Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fair go Leo

COLUMNIST Leo Schofield's latest missive on the topic of Willow Court indicates that he is considerably out of touch with progress on that site. While Mr Schofield's earliest remarks about Willow Court quite rightly focused on the council's neglect of the historic site, he last year took aim at the people of New Norfolk and that is when the lost the support of many who had appreciated the light he was shining on the urgent need for action on Willow Court.

His attack on New Norfolk and its people continued in yesterday's issue of the Mercury newspaper's Saturday Magazine. This latest contribution highlights the need for Mr Schofield to better acquaint himself with the progress being made at Willow Court as he appears to be writing from an outdated and ill-informed perspective. Much of what he called for in Saturday's column has already been done.

The council took far too long to take effective action on the preservation and development of Willow Court and it was this decade of neglect that prompted me to seek election in 2009. Progress was not as rapid as I would have hoped in my first year or two on council, but great strides have been made in the last 18 months - and this year in particular.

It's my understanding that Mr Schofield has been invited to visit Willow Court on more than one occasion since he first wrote on the topic in 2008, but has not responded. I encourage the mayor to extend that offer again. Should Mr Schofield accept the offer, he will discover:
  • The Willow Court Conservation Special Committee making progress on the implementation of the MacDonald Report
  • Electricity supply installed and street lights operating
  • The start on the restoration of the Bronte building
  • The Frescati Community Garden
  • The multi-million dollar conversion of the "oval buildings" into apartments
  • Continued progress in the privately-owned sector of the site
Mr Schofield is entitled to continue to express his opinion but his readers will be better served by a factual account that does not unfairly and unnecessarily malign all residents of New Norfolk. His opinion should not be construed to be that of the newspaper itself. I am employed by the Mercury and I believe its opinion of the town is more accurately reflected by its selection of the stunning photo, left, as part of its latest marketing campaign.

So fair go, Leo. Why not put your passion to good use and offer your services to the Willow Court Conservation Special Committee rather than take potshots from the sidelines? 


  1. I think the thing that caused the biggest uproar in New Norfolk was him implying that were are a collective of criminals. we're working really hard and such slander is distinctly demoralising. shame on him and his ignorance

  2. Thanks for the comment Rufus and thanks for what you have been doing to promote Willow Court and the Antique Trail.

  3. Ha ha the new Norfolk council couldn't tell the truth if they tried there proven it before all there good at is DESTROYING every thing how many years and look at the place what all for MONEY ???

    1. Hi Scott. You are right that the council doesn't have a good track record in many cases. Progress is at last being made at Willow Court and that's great news for our community.

  4. Hello Damian,

    I believe that you would be much aware of my opinion of Mr. Schofield.

    His previous remarks of 'New Norfolk is a basket case, a hotbed of juvenile crime’ and his own evaluation of the quality of our education in the DV area was quite hurtful to me, my colleagues, peers and family/friends.

    So after reading his recent unjust remarks of Willow Court, it didn't surprise me at all.

    Matt Hill