In 2019 a local not for profit community group called Wyndham Infrastructure Network (WIN) worked diligently over 2019 to raise community awareness of the potential community damage to local communities by the Vic. Govt. permanently closing two major roads in Hoppers Crossing and Werribee without rectifying the choked existing road and traffic shortcomings in those areas.
Instead, WIN proposed a tunnel between Hoppers and beyond Werribee to free traffic movement, and release land in the centre of Werribee to grow an exciting and appropriate new city centre while simultaneously achieving the Government goal of removing dangerous rail intersections.
WIN prosecuted the case via State Government petition, many public rallies, and discussions with politicians and the Wyndham City Council.
This issue was the subject of the letters WIN wrote to Wyndham City Council and individually to each Councillor requesting the issue be discussed in the critical and determining council meeting in November 2019.
WIN states that each letter was personally hand-delivered and signed for by council reception acknowledging they had been received in time. Each letter was then emailed to each Councillor at the council email address.
WIN claims that the letters and emails were never delivered to the recipients but instead were directed to the mayor Mia Shaw but not distributed to the Councillors as addressed.
As for the emails WIN was advised that any email containing the word ‘petition’ or include ‘petition’ such as ‘competition’ were directed to a spam box and not monitored.
Apparently, according to WIN, when the complaint was received there were over 5000 emails unread and unprocessed.
In a meeting with mayor Josh Gilligan on 1st December 2019, WIN claims that he advised he would follow up the missing correspondence and WIN followed up with two subsequent letters to him but these have received no response.
Were the letters and emails captured in order to prevent the other Councillors from receiving them? Was it an act of treachery or incompetence? These are the questions WIN is now asking.
WIN says that it was clear that the influencers within intended to block any dissent or discussion of any issue which they did not support and that the local council must be accountable to its ratepayers.
Wyndham TV contacted the council today to explain these accusations prompting a response letter to WIN that was issued only today by Wyndham City Council CEO, Kelly Grigsby, that included the following statements:
“The letters that were hand-delivered to Customer Service were scanned into our system on 1 November. Council’s policy is that all hard copies are scanned into our system so they are recorded electronically. Hard copies are then stored offsite and the scanned record becomes the original letter. Unfortunately, in this case, letters to individual councillors were scanned as one document.
This was an administrative error and we have amended our processes to ensure this does not occur in future. This error was exacerbated by the single electronic document, containing the letters to all councillors, only being forwarded to Cr Shaw by the councillor support department of Council, instead of all the councillors. Cr Shaw would have had a reasonable expectation, as it is regular process, that this was done and so would not have had any reason to follow up. Obviously, these errors are unacceptable, and I can only apologise.
Council also advised the Level Crossing Removal Project of your views but, as you will appreciate, the ultimate decision was always a matter for the State Government.”
The petition referred to in the earlier correspondence was tabled and voted on at the December 2019 council meeting.
WIN is urging voters to “think before you vote in 2020. Wyndham needs transparency and professionalism from its servants. Does your candidate Stand up to scrutiny? Not sure? Then carefully consider YOUR VOTE.”