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Nov 3, 2012

Libertarian councilor blocks ‘war on grannies’

Image: The Northern Star (which wants councils to get tough on them)

Mobility scooters have been a great innovation, giving those with limited mobility the ability to get around, do the shopping, and meet friends.  Nanny though, has been balefully eyeing them and mooting ideas of regulating, licensing, and registering them: 
Holroyd Council wants the state government to make it mandatory for all motorised mobility scooter owners to obtain a ''certificate of ownership and competence'' before getting behind the wheel. 
Cr Whitfield is confident the state's councils will support the idea when Holroyd puts it to them at the Local Government Association's conference in Dubbo this month. 
It wants the government to come up with a clear regulatory distinction between those who are required by law to share the footpath: pedestrians who can walk and those who rely on either a mobility scooter or motorised wheelchair to get around. 
Holroyd has already sought to address the ''public hazard'' posed by mobility scooters with a series of workshops for local users, who are limited by law to travel at no more than 10km/h. Some mobility scooters can reach 15km/h. ...
Fortunately for the ageing and infirm, during the last New South Wales Local Authority elections, two libertarian candidates from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) were elected to councils, Clinton Mead in Campbelltown, and Jeff Pettett in Ku-Ring-Gai. 
Clinton was a delegate at the conference and was the only speaker against this motion. Without objecting, it would most likely have passed without opposition, but this time things were different.  Normally when a ‘public safety’ issue is raised, the herd mentality kicks in, with nobody wanting to appear to oppose something they are told is in the common good.
This time, when confronted with reason, logic, and a pro-liberty message, many of them took a reasoned approach.  Well over 100 delegates ended up voting against the motion to licence scooter users, and as a result it failed. The war on grannies was stopped due to the Liberal Democrats.
Press outlets advocating regulation were quoting accident figures and reports of wild and crazy grannies hooning along at possible top speeds of 15 km/hr (9.3 MPH) and demanding that they be brought under control.  This was all that the ‘if it could save one life it will be worth it’ crowd needed to bring them to their feet.
The downside is that many of them could lose their independence and contact with friends, as well as forcing them to rely on family and others to get about.  The thing that most of these people hate most about their situation is the worry of being a burden.  Clinton has been a true friend to them.
So, what was that rot that do-gooders say about libertarians being an uncaring bunch of nasties who would toss the aged out into the street to fend for themselves? 
The really heartless people out there, are those who would destroy the lives of this section of the community in the interests of promoting their own jaundiced idea of how the world should be.  

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