Shaken Petty urges residents to speak up

Councillor Greg Petty has called on  Helensburgh to ‘‘do the right thing’’ and give Crimestoppers a call about continuing attacks against him.

The Wollongong councillor said yesterday he was at his wits’ end and feared for his family’s safety after yet another incident at his Walker Street home last Friday night, when someone cut power to the property and disabled the CCTV system.

Cr Petty believes the attack – the 16th against him during the past 18 months – was another attempt to intimidate him because of his job on the council and his stance on  land zoning issues in the area.

He said no member of the public, let alone an elected official, should be subjected to intimidation for doing their job.

He called on residents to speak up if they knew who was behind the attacks.

"I'm calling on the people of Helensburgh to do the right thing," he said yesterday, admitting he was still shaken by Friday's incident. "Intimidation of anyone who is doing their job is an affront to democracy and humanity."

Cr Petty said he had lived "trouble-free" in Helensburgh for more than a decade until he began a campaign to protect environmentally sensitive land at Helensburgh, Otford and Stanwell Tops last year.

He yesterday claimed acts of intimidation against him had escalated since the land-rezoning issue had come to the floor of council, despite the fact pecuniary interest laws prohibited him from participating in debate or voting on the matter.

"I don't think people understand that I'm not the one making decisions about the land; I'm not allowed to," he said.

Cr Petty reiterated his call for the council to provide him with increased security, including an upgraded CCTV system or security guard.

However, the council maintained its stance against such a move.

"This matter is primarily a matter for the NSW police," a council spokesman said. "Council is liaising with the NSW police on this issue and also the Division of Local Government."

Anyone with information, call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

PETTY HIT LIST

February 2011: A car parked at the Pettys’ front gate has four windows smashed.

June 2011: He  receives a series of threats via email.

December 2011: Cr Petty reports being verbally abused. He later finds a four-inch screw in his horse’s feed bin.

April 2012: An unknown person dumps a trailer load of asbestos product at the front of Cr Petty’s home during the night. ■July 2012: A false rumour circulates in Helensburgh that Cr Petty’s wife Brenda has passed away.

September 2012: An unknown person cuts the wire on the automatic gate at the entrance to the Petty property.

December 2012: Perpetrators cut power to the  Pettys’ property and disconnect their CCTV system.

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