Meeting "served no purpose"

TENSE: The crowd slowly started to build on Wednesday before the Open Forum on the Eulie piggery. Photo: Rebecca Hewson.
TENSE: The crowd slowly started to build on Wednesday before the Open Forum on the Eulie piggery. Photo: Rebecca Hewson.

Emotions were high on Tuesday morning when the Hilltops Council held its Open Forum on the Eulie Piggery, despite the decision on the DA being taken from its hands.

The meeting opened with proponent Andree Rowntree voicing legal opposition over the purpose and reasons and way the forum was being run. During the course of the forum there were many times where Mrs Rowntree and Dugald Walker both interjected on behalf of the proponents.

The Majority of speakers through the day were opposed to the piggery claiming it would ruin their lifestyle, environment and businesses, however Blantyre farms owner Edwina Beveridge summed up many proponent’s thoughts during her turn at the podium.

“Today’s meeting has no bearing what so ever on Council’s decision, we all know they have to refuse our DA,” she said. “Why have a meeting that has no purpose? Why waste rate payers money? Is this a last attempt by council to ensure we leave the shire forever?”

Mrs Beveridge stated she felt as though the proposal had been mismanaged at every step and that as administrator Wendy Tuckerman should be held responsible.

“Even the GM of the council has admitted it has been badly handled,” she said. “I wonder if this happens to all DA’s lodged with council or are we being singled out?”

At the conclusion of the meeting Mrs Beveridge said the meeting confirmed that council had gone out of its way to ensure her DA was not successful.

“It was poorly run, ignored legal protocol and was the circus we expected,” she said.

An Extraordinary Meeting was held on Wednesday resulting in the Hilltops Council formally rejecting the Development Application of the proposed site.

“Far from being a waste of time, this week’s forum was a valuable part of the process, allowing members of the public the opportunity to present their views on the proposed development to the Council’s Administrator prior to the report on the proposed development being considered the following day,” General Manager Anthony McMahon said.