Willow Court backflip in the wind

A REPORT to this week’s Derwent Valley Council makes no reference to establishing a new body to replace the failed Willow Court Committee. When the former committee was disbanded two months ago, most members of the council spoke strongly in favour of a restructured and expanded body to replace it.

But after two “workshops” and an unseen “discussion paper” on the subject, general manager Stephen Mackey has recommended empowering Valley Vision project officer Ian Brown to report directly to council for decisions on development matters at Willow Court. Mr Brown was previously the conduit between the committee and the council.

The report, co-written by Mr Mackey and Mr Brown, also recommends:

* Informing the community of “current land and building ownership and related matters” via the Derwent Valley Gazette.
* Establishing an email facility to keep the community informed and
encourage two-way communication.
* Conducting a community forum to review the council’s principles and outcomes for the site.

When the old committee was disbanded during a special meeting on April 30, councillors Judy Bromfield, Richard Parker, Craig Farrell, Barry Lathey, Jim Elliott and deputy mayor Scott Shaw spoke in favour of an expanded committee. Councillors Martyn Evans and Narelle Molan said they agreed with the opinions expressed, and mayor Tony Nicholson said the expanded committee would have to abide by a confidentiality agreement.

The matter will be up for debate at the council meeting at 6.30pm this Thursday in the New Norfolk Courthouse. The meeting is open to the public, but any questions must be handed to the deputy general manager before the start of the meeting.

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