Willow Court backflip averted… now for the new committee

ANY new committee formed to oversee the development of the Willow Court historic site should be nothing like the old committee, Councillor Narelle Molan told last week’s Derwent Valley Council meeting.

General manager Stephen Mackey and Valley Vision project manager Ian Brown had recommended that Mr Brown be appointed to liaise directly with the council on Willow Court matters, but this was rejected by the majority of councillors, who reminded the meeting of a previous discussion that forming a new committee was the best way forward. Despite this being the overwhelming opinion of a recent special meeting on the subject, this detail had not made its way into the official decision.

At the monthly meeting last Thursday night, Mr Brown was instead appointed on an interim basis, but no timeframe was given. The council will hold a community forum with an independent facilitator, and members for a new committee will be drawn from those present at the forum. No indication was given as to when the forum will be held.

Towards the end of the debate, Cr Molan expressed the view that she did not want to see a committee anything like the last one. In particular, she did not agree with confidentiality agreements drawing a curtain over the committee. “I wouldn’t like to stop anyone from being part of this committee because of fears over confidentiality,” Cr Molan said.

But Mayor Tony Nicholson said the confidentiality issue could not be put aside. “It will be raised and the committee will have it on its head when it sets its terms of reference,” he said. Mr Mackey agreed, saying the matter must be raised at the community forum. “People must know what they are getting themselves into if they put up their hand,” Mr Mackey said.

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