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Weyrich v Williams in ‘The Battle of Echuca’

by
September 30, 2016

TEMPERS flared at the first Campaspe shire election on Wednesday night in Kyabram.

There were several heated exchanges, including threats of violence, that left some candidates with a bitter taste in their mouth.

Candidates were given five minutes to present their case and convince voters why they should be elected.

Echuca candidate Peter Williams told the crowd of 60-plus that fellow candidate and former Murray Shire Council mayor Thomas Weyrich was responsible for leading the Murray Shire council into dismissal.

Mr Williams pointed out that Mr Weyrich had failed to disclose this in his speech.

“Mr Weyrich didn’t like what I had to say and he threatened me afterwards,” Mr Williams alleged.

Mr Weyrich was involved in a heated exchange with Mr Williams after the evening’s speeches had finished.

“I never faced any consequences from my time with Murray Shire Council and I was commended on how I conducted myself during my period with the council,” Mr Weyrich said.

“What Mr Williams said up there was false and misleading. I told him if he does it again I’ll knock his block off.”

Murray Shire’s council was sacked and an administrator appointed while John Pocklington, who succeeded Mr Weyrich, was mayor.

The shire has since been merged with Wakool to form Murray River Council, with Murray Shire administrator David Shaw still at the helm in partnership with former Murray Shire general manager Margot Stork.


But the anger went beyond the showdown between Mr Weyrich and Mr Williams.

Questions were raised by the audience about the decision to close Oscar W’s in Echuca

One audience member argued it was a poor decision and Oscar W’s closure is continuing to hurt Echuca

Mayor Leigh Wilson, who is being returned unopposed, and Kyabram-Deakin candidate Neil Pankhurst attempted to defend the decision and explain the ongoing situation to the audience members.

The situation escalated when Echuca candidate Annie Vickers began badgering Mr Pankhurst with a question blitz.

Mr Pankhurst was given little time to respond and a moderator reminded Mrs Vickers to direct her speech towards to audience.

Paul Jarman, Echuca councillor and candidate – and co-founder of Oscar W’s – also stepped in to speak about the ongoing issue with the establishment with the region’s signature restaurant.

The shire has since been merged with Wakool to form Murray River Council, with Murray Shire administrator David Shaw still at the helm in partnership with former Murray Shire general manager Margot Stork.

But the anger went beyond the showdown between Mr Weyrich and Mr Williams.

Questions were raised by the audience about the decision to close Oscar W’s in Echuca.

One audience member argued it was a poor decision and Oscar W’s closure is continuing to hurt Echuca.

Mayor Leigh Wilson, who is being returned unopposed, and Kyabram-Deakin candidate Neil Pankhurst attempted to defend the decision and explain the ongoing situation to the audience members.

The situation escalated when Echuca candidate Annie Vickers began badgering Mr Pankhurst with a question blitz.

Mr Pankhurst was given little time to respond and a moderator reminded Mrs Vickers to direct her speech towards the audience.

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