Valley Vision loses Willow Court

THE Derwent Valley Council has resumed direct control of the future development of Willow Court. Newly-elected councillor Damian Bester made Willow Court one of the key elements of his first council meeting and was able to gain enough support from his fellow councillors to see economic development group Valley Vision lose its long-held responsibility for the historic site.

Cr Bester moved (seconded by deputy mayor Craig Farrell) that the council resume direct authority for Willow Court and its redevelopment and that the project officer provide a written update at each monthly council meeting, in open session. In discussion, Cr Bester said it was time to make a move. He said Valley Vision had been dealing with Willow Court for about 10 years and had failed dismally. He said it was time to make a move. “It appears that the Valley Vision project officer is also the council’s economic development officer, so there will be no loss of momentum or corporate memory,” he said.

Cr Bester also spoke of the importance of working with the community. “We need to formalise the status of the Willow Court working party and open it to the public as was originally promised,” he said. Crs Jim Elliott and Barry Lathey asked what impact the move would have on the Willow Court working party. Cr Lathey said he was a member of the working party and would not like to see it disbanded. Cr Bester explained that the motion sought to formalise the working party, not disband it.

Cr James Graham said he liked the intent of the motion, and deputy mayor Farrell said he would like to see experts from the Tasmanian Heritage Council brought in as advisors.

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