Willow Court working party calls on its friends

Willow Court and Barracks Working Group

The Chairman of the Willow Court and Barracks Precinct Working Group, Mr John Boutchard, speaking on behalf of the Working Group, has expressed serious concern and dismay at the actions of Councillor Jim Elliott in proceeding, at next Thursday’s council meeting, with his motion to hand the Willow Court and Barracks precinct back to the State Government.

The Working Group, which was recently established as a Special Committee of Council, is particularly concerned at the scant regard Cr Elliott is showing for the wishes of the Derwent Valley community whom he claims to represent. This will was expressed at a series of community forums in late 2009 where ratepayers strongly condemned council’s inaction over the development of the site and expressed strong support for the retention of the site in community ownership.

Mr Boutchard also said that the Working Group was troubled by the potential waste of ratepayers’ funds if Cr Elliott’s motion was passed. Council has recently engaged a consultant, Mr Malcolm MacDonald, to prepare a business plan and a development plan to guide the future development of the Willow Court site. Mr MacDonald is due to present the draft plans to council by 30 June next and the Working Group believes it prudent for council to wait until it has had time to consider Mr MacDonald’s report before deciding the fate of the precinct and council’s future role with regard to its development.

The Working Group is also concerned that if the site were to be handed back to the State Government there would be no obligation on the part of the government to implement the plans or in fact undertake any development of the site.

Mr Boutchard has urged all ratepayers who wish the Willow Court and Barracks Precinct to remain in community ownership to contact as many councillors as they are able prior to Thursday’s council meeting. They are also urged to attend the meeting if possible, to ensure council is aware of the community’s views.

(This press statement has been published without alteration)


  1. Am not so sure that Cr Elliott is on his own in this 'give back' idea – I think Backflip Mayor Evans may have been the instigator just prior to the recent state election and now he's siding with Cr Elliott – hmmmm. I agree with the special committee chair, a handback is not what the public meetings suggested at all.

  2. why pay some one to do this draft plans win there are draft plans been done on the barracks what ratepayers do not no. maybe if so called concerned why did they not look in to it? committee did not look to hard at all paper work at all. give back welldone cr elliott and mayer evans let get on as ratepayers.

  3. Hi Jeff, I'm sorry but I do not under stand your grammar, I will try to explain based on what I think you’re stating
    I think you have been misinformed in regards to the function of the Committee.
    Firstly the Committee did not request or fund the consultant or plans; these were all done and approved by Council.
    The Committee has only been an official committee of council since April. These plans that you talk of were done years ago well before the present committee was established.
    My question to you Jeff why would some people in the council approve to fund a consultant if they wanted to hand back the site to the State Govt whilst the consultant they paid for is still busy at work? This is ludicrous and makes no business sense what so ever.

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