THE Derwent Valley Council has moved to allay fears after a community backlash over its decision to suspend ghost tours at Willow Court. A council spokesperson said it appreciated the historical sensitivities of the site and the need for ensuring a sensitive and ethical approach in how the site was further developed by council and with partners while ensuring commercial viability and economic security for the people of the Derwent Valley. The spokesperson said the tours would return in the future.
“Council recently made a decision to push the pause button on all tours currently operating on council owned and managed areas of Willow Court. This is a temporary arrangement,’’ the spokesperson said. “Tours will come back – however will be reconsidered as part of longer-term activation and management of the site by Council that is well managed and with the required agreements in place.”
Late last month the council unanimously agreed that Tasmania’s Most Haunted tours would end at the end of this month. The business has been operating since 2014 and growing each year despite the impact of Covid. Owner Sharmaine Mansfield was shocked by the decision.
“My business is successful and I have doubled tours in the last two years. Considering we had Covid among all this, I believe this is pretty good,’’ Ms Mansfield said. Hundreds of people responded on social media showing support for the tours.
Tours conducted by Friends of Willow Court have also been suspended.