Thursday, November 25, 2010

Freedom wins one in Parramatta

A few months ago the nannies , lead by Big  Nanny Clr Michael McDermott, managed to ban smoking from out door dinning in Parramatta.  Fortunately thanks to a campaign by the restaurateurs, the ban has been overturned. 
The council’s turnaround of its July decision came after a restaurant advocate addressed councillors on Monday night before a 8000-signature petition against the ban was presented by Cr Lorraine Wearne.

The restaurant advocate, Michael Rihma, made an impassioned plea that restaurants would lose business if the smoking ban was imposed.

“This is not an issue about supporting smoking - this is a fundamental issue of our democratic right,” Mr Rihma said in the council’s public forum.

“The council made a decision without due diligence. Not one business out of over 100 in the Parramatta region I have spoken to was consulted about this decision before it was made.”

Cr Wearne, supported by Liberal councillors and former lord mayor Paul Garrard - who reversed his earlier position - voted to overturn its July 25 resolution.

They voted to have “broad consultation” with diners and restaurateurs over the next 12 months before deciding which stance to take.

A shaken deputy mayor Cr Michael McDermott, who drove the smoking ban, was caught unawares by the motion, which was not on the business paper.

He told the Advertiser that he “feels betrayed” by the Liberal councillors, led by Cr John Chedid, who gave him no indication that the issue was to be debated on Monday night.

McDermott feels betrayed?  Clr McDermott should know all about betrayal . He was a member of the Liberal Party who left to stand against Liberals as an independent. Apparently he will be standing  in the up coming state election as an independent too.

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