Roadside litter off limits for community service
The Corrections Department won’t allow offenders to pick up roadside rubbish for health and safety reasons but Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher said it is treating them like babies.
Kircher has approached Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean to get action on North Otago’s litter problem.
He wants to see offenders serving community service keeping the region free of rubbish but corrections health and safety rules are standing in the way.
He approached Corrections with his proposal but was told community service workers are unable to do this kind of work because of health and safety issues.
‘‘ Strict’’ rules apply to offenders working on main streets and road verges.
Corrections Department Otago district manager Raymond Clark told the Waitaki Herald offenders doing community work in Oamaru can pick up litter in parks and recreation areas but ‘‘for health and safety reasons Corrections will not provide offenders on community work to pick up litter on main streets and road verges’’.
‘‘We have always done, and continue to do, many hours of work for the council via Kurow Town Enhancement Project, community gardens, Moeraki Walkway, Kakanui Walkway, and Oamaru Creek, and have been heavily involved in the development of the Oamaru foreshore project in the past when offender numbers allowed it.’’
But Kircher said another sign of correctness.
‘‘There are lots of areas where there is hardly any traffic and we are not talking about getting out on the highway. We’d take all safety measures including vests. People walk on these roads all the time. They are treating them like babies.’’
He said he had talked about it to Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean.
Dean said she was keen to follow up the issue with Corrections to clarify what the problem was but until then there wasn’t much to be done.
‘‘It’s concerning if that is the case because community work is an important part of community sentences,’’ she said. it was political
Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher is unhappy about Correction’s health and safety rules preventing offenders from picking up roadside rubbish.