Police on hand as Moe review moves forward

DISCONTENT continues to build among Moe residents over the shelving of a multi-million dollar revitalisation project for the town centre.

The ‘Save Moe’s Future’ lobby has vowed to continue its push to revive the Moe Activity Centre Plan, despite a full review of the project getting a further advance by Latrobe City Council.

Police were called in to watch over Monday night’s meeting as residents demanded the review be abandoned and a freeze on funding lifted.

“We wanted to ensure things didn’t get out of control,” Latrobe City Mayor Sandy Kam said.

The meeting went along without incident and a petition with 6650 signatures opposing the review was tabled.

But it was not enough to sway the majority of councillors from voting for the review to move to the next phase.

Council officers have dredged up around 100 old submissions to the plan and the authors will have the opportunity to address the council at a special meeting on 20 February.

The decision has prompted residents to again take aim at councillor Peter Gibbons who spearheaded the review.

“His motion was not driven by the community,” Committee for Moe President Manny Gelagotis said.

“Thirty quality speakers and hundreds of people have attended rallies and council meetings and not one person has supported Cr Gibbons,” he said.

As a compromise, residents suggested the review continue, but funding for the project still be pursued.

Cr Gibbons told the meeting that would not work.

“If you attempt to go for funding applications during a review, they’ll tell you to come back when the review is done,” he said.

Cr Gibbons declined to speak to The Express outside of the meeting.

Cr Kellie O’Callaghan expressed fears, if allowed to continue, the review would do irrevocable damage to council’s relationship with the community and governments.

“The disenfranchised community is losing faith in our good governance,” she told the meeting.

“We should never forget we serve at the pleasure of this community.

“The government has questioned our commitment to the project… is it worth it?”

The review will be considered at a special council meeting on 25 March in the Moe Town Hall.