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Drugs and crime are major issues in Moree Plains: Kerry Cassells

JUSTICE Health clinical nurse specialist Kerry Cassells has seen plenty during her 55 years in Moree and now that she has been elected to Moree Plains Shire Council, she plans to confront the many problems facing the town that she loves.

Ms Cassells joins Katrina Humphries, Sue Price, Stephen Ritchie, Jim Crawford, Greg Smith, George Chiu, Mike Montgomery and John Tramby as a newly-elected member of Moree Plains Shire Council, and says the journey from candidate to councillor has been “one hell of a ride”.

“We heeded the call of the residents and must now endeavour to do whatever we can to address their concerns,” she said.

Ms Cassells says crime and drugs are huge problems in the Moree Plains Shire and that an increase of CCTV of all known crime hot-spots is desperately needed.

“My passion is educating the community on the evils of drugs . . . not just on the user, but on the families affected and the community as a whole,” Ms Cassells said.

“We should consider bringing back Neighbourhood Watch and Safe Houses for Moree and it villages in an effort to reduce crime and to have a safe haven for children, many of which are too afraid to go home.

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Kerry Cassells at home, a day after being elected to Moree Plains Shire Council.

“We need to work with the appropriate crime prevention organisations to make everyone feel safe as I believe the safety and security of all residents in Moree Plains Shire is a priority,” she said.

Ms Cassells says that Moree is a diverse community with many cultures, and a new council should endeavour to harness the region’s special qualities.

“Moree has a very unique and rich history, as do the people of this very diverse community. The surrounding villages have their own uniqueness as well and we need to tap into these special qualities,” she said.

“We also need inclusiveness – not exclusion – for all residents of our town and villages. We have many different cultures in our area that don’t feel part of our wonderful shire.”

Improved street lighting, especially in east and south Moree, will also be high on Ms Cassells’ to-do list as she prepares to represent Moree Plains’ residents for the next four years.

“Bad lighting is unsafe for residents, drivers and pedestrians and there is something dreadfully wrong when you need to switch your headlights to high beam just to be able to see clearly,” Ms Cassells said.

She also says that employment is needed for youth who are ‘left idle’.

“Unemployment is a big issue, where people are left idle and more likely to commit crimes and get into drug addiction,” Ms Cassells said.

“The drug ICE is the scourge of this community and needs to be wiped out.

“Even if people are encouraged to do volunteer work it gives them a sense of belonging, self-esteem and self-worth,” she said.

Words, Image Copyright Bill Poulos 2016