Councillors divided over ice smoking room policy

An ice user lights up. Picture: Shannon Morris

An ice user lights up. Picture: Shannon Morris

Campbelltown councillor Fred Borg said a policy from fellow councillor Paul Lake to oppose ice (methamphetamine) smoking rooms in the area has done more harm than good to Campbelltown’s name and reputation.

The policy was one of Cr Lake’s Community First Group’s main policies heading into the recent local government elections.

Earlier this year several experts suggested the rooms – similar to heroin injecting rooms in Kings Cross – should be established in Sydney’s south west.

Cr Lake said the suggestions sparked the policy.

“The only reason I brought it up was because it was in the paper that there was talk trialling them in the south west, and the south west stretches down to Campbelltown,” he said.

“I’d be straight up against anything like that in the Campbelltown LGA.

“I don’t want anything that would encourage (drug use).

“The only thing ice is good for is cooling drinks.

“There was no need for anyone to get their knickers in a knot.”

Councillor Paul Lake. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

Councillor Paul Lake. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

Cr Borg said all the policy did was suggest Campbelltown in particular had a problem with the drug.

“We know ice is prevalent and everywhere but I wouldn’t be telling everyone that we don’t want ice smoking rooms because it insinuates we have a problem,” he said.

“When you say things like that it makes it seem like we have a major problem here.

“It’s not doing Campbelltown any favours.”

Councillor Fred Borg. Picture: Ben Chenoweth

Councillor Fred Borg. Picture: Ben Chenoweth

Cr Borg said he had an issue with promises from all candidates running for council.

“I don’t think you can promise anything to people before the election because (the majority of councillors) have to agree with you (for the policy or motion to be adopted),” he said.

“I just tell the people of Campbelltown I will work for them but I think some of the candidates are under-estimating the intelligence of voters.”

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