By Michael Giles
IF ANYONE needed any further proof that sacked former mayor, Don Hill, has been a significant part of the problem on council over the past two terms, they need only read his vitriolic, divisive ‘Not the Mayor’s Message’ (in letters) this week.
It’s an absolute disgrace!
Clearly still smarting from the sacking of the council, and continuing to blame the Leongatha Business Association for what he alleges was their role in it, he’s served up a new pack of lies this week.
Allegedly based on an uninformed comment by a member of the South Gippsland Action Group (SGAG) at a meeting last week between Mr Hill, SGAG and the Administrator Julie Eisenbise, Mr Hill has blamed the local “power brokers” of the Leongatha business community for the “stagnation” of the town’s retail sector and a reduction in commercial values.
His claims that Leongatha business people “turned away” Bunnings in order to avoid competition is complete garbage and totally misrepresents council’s own role in lost opportunities.
The fact is, when Bunnings did express an interest in coming to Leongatha they couldn’t find a suitable site. End of story. It had nothing to do with the attitude of the Leongatha business community which would likely have heartily welcomed the proposal, as they did when Aldi came to town.
What Mr Hill may unknowingly be referring to is the historic role councillors played, 15-plus years ago, in discouraging Big W from setting up in Leongatha before they opted for Wonthaggi.
But he wouldn’t know anything about that, by his own admissions, because he only arrived here in 2007.
Asked about Mr Hill’s latest attack on them, the Leongatha Business Association say they want no further part in the dispute, they’ve moved on, focusing instead on the many positives for Leongatha including the redevelopment of Bair Street and the strong burst of residential growth.
“People want to come to Leongatha because it’s a great town with great schools, facilities and people,” said LBA President Brenton Williams.
What they don’t need, what no one needs is the sort of divisive tripe served up by Mr Hill in his “message” this week, indicative of his role in wrecking the council over the past six and a half years.
It’s your fault Don, no one else’s, and if you’d take the advice of local MP Danny O’Brien, you’d simply apologise and move on.