Petition draws support
Bid to relocate ex-cons from Ellendale gathers momentum
A PETITION calling for the relocation of the Freedom Centre in Ellendale has attracted more than 2000 signatures and will continue for another week.
The petition was launched 10 days ago after outrage over the housing of three former sex offenders in a property owned by the Freedom community organisation.
Ellendale resident Tony Donaghy, a member of the committee seeking to have the former offenders relocated, says that paper copies of the change.org petition as well as the online version, had collected 2016 signatures by Monday.
“We’re very happy with the response we are getting so far,’’ Mr Donaghy said.
The property which houses three elderly former sex offenders has divided the small town with many people angry about the lack of consultation they received as well as the potential danger the men pose to the close-knit community.
The change.org petition, which is directed to the board and directors of Freedom Centre Inc, states “we, the deeply concerned citizens of the town of Ellendale, the surrounding districts in the Central Highlands and Derwent Valley, and concerned citizens in Tasmania at large, hereby petition that the Freedom Centre Inc relocate their premises from the remote, isolated and small township of Ellendale to a far more suitable location”.
The wording of the petition also expresses disappointment about the manner in which the facility was installed.
It also states the community organisation relocated the men to Ellendale, “covertly and hastily” as well as not con- sulting the community and “no effort made at risk assessment and mitigation”.
The petition will be sent to Freedom Centre director Elizabeth Coleman as well as Federal State and Local Government representatives.
One person, who signed the petition also wrote about the lack of safety they now felt within the town.
“My son will never be able to take a walk to his grandparents’ home, the park or the only shop in Ellendale due to the only access available for him is straight past this house,” the person wrote.
“My daughter is unable to catch the bus to and from school as it is the only public transport and these men are able to access this service with our children.”
Another who signed the petition said they had moved to Ellendale due to feeling safe in the small town.
CONTENT: Ellendale’s Tony Donaghy is pleased by the petition response.