At last night DVC council meeting item 10.5 on the agenda was the Willow Court Paranormal Documentary Approval.
Two days previous to the DVC meeting we got an email from the General Manager of the DVC informing us that the 2 opponents on the Friends of Willow Court Committee made another last ditch effort to block the documentaries approval by going to the Australian Anti Discrimination Officer claiming that the documentary was discriminatory, under what section of the act is still unknown.
The General Managers response was to take the matter to the Councils solicitor where he attempted to contact the Discrimination Officer directly without luck. The solicitor made mention he did not think they had any authorisation to stop the approval and release of the docco, however the solicitor wanted to view the docco for his information anyway.
We eagerly awaited our agenda item whilst Question Time and pervious items were covered.
We knew from the start to expect some small obstacles from 2 opponents and they made their opposition known during questions time. Once they raised their question regarding why the long defunct Willow Court Working Group were not consulted during the approval of the docco the Mayor told them their question would be covered during item 10.5.
For your information, the original contract between DVC and the Willow Court Working Group in regards to the docco is no longer relevant based on a few points but the main one being Willow Court Working Group no longer exists. The council have continuously told the two opponents who are now members of the Friends of Willow Court that Council would be making the final decision of the documentary not them.
It should be noted that the original Willow Court Working Group endorsed and supported the paranormal documentary. Both the defunct Willow Court Working Group and Friends of Willow Court did have some involvement in reviewing the documentary and APIU took on board any suggestions made by them at the time.
When our agenda eventually came up there was quite a bit of discussion, however most of it was positive, noting that APIU had followed all due processes that were asked of them and even had approval of Tasmanian Archives to release the docco.
Cr Bromfield made an amendment in leiu of the last minute phone call to the anti discrimination office along the lines of
“The council recognises APIU as the creator and owner of the Willow Court documentary film, If These Walls Could Talk, and gratefully acknowledges APIU’s offer to contribute 100% of the nett proceeds of the sale of DVD copies of the film to the Willow Court Fund for a period of 18 months followed by a review”.
“That Council approve the Docco for release subject to their solicitor viewing.”
The end result was positive and council voted unanimously to approve the docco subject to their solicitor viewing it.
From my information and from where I was sitting only 2 councillors Cr Lathey and Cr Nicholson opposed and wanted council to hold their approval until their solicitor viewed the item and addressed the anti discrimination claim.
The opponents were fuming as you could imagine and one even made a derogatory remark as soon as Council reached their decision.
I would like to congratulate the Council for being the voice of reason and approving the docco. It’s been a long process filled with a lot of attempted and petty road blocks which APIU overwhelming overcame based on their professionalism and respect for Willow Court. Last night proved that the Council are able hear both sides of the story and still make fair, reasonable and rational decisions based on fact and their confidence in the quality of the documentary or the people that represent it.
Thankyou DVC and we look forward to working with you guys in future!
Another interesting motion was passed at tonight’s meeting in regards to Willow Court, it stated
All tours held on willow court will now incur a small charge that would go into the Willow Court restoration fund” which I think is quite fair.
Some people believe this is a step in the direction in approving night tours at Willow Court. I personally think this had no real connection with night tours and the people that think that are getting a little ahead of themselves and seemed to be more wrapped up in the paranormal than the people actually doing the investigating.
I will post the minutes as soon as they are released.