Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Statement on proposed sale of the Willow Court oval

AT a closed council meeting held last night, six councillors voted to sell the Willow Court oval. I was not one of them. To their credit, councillors endorsed my motion to make their decision public.
This council does more backflips than an Olympic diving team. First the oval was secretly sold but that decision was overturned. Tenders were then called for, but the council decided not to accept any of them. Now the council intends to decide what it wants to see built on the oval and then ask four of the previous tenderers whether they would like to build it.
As well as being unable to make a decision and stick to it, the council has once again shown its complete lack of a strategic vision for Willow Court.
In recent weeks the council has formed a new advisory committee and engaged a consultant to review and consolidate all previous planning for the Willow Court. These were positive steps, but at the same time we have a motion on the table to return the site to the State Government, and now this decision to sell another chunk before a decision has been made on handing the rest back to the state.
Having already sold off parts of Willow Court without proper consideration, the council seems hell-bent on destroying what remains of the historical integrity of this site. Perhaps it is time for the newly commissioned ministers for Local Government and Heritage to intervene.


  1. I agree with your thoughts Damian, now that we have a Council approved advisory committee and a funded consultant working hard and passionately to protect and restore Willow Court it seem absolutely ludicrous that in spite this the DVC want to sell off part of Willow Court and destroy its historical integrity. I think the new advisory committee and consultant should be given a fair chance to do something positive before the DVC pull the rug from underneath them and sell or hand it back to the State Govt. I am very annoyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nick J

  2. I think its all money grabbing while they still have the chance. The only question in my mind is whos pocket will it be going in.

  3. Thats right, I was concered about this so I rasied it to the committee last night to make them aware.

  4. jarvo do you live in new norfolk?

  5. To ask the newly elected Local Government and Heritage Ministers to step in is the same as handing the site back to the Government, something that should have happened years ago based on the council's continued mismanagement of the site. However, Damian, as a councillor you shouldn't resort to involving the State Government if you don't get your way. You should, quite rightly, voice your opposition at Council and then accept the majority decision. That's called democracy at work and you should support the majority decision even if you don't personally believe it. That's how Government works whether I agree or disagree with you is irrelevant. I expect a higher standard from my councillors than this. Don't go running to the 3rd umpire when you don't get your way. Present a unified front even if you disagree with the majority view.

    Steve H.
    New Norfolk

  6. To Sam

    Why do you want to know that? Yes I was born and raised in New Norfolk, all my family live there.

    I disagree with most of your comments Steven. I don't think Damian ever said he was personally going to contact the Minster for Local Govt. However I think he may have been planting a seed in people minds who do not agree with the oval sale.
    Just my thoughts.

  7. Sam - if you would like to get in touch with Jarvo, just send me an email and I'll pass it along. Cheers, Damian

    email: keepdamohonest@gmail.com