WILLOW Court topics dominated the first of the Derwent Valley Council's new-style open and closed workshops last Thursday night. In the absence of the mayor, deputy mayor Barry Lathey thanked those present for their attendance. Present were the general manager and councillors Lester, Shaw, Bromfield, Bester, Nicholson and Shoobridge. There was no-one in the public gallery, which had been set up away from the main table in contrast to previous workshops when the public sat with the councillors. The mayor arrived about 15 minutes late.
The general manager advised that he had that day received a new draft memorandum of understanding on Willow Court from David Llewellyn. Lengthy discussion followed and a report will be provided to the next council meeting.
The general manager advised that Cr Lester had requested that a security consultant be asked for an opinion on Willow Court. Mr Hugh Eagling had been consulted and was unable to attend the workshop due to martial arts commitments but would instead meet Mr Mackey on site.
Cr Bester asked whether the council could ask the State Government to provide insurance coverage for Willow Court and Mr Mackey responded that he was surprised no-one had suggested this before. Cr Shaw asked why the Willow Court barracks could not be fenced like Frescati and a long discussion followed. Cr Lathey asked when the council would get a decisive answer from the potential purchaser of the Willow Court oval and Mr Mackey responded that this was in the lap of the gods.
At 8pm the workshop moved onto other topics, including a document from the Local Government Board on the subject of councillor numbers; an update on negotiations regarding access to private properties at Willow Court; a report on the council's enterprise bargaining agreement which Mr Mackey said had been the subject of discussions for about 12 months; a suggestion from the mayor that the State Government should lease the soon-to-be-closed Hayes Jail farm to the Van Diemen Dairy; and advice that the Carinya Education Park had been burgled.