News

Wilson blasts critics of the port strategy

By Vivienne Duck

IN AN outburst of frustration Campaspe Shire councillor Leigh Wilson called out the haters on Tuesday night when council finally endorsed the Port Precinct vision and adopted the strategic direction.

‘‘They hide behind letters and Facebook and other platforms but where are they now?’’ he said.

‘‘If they genuinely cared they could be here tonight.

‘‘I am disappointed they are nowhere to be found tonight in an open and transparent setting.’’

Cr Wilson referred to the backlash the council received after simply noting the Port Precinct vision and strategic direction at the June council meeting.

But this time council said yes and it can now move forward — with a few additives.

Council endorsed the vision for the port precinct — a place to take your time, relax and enjoy yourself and adopted the strategic objectives that support the implementation of the vision — a place where collaboration makes it happen, a destination celebrating living with nature and history, an arts and culture, events and entertainment hub and a place to linger, interact and connect.

They also moved the chief executive prepare a draft implementation plan based on the vision and strategic objectives and include actions, budgets and deadlines in those areas relevant to council and the draft implementation plan be brought back to council for consideration highlighting any further community engagement that may be required.

And despite the council meeting gallery overflowing with people for earlier items, when the port motion was tabled there was no one left.

‘‘I understand councillors’ passion,’’ mayor Adrian Weston said.

‘‘The thing that excites me is contemplating adopting a vision and getting the ball rolling.

‘‘When people work together that is when the greatest things happen.’’

Cr Daniel Mackrell said council can now say things are to move forward.

‘‘I am extremely happy we took the time needed to get this as right as we can,’’ he said.

And Cr Wilson said he hit the nail on the head.

‘‘The outcomes to come out of this plan could be far greater than expected,’’ he said.

‘‘But if people can’t participate and work with us I think they don’t have the right to speak against us.’’

The councillors voted unanimously for the endorsement.