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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Best in Tasmania

A LOCAL business received two awards at the Tasmanian Newsagent of the Year Awards last week. The New Norfolk Newsagent was named the best home delivery agent in the southern region and in Tasmania overall.

Presenting the awards, Deputy Premier Lara Giddings said newsagents were important for our communities and a valuable contributor to our economy. “Newsagents in Tasmania are important small businesses that employ 500 people and have an annual turnover of $100 million,” Ms Giddings said.

Leigh and Pauline Martin have operated the New Norfolk Newsagency for about 30 years and the business is now managed by their son Matthew.

To be or not to be

THE Derwent Valley Council recently gave its seal of approval to a proposed garden on land it does not own, but refuses to endorse a garden on land it does own.

At its January meeting, the council heard that New Norfolk Primary School had received a $20,560 grant from the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation to establish a community garden at the Blair Street Kindergarten. The "kitchen garden" will enable children to plant, nurture, harvest, cook and eat fresh food. It will also be available to other local schools and community groups.

The school sought council support to extend its grounds by fencing off 836 square metres of the Ellis Dean Reserve, immediately behind the kindergarten (off Charlotte St) for the community garden. Deputy general manager Robert McCrossen reported that Ellis Dean Reserve was Crown Land, leased to the council in 1982 for 21 years. "Although the lease expired in 2002 Council has continued to develop the reserve with play and recreational facilities. The State Government has offered a number of parcels of land (including Ellis Dean) to Council under its Crown Land Assessment and Classification Project although agreement to transfer properties has not been reached," Mr McCrossen wrote in his report.

Councillors endorsed Mr McCrossen's recommendation that the council give its support for the community garden by advising the New Norfolk Primary School and State Government that it supports the extension of the Blair Street Kindergarten grounds.

Seated in the public gallery at the council meeting was a representative of the Friends of Frescati, a community group which has been unsuccessfully seeking to work with the council on the development of a community garden on open space at Willow Court - land owned by the council. The group has developed a landscaping plan but has been unable to gain council support for this initiative despite several years of lobbying.

The NNNewsblogger is a former student of New Norfolk Primary School and supports its initiatives.
The NNNewsblogger is not a member of the Friends of Frescati, but supports its initiatives.
The NNNewsblogger is not a member of the Derwent Valley Council and does not support its recalcitrance.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Amble down to Rosedown this weekend

SCENIC and historic Rosedown will welcome visitors this weekend under Australia's Open Garden Scheme. Situated on the bank of the Derwent at 134 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk, Rosedown features an 1840s cottage surrounded by hundreds of stunning roses including David Austin and Alister Clark cultivars.

Paths weave beneath fine specimen trees touched with an autumn hue, vine-covered arbours, a tranquil pool and long-flowering cottage perennials. Admission is $5 per person. There will be plant sales and lovely picnic spots are available. Open from 10am to 4.30pm this weekend (February 28 and March 1).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Letter to the editor: Councillor Parker comments

Further to your article about the Derwent Valley Council internal review, it should be noted that Council failed the first test of a Local Government requirement in openness. An opportunity for public comment has been lost.

The review, itself in my opinion, failed to identify cost savings or answer questions on improved efficiency. It did a good job on analysis with other southern councils, but even in this area relevant councils appear not to have been contacted or to have made any contribution.

Council may well deserve a self-congratulatory note on a job well done, but until a proper review of Council management takes place, our ratepayers will have to make up their own mind on openness and efficiency.

Richard Parker
Derwent Valley Council

Bushfire benefit concert this weekend

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Youth Eight rowers selected at New Norfolk

THE River Derwent at New Norfolk was the site for the final rowing selection trials for the Tasmanian Youth Cup Eight on Sunday. Both male and female Under 20 crews were selected from a strong claimant group of 22 down to the required 16 and two coxswains.

Selector and co-coach of the female eight, Tasmanian Rowing’s state development officer and four-time Olympian Anthony Edwards said the New Norfolk Rowing Club’s access to such excellent water was ideal for the final selections, despite the hazard of having to contend with speed boats and jetskis apparently exceeding the water speed limit. On several occasions the crews were forced to stop their set rowing pieces to avoid being dumped by the huge wash generated by the offenders, Edwards said.

The crews will be competing in the national and interstate regattas being held over the March long weekend at Lake Barrington.

Male crew selected were Taylor Wisniewski (Mersey), George Foot (Tamar), Paul Barrett (St Pat’s), Tom Chapman (Hutchins), Edward Kay (Uni), George Ellis (Tamar) Lachlan Stewart (Friends), Sam Hall (Tamar) and cox Nick Edwards (Hutchins). Their co-coaches are Ken Davey and Paul Webberley.

Female crew selected were Annabelle Gibson (Grammar), Nadia Gerrike (Huon), Trudy Phibbs (Bucks), Gemma Parker (Lindis), Emma Davey (Scotch Oakburn), Ciona Wilson (Grammar), Rebecca Downie (Lindis), Renee Britton (Bucks) and cox Laura Eastermint (Bucks). Neil Stump is co-coach with Anthony Edwards.

New Norfolk Club rowers who will also be competing at Lake Barrington will be Oliver Wilson-Haffenden in the Under 23 lightweight single scull then paired with Sam Hall in the lightweight doubles and also in the open lightweight quad again with Sam Hall and Mark Rippon (Lindisfarne) and Will Rafferty (North Esk). Rebecca Nicholls will represent Friends in the Schools Eight and also the Under 19s eight.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Council secrecy slammed

OUTSPOKEN Councillor Richard Parker has lashed out at what he describes as ongoing secrecy at the Derwent Valley Council. Cr Parker, who is expected to retire later this year, yesterday described the municipal body as a "closed council". His comments follow last week's council meeting where:

* An eight-lot subdivision was approved on land previously believed to be public open space
* Discussion of an internal review was conducted in closed session

During the council meeting held at Maydena on Thursday night, Cr Parker argued against an eight-lot subdivision at Lawitta. Cr Parker told the council he had never seen such unanimous opposition to a subdivision as that expressed by the residents of the affected Goldsmith and Bastian Sts. He said there was a particular problem in that many of the local residents believed the property in question was public open space. Despite these concerns, the development was approved by the majority of councillors.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Cr Parker sought to have a recently-completed internal review discussed in open council rather than be heard in closed session. "I have gone through the report. There is no councillor or staff member mentioned by name nor any adverse comment and no reason why it cannot be heard in open session," he told the meeting.

After taking advice from general manager Stephen Mackey, Mayor Tony Nicholson refused the request, stating: "It involves contractual matters and cannot be discussed in open session as described in the Act."

In an unrelated matter, Cr Judy Bromfield asked whether all water resources staff would be transferred to a proposed new water corporation. Mayor Nicholson said this too would be discussed in closed session.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"That is the decision" - Mayor

DERWENT Valley Mayor Tony Nicholson tonight refused to explain his decision to reject a request for a copy of an inventory of historical items relating to the Willow Court site. "That is the decision," was all Councillor Nicholson would say when he was asked for his reasons by local journalist and amateur historian Damian Bester.

After several months of delays, Cr Nicholson recently wrote in a letter that the inventory could be seen on request by making an appointment with the council's deputy general manager. When Mr Bester asked for a copy of the inventory, he was told the mayor's offer was only to look at the document.

At tonight's council meeting held at Maydena, Cr Nicholson said it was not unreasonable to require an appointment to be made to peruse the documents.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Premier praises pavilion's prime position

A LUXURY addition to New Norfolk's historic Woodbridge on the Derwent was opened earlier today by Tasmanian premier David Bartlett. Mr Bartlett said the $500,000 pavilion - which includes a fine dining venue - had enhanced the hotel complex.

"Woodbridge on the Derwent was built in 1825, and since they bought the hotel in 2003, Laurelle and John Grimley have extensively restored and refurbished it," Mr Bartlett said. "The new pavilion is a big vote of confidence."

Mr Bartlett said the development reflected everything that is good about our state. “It is both a fine dining venue with views of the gardens and the meandering River Derwent and a boutique conference facility for up to 40 people," he said.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Letter to the editor: Public transport

AS a disabled person in a wheelchair I recently was fortunate enough to have a test run on one of the new disabled-friendly O'Driscoll coaches that have begun to run between New Norfolk and Hobart (check timetables).

These buses have ramps that can be put in place by the drivers with little fuss, making entry onto the bus much easier with no steps to negotiate. I rolled straight onto the bus in my wheelchair - it was very easy. Having flat entry to the bus is a great bonus for people who would not be able to use a standard bus with stairs.

This bus service with many runs back and forth to Hobart each week will also allow the youth of New Norfolk to access many activities outside the town, hopefully alleviating much built-up boredom. This company also serves Ellendale, Westerway, Bushy Park and Rosegarland according to the timetable.

Scott Shaw
Deputy Mayor, Derwent Valley Council

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cherry industry bears fruit in Japan

CHERRIES grown near New Norfolk are selling for $50 per kilogram in Japan following a successful move by Reid Fruits. Federal Minister for Trade, Simon Crean, recently congratulated Tim Reid for breaking in to the lucrative Japanese market.

Based at Plenty, opposite the Salmon Ponds, Reid Fruits has overcome market access challenges to ship 17.5 tonnes of premium Satonishiki cherries which retail at A$50 per kilo in Japan – the homeland of this unique cherry. Until recently, Reid Fruits could only access Japan if their produce was fumigated, a process reducing end-product quality in a market that demands the highest standards.

The company is the only large-scale southern hemisphere commercial grower of the Satonishiki cherry. Mr Crean said the win demonstrated how Australia’s sophisticated agricultural producers, aided by improved market access, could deliver regional jobs to Australians. "Reid Fruits employ 12 permanent and 300 seasonal workers during production, and now expect to increase total employment to 500 seasonal and permanent staff, demonstrating how trade can help build employment and prosperity in difficult times," Mr Crean said.

Dick Adams, Federal Member for Lyons, said the additional jobs would be welcome in the Derwent Valley area. "Mr Reid, with assistance of the Australian Government’s Austrade has shown what is possible for primary producers in the Derwent Valley region. This is a real boon for the region in terms of jobs and also international focus for the Derwent Valley," he said.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Molesworth man's Australia Day surprise

A DERWENT Valley man was named the city of Hobart's young citizen of the year for 2009 during Australia Day celebrations at Sandy Bay last week. He is Alex Moores, of Molesworth, who was described as an "advocate for youth empowerment" by acting lord mayor Eva Ruzika.

Alderman Ruzika said Mr Moores had established an internet-based group called "Consult a young person, anyone?" and worked with many organisations to advocate for young people being involved in decision-making.

Mr Moores' long list of activities and achievements includes being a member of the Hobart City Council Futures Youth Advisory Committee; member of the United Nations Youth Association (UNYA) Tasmania and 2008 national conference committee member; member of the 2008 Tasmanian Youth Parliament; and secretary of the Tasmanian Debating Union.

MAYDENA: An enjoyable Australia Day was had at Maydena, with a fun run/walk/bike ride, a free barbecue, badminton in the community hall and cricket outside. Councillor Jim Elliott represented the Derwent Valley Council and presented certificates of achievement to Todd and Rebecca Gillie for their work in the local community.

HAMILTON: Ann Jones of Hamilton was named the Central Highlands citizen of the year for 2009 on Australia Day, and Ellendale's Lychandra Gieseman was named the young citizen of the year. The Tasmanian Championship Sheepdog Trial was recognised as the municipality's event of the year.

Letter to the Editor: Wildlife sanctuary

I am travelling Tasmania and especially the Derwent Valley for the third time in eight years, this time to purchase land within this beautifull valley. While looking for land I found a parcel of land of 1000 acres for sale at Westerway but with a big question mark.

Last time I was in Tasmania and the Derwent Valley a few years ago, I read in the local newspaper that this same land was donated free to the welfare of native animals as a sanctuary by a Mr Polin and was called the Martin Polin Wildlife Reserve.

Can anyone tell me how this reserve has now been revoked as a refuge for wildlife to be sold as private land after being donated as a sanctuary to threatened species? The land covers from Westerway to National Park.

Christian Grangfield