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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Parade winners announced... and more photos

THANKS to New Norfolk resident Jackie Jackson, here is another gallery of images from New Norfolk's annual Christmas Parade held on December 13. Organiser Ngaire Glover has kindly provided the NNNews with details of the judging, with New Norfolk Primary School winning 50 Derwent Dollars for providing the best entry in the parade, with its students dressed in a mix of period costume and festive garb. Glenora District High School was second over all, winning 25 Derwent Dollars.

Other awards went to Lawrence Coaches (best decorated vehicle), Lions Club (best service club entry), State Emergency Service (best emergency service organisation), Triffitt family (best bicentennial theme), and the award for the best children's entry was shared by the Salvation Army's Communities for Children program and the Derwent Valley Dance Company.

Congratulations to all involved in this year's parade, which was the 10th since the event was revived in 1999. The parade is presented annually by the New Norfolk Business Alliance.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Leo sheds light on council neglect

MERCURY newspaper columnist Leo Schofield has at last lifted the lid on the neglect of the Willow Court historic site. Writing in his weekly column in yesterday's issue, Schofield drew attention the failure of the Derwent Valley Council to protect and promote the site.

"The owners of the site, Derwent Valley Council, have a program called Valley Vision, but to date little vision is evident," Schofield wrote. He went on to call on the State Government to intervene immediately, declare the site one of national importance, and take over its management and planning.

It certainly could be said that after eight years, the council has had more than enough time to develop the site. Responding to questions at last week's council annual general meeting, Mayor Tony Nicholson continued to blame the Federal Government and the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

Mayor Nicholson told the AGM that the council's plans for Willow Court had been stymied by the loss of Federal funds (which were withdrawn after remaining unspent for several years) and the actions of the Heritage Council (which had blocked the demolition of several historic buildings). When asked how much money had been raised through the sale of a large part of Willow Court several years ago, and why this had not been enough to kick-start the redevelopment process, Mayor Nicholson declined to answer and took the question on notice.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"I have no recollection of that"

THAT old chestnut, the Willow Court Special Committee, reared its head on several occasions at last night's annual general meeting of the Derwent Valley Council. In one instance, Mayor Tony Nicholson was asked why an official list showing councillor representation on various committees indicated he was the sole council representative on the Willow Court committee, when two months ago he had said other councillors were also on the committee. Mayor Nicholson responded by saying he had no recollection of making such a statement.

Another public question during the council AGM revealed that no elected members of the Derwent Valley Council sat on the important Spatial Planning Committee which has managed key initiatives such as the planter pots in Burnett St. It emerged that general manager Stephen Mackey was the council representative on this committee as no councillors had volunteered.

Later last night, in its monthly meeting for December, the council decided that it would have a councillor sitting on the newly appointed New Norfolk Business Alliance Special Committee, and that councillor would also be the chairman, thank you very much.

Vintager day likely to be repeated

VINTAGER day at the Derwent Valley Field and Game Club on December 7 drew about 35 people interested in having a shoot or inspecting various antique firearms on show. Club president Ray Williams is pictured above having a go a firing an 1890 English-made eight-bore shotgun at a clay target. "It is amazing that such an old firearm is still in fine working order and functions as well today as when first made in 1890," Ray told the NNNews.

"This particular sized firearm is not allowed to be used in bird hunting in Australia and this has been the case for around 50 years," Ray said. As can be seen in the photo, these old-style black powder firearms produce large quantities of smoke when fired. Another part of the fun on Vintager day was to dress in old English-style costumes.

As a result of the success of this social day the event is likely to be repeated in May. For more information about the club's activities, contact Ray Williams on 0418 124 171.

Successful students honoured

A LONG list of awards was presented to successful students at New Norfolk High School's annual prizegiving assembly a fortnight ago. Among the many guests was Derwent Valley Mayor Tony Nicholson, who described the event as the best prizegiving ceremony he had ever attended. Several students won multiple awards, including Lisa Clarke who was the most successful graduating student with five prizes, and Sara Lowe who received the NNHS Medal.

Below are the bursaries and Grade 10 awards. Congratulations to all recipients and to the donors who make the awards possible.

Bursaries - Charles and Sylvia Viertel Springboard to Higher Education Bursary: Lisa Clarke
Magra CWA Vocational Bursary: Jeremy Bowerman
Claremont College Bursary: Georgie Foley
Norske Skog Bursaries: Rhys Browning, Katelyn Turner, Nathan Lester and Mikhala Neads

Grade Ten Awards - New Norfolk High School Award (best Grade 1o all-rounder): Rhys Browning
New Norfolk High School Medal (most outstanding student): Sara Lowe
Apex Shield (for citizenship, service and fellowship): Lisa Clark and Louise McNeill
Glengrey House Award (for community service & citizenship): Jaime Zache
David Jefferson Award (for service to the school community): Jade Tatchell
Education Minister's Pride in our School Award: Jade Tatchell
Uniting Church Award (for personal endeavour & commitment to personal growth): Samantha Smith
Senator Carol Brown Award: Tiarne Morse
Claremont Rotary Club Award (for exemplary commitment to the values in education): Lisa Clarke.
New Norfolk Legacy Widows' Award (for a student who has received an apprenticeship or traineeship): Hayley Bannister
New Norfolk Bicentennial Committee Award (for commitment to community activities): Lisa Clarke.
Tim Morris MHA Award (for achievement in science or history & science): Sara Lowe and Lisa Clarke
Philip Lake Award (for achievement in maths): Rhys Browning
Australian Defence Force Long Tan Award (for leadership and teamwork): Jade Tatchell
Michael Graham Memorial Trophy (for boys' sport & sportsmanship): Shai Johnson
Stephen and Tina Rhodes Memorial Award (for girls' sporting values): Casey Bell
David Llewellyn MHA Award (for encouragement): Jeddah Triffitt
St John Ambulance Australia Service Award: Laura Dillon
Derwent Valley Gazette Literary Award (for achievement in communication): Sara Lowe
New Norfolk High School Award (for achievement in the arts/music): Luke Connor
New Norfolk High School Award (for excellence in visual arts): Hayley Bannister
New Norfolk High School Award (for excellence in graphic design): Sara Lowe
New Norfolk High School Award (performing arts): Tanya Taylor

Monday, December 15, 2008

Alliance back in business

COUNCILLORS tonight rejected a recommendation to leave New Norfolk business promotion funds with the Valley Vision group, voting instead for an earlier proposal to return responsibility to the New Norfolk Business Alliance.

When the Business Alliance recently approached the Derwent Valley Council about being declared a "Special Committee" under the Local Government Act, it was discovered that the council had appointed Valley Vision to manage the business promotion funds previously handled by the Alliance. Business Alliance members maintain that this transfer occurred without consultation.

The matter was resolved at tonight's December council meeting, with only Councillor Jim Elliott speaking in favour of the funds staying with Valley Vision. He moved that the council endorse the new recommendation of general manager Stephen Mackey, but the motion lapsed without a seconder.

Cr Judy Bromfield then moved that the council approve the general manager's earlier recommendation to the November meeting, which was that the Business Alliance become a Special Committee managing the funds. Cr Bromfield added a new clause ensuring that the new committee included a councillor as its chairman.

Most councillors spoke in support of Cr Bromfield's move, including Cr Richard Parker who went so far as to say Valley Vision had passed its use-by date. The matter was put to the vote, with only Cr Elliott opposing the new motion.

Speaking after the meeting, Cr Elliott told the NNNews that as the previous convenor of the Business Alliance, he had tried in vain to recruit new committee members before finally suggesting that Valley Vision be asked to step in.

GM admits report fell short

IN a display of leadership, Derwent Valley Council general manager Stephen Mackey tonight apologised for leaving out key information from a report on the future of the New Norfolk Business Alliance.

In an otherwise comprehensive six-page report tabled at last month's council meeting and largely repeated at tonight's December meeting, Mr Mackey had failed to mention that the funds and functions of the Business Alliance had some months ago been handed to economic development organisation Valley Vision.

When the matter was raised during public question time, Mr Mackey said he could only offer his apology for leaving out the information. Perhaps this is the start of a new era of transparency and accountability at the council.

New Norfolk loses Metro but gains Subway

THESE two stories have no connection but it was a great headline opportunity that could not be ignored.

A political storm erupted last week when the
State Government sold its contract for the New Norfolk bus run to a private operator only days after saying negotiations were only at an early stage. Another issue was the fact no-one was aware Metro was only running the service "on contract" rather than as a part of the government's community service obligation.

Metro chief executive officer Tony Sim said there would be no noticeable differences after O'Driscoll Coaches take over on December 27, other than different drivers and new buses.

And the other big news in New Norfolk is the opening of a local outlet of the giant Subway sandwich franchise. The move has been the subject of speculation for more than a year and was generally regarded as "one of those New Norfolk rumours" until the Subway signage went up today on the former Lucki's Takeaway site on the corner of High and Burnett Sts.

This is a prime site in the town and the new business is said to be opening this Wednesday. It is understood the owner has two other Subway franchises in the Hobart area. Good luck to all involved.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Council reports to community

THE Derwent Valley Council's annual general meeting will be held on Monday at 6pm in the New Norfolk Courthouse. There is still time for residents and ratepayers to collect a copy of the annual report and have their say on its contents at the meeting.

Rain fails to drown out the big parade

PERSISTENT light rain failed to dampen the spirits of those involved in in today's New Norfolk Christmas Parade. An appreciative audience clapped and cheered as one of the biggest pageants in recent years made its way around the central business district.

Below is a gallery of photos and
check back soon for a full report.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Community grants awarded

JUST over $5000 has been allocated to local organisations under the the Derwent Valley Council's community grants program for 2008. Reporting to last month's council meeting, deputy general manager Robert McCrossen said the program was designed to help local groups serving the community in the Derwent Valley. "The program will deliver either cash and/or in-kind support depending on the needs of the applicant," Mr McCrossen said. "A sub-committee consisting of Councillors Judy Bromfield, Craig Farrell and Barry Lathey have met to consider and make recommendations on the grant applications received." Totalling $5120, the successful applicants and their projects were:

Maydena Craft Group (Community Craft Group) $500.
Magra Country Women’s Association (Replace window frames in CWA rooms) $720.
New Norfolk District Hospital Auxiliary (Hospital patient support) $400.
Blair Street Kindergarten (Development of a kitchen garden) $500.
Hayes Neighbourhood Watch (Roadside litter collection) $300.
New Norfolk Scout Group (Purchase of tent) $500.
Corumbene Auxiliary (Christmas party for nursing home residents) $250.
Derwent Valley Choir (Purchase of music scores) $200.
Derwent Valley Croquet Club (Purchase of a lawnmower) $500.
Malunna Community Group (Craft and sport games at Molesworth carols) $250.
Maydena Community Association (Rail Track Rider Project) $500.
Bushy Park Swimming Club (Purchase of lane ropes) $500.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Curious and curiouser

A SEEMINGLY routine motion to create a new committee of the Derwent Valley Council had a strange result at last month's council meeting. General manager Stephen Mackey had presented a detailed six-page report which recommended granting Special Committee status to the New Norfolk Business Alliance. The Business Alliance is a body of central business district ratepayers elected to manage the proceeds of a promotional levy collected from the CBD. The group had recently sought to become a "Special Committee" under the Local Government Act in order to give the Business Alliance a legal status which it has previously lacked.

Councillor Jim Elliott was first to speak, and as a former member of the Business Alliance he may have been expected to vote in favour of its request. Instead, he asked that debate on the matter be shifted to a workshop, before going on to say management of the levy funds was "comfortably bedded where it is at Valley Vision." A business owner and Valley Vision board member, Cr Elliott continued: "I don't see why it should be moved to a group that doesn't have good representation." The majority of councillors agreed with Cr Elliott's request to discuss the matter in a workshop, which was held last Thursday behind closed doors in the council social room. Councillors Judy Bromfield and Narelle Molan voted against the manoeuvre.

No councillor asked why the general manager's report had not mentioned that management of the Business Alliance funds was now in the hands of Valley Vision. Similarly, no explanation was given as to how Valley Vision had gained control of the Business Alliance funds. Watch this space.

If you went down to the woods on Saturday...

ABOUT 30 people spent a lovely peaceful day in the Upper Florentine forest last Saturday. This was the second successful information day in recent weeks organised by local enthusiasts to promote awareness of the forest. The day again generated great interest and discussion amongst those who attended, who expressed a wish for more such days to be held on a regular basis.

We are thrilled with the positive responses we have been getting to these community days. We plan to have a series of information days over the summer, with guest speakers educating us on a variety of topics such as the geology of the area, the European and Aboriginal heritage, the flora and fauna of the forest, and looking at potential tourism strategies for the region. The beauty of the forest, together with the encouraging feedback we have from all new visitors, is inspiring us to keep going.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Meet our Olympians

THE council didn't see fit to welcome them home with a civic reception, but you can meet our local Olympians at the New Norfolk Rowing Club's summer regatta this Saturday. The program starts at 9am with a long distance eight race. A barbecue and refreshments will be on offer from 10.30.

The event of the day is the Sharland Sculls - a prestigious 500m race with a long history. Scheduled for an 11.30am start, this event is expected to feature a who's who of Tasmanian rowing Olympians, including Simon Burgess, Anthony Edwards (pictured), Kerry Hore, Scott Brennan and Cameron Wurf. This will provide a great opportunity to meet some of our Beijing Olympians, including local resident Edwards, who has rowed at four Olympic games and is now settled at Molesworth.

The program will conclude with a christening of new boats at 2pm. The New Norfolk Rowing Club is in Rocks Rd.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

State award for autumn festival

NEW Norfolk's annual autumn festival was one of the major winners in the Tasmanian Government's 2008 Community Achievement Awards. Consumer Protection Minister Lisa Singh MHA announced the winners at a function on Saturday night and presented the Events and Tourism Award to the organisers of the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival. "The 2008 Community Achievement Awards acknowledge and reward the valuable contributions individuals, businesses and communities are making throughout Tasmania," Ms Singh said. "It is important that we recognise the tourism operators, towns, environment and sustainability initiatives, individuals and communities that are making a difference." For more information visit

Monday, December 1, 2008

Let's do the timewarp

IT looks like being a big day at the Derwent Valley Field and Game Club this Sunday when the state's first Vintager Day is held. A unique event for early side-by-side shotguns, it will be a novelty occasion when even black powder shotguns may be used, with overall results judged on the number of targets hit - with extra points for turning out in old English dress.

DVFG president Ray Williams said the mission of the Vintagers - a non-profit incorporated club - was to provide opportunities for the collecting, use and appreciation of side-by-side vintage and classic sporting shotguns and rifles made between 1860 and 1940.

Derwent Valley Field and Game was established in 1973 by members of the New Norfolk community with an interest in the clay-target discipline who established one of the first sporting clay ranges in Tasmania. The licensed range is located on Boyer Rd between New Norfolk and Bridgewater, covering six hectares on the bank of the River Derwent. New members are always welcome. For more information about the club or Vintager Day, phone 0418 124 171.

Nowhere to run to

FIRST-CLASS planning has resulted in roadworks causing traffic delays on both sides of the River Derwent between New Norfolk and Granton/Bridgewater. Newly-installed signs on Boyer Rd warn of 15-minute delays while part of that road is being resurfaced, while across the river the reconstruction of the Lyell Highway has moved on to a new section near the Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania. This leaves the Molesworth Bridle Track, or a circuitous route via Bothwell, as the only way of avoiding roadworks when travelling between New Norfolk and the city. NNNews suggests leaving a bit earlier... good advice for the driver of the grey Mazda 3 who overtook on double white lines at Sorell Creek this morning, and then ran a red light on the Lyell Highway roadworks.