FEDERAL MP Dick Adams has hit back at claims that a Federal Government "razor gang" was responsible for the Derwent Valley Council losing federal funding for the Willow Court precinct. “Recent claims made by the mayor of the Derwent Valley that a Federal Government ‘razor gang’ is responsible for the withdrawal of Federal Government funding Willow Court are simply not correct," Mr Adams said.
“Put simply, the funding was withdrawn because the Derwent Valley Council failed to meet contractual obligations in the funding agreement," he said. "As part of the 2004 Federal Election campaign, the then government made funding available to the Derwent Valley Council, through Valley Vision, for the development and conservation of the Willow Court precinct. Like all funding, there were strict timelines and contractual obligations put in place - this is after all public money that must be accounted for – those obligations were not met,” Mr Adams said.
“I understand that the Derwent Valley Council is also negotiating with the State Government in order to keep the state component of the funding and wish council well with those negotiations. There’s no doubting that the conservation and suitable use of the Willow Court precinct is challenging, but when council submits a proposal for funding they must ensure that the follow through with that proposal," he said.
"Mr Adams said many of his constituents had raised concerns about the future of Willow Court and he hoped this week's public forum would provide a constructive opportunity for those concerns to be aired and addressed. He said any developments in the Willow Court area must take into consideration the culturally and historically sensitive area, as well as the need to ensure there was community consultation throughout the entire process.