THOSE championing a Dan Murphy's store in Junction Place should have been told "pull your head in" by Development Victoria, a past Wodonga Council director says.
Michael Gobel was commenting following news the bottle shop proposal is set to go before Wodonga councillors at their February meeting.
He has been a strong critic of the plan, saying it was inappropriate for the former railway land.
The former investment attraction director said he was not shocked the developer of Dan Murphy's wanted to pursue the wine and beer barn, but was perturbed by how Development Victoria had reacted to Wodonga councillors voting 6-1 against a revised master plan for Junction Place.
"I'm surprised and disappointed that Development Victoria has not said to the developer 'pull your head in, calibrate your plan and take on board the feedback and come up with an alternative tenant," Mr Gobel said.
He believes Development Victoria, which is overseeing the revitalisation of the old transport hub, has shown contempt for the council, its project partner.
"In a spirit of partnership you don't ignore a 6-1 vote; it's not how you behave in a partnership, to ignore your partner," Mr Gobel said.
"I'm very concerned they could be so dismissive of community feedback and a 6-1 vote."
The agency did not reply to Mr Gobel's attack.
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Under their contract, Development Victoria cannot direct the developer Central Place to withdraw its application to the council.
Central Place's Clinton Williams did not respond to The Border Mail.
Mr Gobel surmised the project was being pursued for contractual reasons or to set in train a hearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal if the council refuses the plan.
He believes councillors will knockback the bottle shop and if it is taken to VCAT he expects ratepayers would support the city.
"Council shouldn't be shy of fighting this at VCAT, that would be council again responding to the community interest and it would be a fight worth fighting," Mr Gobel said.
Mr Gobel said the only person he had met in Wodonga who supported Dan Murphy's at Junction Place was councillor John Watson who was the lone aye for the master plan.
Business Wodonga chief executive Graham Jenkin said it was clear the alcohol outlet was unwanted on the corner of Elgin Boulevard and Smythe Street.
"We always encourage new development opportunities in Wodonga but we are also mindful those should be in correct positions and fit with community expectations," he said.
"I think with Junction Place the community has spoken, I think the council has endorsed that and now it's been put back to council as part of the process and hopefully they'll take the side of the community."
Mr Jenkin said his organisation had never been contacted by Development Victoria about the Dan Murphy's proposal.
He said he would "welcome dialogue" and flagging other potential sites for the outlet.
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