Llewellyn volunteers to help

FORMER deputy premier David Llewellyn tonight expressed his willingness to serve as the chairman of a new committee to develop the Willow Court historic site, provided certain issues could be resolved between the Derwent Valley Council and the State Government.

Addressing tonight’s meeting on Willow Court security issues, Mr Llewellyn said he had represented the council at a meeting with Heritage Minister Brian Wightman and Heritage Tasmania chairwoman Dianne Snowden yesterday. He said the backdrop of last weekend’s F Ward fire had given the meeting a new focus.

Mr Llewellyn said Mr Wightman and Dr Snowden were sympathetic and committed to the Willow Court cause and he was confident of a positive outcome from the protracted negotiations for a memorandum of understanding between the council and the government. He had reminded the minister of the government’s “pre-commitment” to Willow Court in 2010 and the fact that developing the historic site was beyond the council’s capacity on its own.

Mr Llewellyn said he had agreed to chair a yet-to-be established new Willow Court committee on a voluntary basis, provided the outstanding issues between the council and government were resolved. “I am committed to Willow Court,” he said. “This is a signifcant site that pre-dates Port Arthur and to hear the news of the fire was very disappointing.”

Councillor James Graham expressed his confidence that with Mr Llewellyn’s involvement and the goodwill of all involved, Willow Court would soon be moving forward.

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