Thursday, December 17, 2009

Questions remain over Willow Court oval sale

IT'S pretty exciting to think that three major developers, including representatives of Australia's largest supermarket chains and one of the biggest hardware retailers, are interested in building on the old sportsground at Willow Court. But it is worrying to think that the council has botched the sale process to such an extent that there have been threats of legal action from several sources.

At this point I am largely in the dark about the matter, because the sale was approved by the council before my election. I have asked for minutes of meetings which would include this topic, but my requests have been refused by the general manager because I will not agree to a confidentiality agreement. I believe my undertaking to respect all necessary confidences is covered by the oath of office I declared and signed at my first meeting.

Here's what I want to know, on your behalf:

  • What changes have been made in the Heritage Council's overview of the oval and its redevelopment?
  • How does the council propose to conduct an open sale that will restore public and corporate confidence in the process?
  • Whether or not the buildings known as Derwent, Esperance, Franklin and Glenora are included in the land parcel being offered
  • Whether or not the car parking area adjacent those buildings will be sold or preserved
  • What provisions will be made for visitor car parking if that area is sold
  • How will the proceeds of any sale be sold
  • What else does the council propose to sell?
  • What are the plans for the section of George St located between Woolworths and the Willow Court oval?
Tomorrow night and on Monday night the council is holding closed meetings where I expect to be briefed on all aspects of this sale process and a legal matter relating to Willow Court. Once I enter those meetings I will be legally bound not to publicly reveal what is discussed there. This secrecy does not sit well with me and I will be encouraging my colleagues to decide on an appropriate communication strategy so you can be kept informed.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for keeping the ratepayers so well informed Damian - albeit as little as you have been properly briefed! The rumours abound within the municipality of course and let's hope that proper processes and procedures have been followed to ensure that Council does not become embroiled in more legal issues which may well have been avoided. I understand that other councillors are also concerned with due process having being undertaken,so keep it all open and transparent ladies and gentlemen!