general meeting which was held on Friday in Towradgi. Illawarra Residents for Responsible Mining (IRRM) said Wollongong City Council (WCC) had known for years about the unlawful 200,000 tonne stockpile, which is partly on public land, but had been too slow to act.

Read the article by Ben Langford in The Illawarra Mercury, 24 August 2018

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The Greens' 'Sniff Off' campaign launches in Wollongong

The Greens have attacked the police’s drug dog program, as the party launched its ‘Sniff Off’ campaign in Wollongong on Friday. Greens MP David Shoebridge, the ‘Sniff Off’ team and Wollongong Greens councillor Cath Blakey launched the initiative. 

Mr Shoebridge cited figures that in 2017, 70.73 per cent of searches in the Wollongong Police District were false positives, and that over the past five years out of 620 recorded searches no drugs were found in 447 cases. Cr Blakey said there was great concern within the Wollongong community about sniffer dogs, and local music festivals  had been targeted. 

Read the article by Brendan Crabb in The Illawarra Mercury, 27 July 2018

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