Willow Court bewilderment and dismay

MEMBERS of the Willow Court Working Group were unanimously bewildered, concerned and dismayed by the mixed messages being sent by the Derwent Valley Council on the future of the Willow Court historic site, working group chairman Richard Lang told last week’s council meeting.

Speaking during public question time prior to the deferral of a contentious motion to debate returning the site to the State Government, Mr Lang expressed the concerns of the 14 community members who late last year volunteered to help progress the stalled redevelopment of Willow Court.

“At the community forum held in mid-2009 the Derwent Valley community strongly endorsed the retention of the Willow Court precinct in community ownership, and the establishment of the Willow Court Working Group to explore options for the future management of the precinct. This was subsequently confirmed at the second community forum in November 2009,” Mr Lang said.

“A majority of councillors present at the February meeting of council voted for the establishment of the Willow Court Working Group as a special committee of council. Tonight’s motion now seeks to invalidate council’s decision and abrogate the express desire of the community for the retention of the Willow Court precinct in community ownership,” he said.

“The goals and resolutions of the previous concil decisions and that of the Willow Court Working Group are in harmony with each other. This motion is not. The working group strongly urges council to stand by its earlier decisions and support the community’s wishes.”

As reported earlier, Cr Jim Elliott subsequently deferred his motion due to the absence of three councillors from the meeting. Later, the six councillors present unanimously approved the appointment of all members of the working party to the new Willow Court Redevelopment Special Committee.

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