Save Hunchback Hill not impressed with workshops being held by Wodonga Council to discuss fate of peaks around city

WODONGA Council has been accused of a “complete lack of transparency” by not opening up workshops on the future of the city’s peaks such as Hunchback Hill.

The city will hold eight meetings from next Tuesday to Saturday on Bears, Federation, Mahers and Huon hills as well as Hunchback.

Save Hunchback Hill member Sheridan Zikesch is disappointed the workshops are limited to 25 attendees and require a summons.

“I believe there’s a complete lack of transparency by having them invitation-only,” Ms Zikesch said.

“It’s just damaging towards the community trust.”

The workshops follow a backlash last winter over the council’s consultation on its hilltops plans.

Council chief executive Patience Harrington said registrations had been sought for the workshops.

“Those people who had registered were invited to book a place at those workshops which interested them,” Ms Harrington said.

Patience Harrington

Patience Harrington

“Anyone with an interest in the strategy will also be able to go online next week and see the revised documents and provide feedback or come along to the council’s community forum at The Cube Wodonga on March 26 and March 27.”

Ms Zikesch said her group believed mountain biking was in the “wrong place” at Hunchback Hill and it was offering cash donations and earthworks assistance for it to be moved.

“I think there’s continuing lack of understanding and I think Wodonga Council has allowed that to continue by being so secretive and not transparent,” she said.

“Parklands Albury Wodonga have a large role to play in that as well, they have allowed that to continue by allowing a perception that the Hunchback Hill group are against a mountain bike precinct which we’re not.

“We’re just saying it’s poorly placed.”

Parklands chairman Daryl Beteridge said his organisation had appointed an independent auditor to examine activities on Hunchback Hill and he would comment during that process.