Series 02: Alan Gibson Stewart papers, 1987-1989 - Page 491

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call a public meeting in the Corso, to which both Mr Meers and myself would be invited. Naively, he believed that this balanced representation would ensure that the issue would be kept above party politics. The truth was the opposite. He was unknowingly setting up a public arena for a single-combat clash between gladiators carrying the banners of Liberal and Labor.

The meeting was held on a humid Monday night at the end of March. There were ominous black clouds overhead, threatening a storm. By eight o'clock, an expectant crowd of more than five hundred had gathered around the amphitheatre in the Corso plaza. Both sides had organised their forces. We had put out the word to ALP branches that we needed a large attendance of supporters, and there had been a good response. There was a corresponding presence of local Liberals, but we also noted a group of tough-looking strangers, whom Meers had apparently imported to act as "heavies". Less obvious were several agents provocateurs.

As organised, Michael Petre was amenable to suggestions. He had taken my advice that a local independent expert on sewage pollution should be asked to speak.

Jeremiah Jackson, a young American scientist, was a public health lecturer at the NSW Institute of Technology. He had experience with similar outfall situations in California. Now living near the beach in

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