A Wodonga councillor and senior staff member have clashed over the city's contentious hills blueprint.
A failed bid by Cr Ron Mildren to suspend the strategy pending a comprehensive review rankled planning and infrastructure director Leon Schultz last week with the officer expressing grave reservations about stopping it in its tracks.
Mr Schultz pointed out there were 135 actions contained in the strategy and some of them would fall by the wayside if the strategy was put on hold.
"If that is the case I ask about our blackberry program," he said.
"Do we cease that as well?
"Do we stop our erosion control and remediation works on the hills?
"Do we stop working on the threatened species habitat enhancement program?"
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Cr Mildren said the examples outlined by Mr Schultz should be happening outside of the strategy.
"That is getting close to entering the political debate," Cr Mildren said.
"It worries me if we are structuring our management practices that way.
"We have to manage our land no matter what strategies are in place."
Cr Mildren's push to suspend the strategy was backed by Cr Libby Hall and Cr Olga Quilty, but opposed by Cr Graeme Simpfendorfer, Cr John Watson and mayor Kevin Poulton.
The alternate motion put forward was beaten on the casting vote of Cr Poulton with Cr Kat Bennett an apology from the meeting.
The staff recommendation to defer the establishment of a replacement hills advisory committee for two years was passed on the casting vote of the mayor.
"Anyone has followed the hills strategy saga from day one will know I haven't been supportive.of it pretty much all the way through," Cr Mildren said.
"It is almost as if the document was prepared with an agenda to deal with certain elements and everything came along for the ride.
"Some hills get treated differently to others and the vast majority of priority items are stacked in favour of certain activities."
With the exception of the climb track to the mountain bike trail on Klings Hill and day-to-day management and maintenance operations undertaken by council staff, no capital works programs have been undertaken.
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