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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Norfolk takes delivery of new firefighting vehicle

THEY keys to Tasmania's most advanced pumper/tanker firefighting vehicle were handed to the New Norfolk Fire Brigade late last month. Making the presentation, Lyons MHA David Llewellyn said the vehicle had been designed through consultation with Tasmanian firefighters.

“A total of 30 these vehicles have been fabricated at Tasmania Fire Service Engineering Workshops at Cambridge over approximately a two-year period, with around one third of those to be allocated within the Southern Region as they roll off the assembly line,” Mr Llewellyn said.

“This is a very impressive vehicle and fire services around the country have shown keen interest. In particular, they see the fact that they are 4-wheel drive with the versatility of being able to respond effectively to both structural and bushfire risk as being a desirable feature," he said.
Mr Llewellyn said Tasmania was in the unique situation of being able to produce its own fire appliances at considerable cost savings. “This is brought about by the planned way in which Tasmania Fire Service replaces its ageing fire appliance fleet rather than waiting until vehicles break down completely, which would then require them to be replaced in a reactive way,” he said.

Since 2003 the Tasmania Fire Service has manufactured 85 fire vehicles, including light and medium tankers, at its Cambridge complex. “The introduction of new and improved fire vehicles continues to enhance the quality of fire protection and emergency response offered by Tasmania Fire Service, and the State Government is strongly committed to continuing their excellent record of support for the replacement program,” Mr Llewellyn said.

Council's Christmas opening to be reviewed

THE staffing of the Derwent Valley Council office each Christmas is under reviewr. During councillor question time at this month's meeting, Cr Damian Bester asked whether the general manager would conduct a cost/benefit analysis of the recent practice of opening the council office between Christmas and the New Year.

Historically the council office was closed during this period, but several years ago a decision was made to have a skeleton staff on duty for the handful of business days between Christmas and the New Year. Responding to Cr Bester's question, general manager Stephen Mackey said it was already clear that little business was done during the period in question. Few development applications were received at this time and ratepayers now had alternative methods of paying their rates demands.

Mr Mackey advised that he too was at work over Christmas, and agreed that it was an appropriate time to analyse the effectiveness of opening the office during the holiday period.

Cr Bester said he was not generally in favour of reducing services, but he thought this might be an opportunity to reduce costs if the service was not being used. He looked forward to the general manager reporting back to the January council meeting.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Who goes there?

THE hosts of the Heart 107.3 FM breakfast show recently visited New Norfolk to answer a listener's question about what was going on at Willow Court. Their website says that after arriving at 6am and having a look around, they still didn't know the answer.

Simply turning up probably wasn't the best approach. Neither was looking around the old Royal Derwent Hospital site instead of Willow Court (see photo copied from their website).

Media interest in the ongoing delays associated with Willow Court is welcome (and vital) but experienced broadcasters such as these should have been a bit more thorough with their research. Our friends at  Paranoramal Intent blog would probably have been only too happy to help, or even the council for that matter.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from the New Norfolk News

THE New Norfolk News sends Christmas greetings to all its readers. Your editor has a feeling that 2010 is going to be a landmark year in the history of the Derwent Valley, so rest up over the holiday period and take in plenty of sustenance. Next year is going to be a biggie.

Don't forget, if you are on your own tomorrow, a free Christmas Day lunch is available in the hall at St Matthew's Anglican Church in New Norfolk. The fine folk at St Matt's will make you welcome at noon. There will be a Christmas Eve service at St Matthew's at 11 tonight and the Christmas Day service will be at 9.30am.

Soon it will be Christmas Day, and your editor is having trouble getting this carol out of his head, so he's going to share it with you :-)

City sidewalk, busy sidewalks,
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air there's
A feeling of Christmas.

Children laughing, people passing,
Meeting smile after smile,
And on every street corner you'll hear:

Silver bells, silver bells,
It's Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day.

City street lights,
Even stop lights,
Blink a bright red and green,
As the shoppers rush home
With their treasures.

Hear the snow crunch,
See the kids bunch,
This is Santa's big scene,
And above all this bustle you'll hear:

Silver bells, silver bells,
It's Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day.

NNHS recognises its best and brightest

NEW Norfolk High School's annual prizegiving assembly recognised the efforts of a long list of achievers in all grades. Congratulations to all recipients and to the donors who make the awards possible.

Bursaries - Charles & Sylvia Viertel Springboard to Higher Education Bursary for a former Ouse student: Mikayla Hall
Charles & Sylvia Viertel Springboard to Higher Education Bursary: Jordan Hay
Central Highlands Council Bursary for a student proceeding to Further Education: Mikayla Hall
Magra CWA Vocational Bursary for a student proceeding to a VET Course: Ryan Turner
Claremont College Bursary for a students proceeding to Claremont College in 2010: Kirstie Nelson
Norske Skog Bursary for students proceeding to college education in 2010: Bianca Tonks, Amber Lester, Jacob Sproule, Hayley Browning
NNHS Medal for the most outstanding student at New Norfolk High School: Claire Elliott

Grade 10 Awards - Claremont Rotary Club Award for exemplary commitment to the values of education: Hayley Browning
Mat Goggin Foundation Award for Entrepreneurship: Ashley Heron
Minister for Education & Skills "Pride in Our School" Award for community spirit: Joshua Walsh
NNHS Cookery Award: Bianca Barratt
The Gazette Award for Achievement in Literacy and English: Hayley Browning
Tim Morris MHA Award for Achievement in Science: Seana Ackroyd
Uniting Church Personal Endeavour and Commitment to Personal Growth Award: Samantha Blackwell
Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership & Teamwork Award: Sam Treloar
Apex Shield for Citizenship, Service and Fellowship over 4 years: Sam Treloar & Kate Minchin
Senator Carol Brown Merit Award for Personal Endeavour: Sammy Bond
David Jefferson Memorial Award for Service to the School Community: James Tassell
David Llewellyn MHA Encouragement Award: Melissa Hutchins
Glengrey House Community Service and Citizenship Award: Claire Elliott
New Norfolk Bicentenary Award for Commitment to Community Activities: Emily Rieper
NNHS Achievement in the Arts-Music Award: Jeiel Roper
NNHS Graphic Design Award: Ashley Heron
NNHS Performing Arts Award: Jack Hooper
NNHS Visual Arts Award: Taylor Lacey
Phil Lake Award for Excellence in Numeracy: Claire Elliott
Michael Graham Memorial Trophy for Boys' Sport and Sportsmanship: Jacob Sproule
Tina and Stephen Rhodes Memorial Award for Girls' Outstanding Values in Sport: Kate Minchin

Grade 9 Awards - Betty Triffitt Memorial Award for Service to the School Community: Kimberley Williams
Derwent Valley Council Award for Outstanding Achievement across the Curriculum: Samantha Tassell
Dick Adams MHR Award for Achievement in Maths and English: Mathew Baumgarten
Lions Club of New Norfolk Community Service & Citizenship Award: Mitchell Lovell
Woolworths Supermarket Encouragement Award: Kara Nichols
John and Hilary Craw Award for Achievement in Information Technology: Ross Kent
Derwent Valley Masonic Lodge Best Grade 9 All Rounder: Samantha Tassell

Grade 8 Awards - Tasmanian Alkaloids Award for Exemplary Commitment to the Values of Education: Hayley Browning
Catholic Church Award for Personal Endeavour and Commitment to Personal Growth: Ashley Heron
AJ & IA Pearson Award for Achievement in Public Speaking: Joshua Walsh
Forestry Tasmania's Care for People Award: Abbey Browning
Heather Butler MHA Award for Achievement in Society & History: Connor McNabb
Lachlan CWA Memorial Committee Encouragement Award: Ladie Parker
Michael Polley MHA for Outstanding Achievement across the Curriculum: Shaun Gray
RSL Award for Improvement and Consistent Effort: Stephanie Tourmaline
Commonwealth Bank Best Grade 8 All Rounder Award: Aden Tonks

Grade 7 awards - Lachlan CWA Memorial Committee Encouragement Award: Chloe Eiszele
Michael Aird MLC Award for Community Service & Citizenship: Hayley Roberts
NNHS Award for Personal Endeavour & Commitment to Personal Growth: Glenn Woodhouse
NNHS Award for Achievement in Science or Society and History: Sarah Clarke
NNHS Encouragement Award: Mitchell Rice
Outstanding Achievement across the Curriculum (for a former Fairview Primary student): Sophie Briggs
Outstanding Achievement across the Curriculum (for a former Molesworth Primary student): Caitlin White
Outstanding Achievement across the Curriculum (for a former New Norfolk Primary student): Zoe Hall
Derwent Valley Concert Band Award for Achievement in the Arts-Music: Caitlin White
Rene Hidding MHA Award for Achievement in Health and Wellbeing: Tyron Rainbird
The Shoe Mart Sport and Sportsmanship Award: Luke Cooper
RSL Award for Improvement and Consistent Effort: Jessica Hall
Commonwealth Bank Best Grade 7 All Rounder: Sophie Briggs

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Developers circling Willow Court oval

AT least three developers are now thought to be interested in the Willow Court oval. A prime site on the corner of George St and The Avenue, the sportsground and adjoining buildings have been on the Derwent Valley Council's disposal list for nearly a decade. A loosening of heritage restrictions on the precinct is understood to have made the property more attractive to developers.

The council has been in secret negotiations to sell the property to a supermarket developer, but this process is likely to be cancelled when a special closed council meeting is held on Monday night. It is believed that a rival supermarket developer is waiting in the wings, along with a major hardware chain. It is understood threats of legal action were made when it was learned a sale was being negotiated without there being a public process of expressions of interest, tenders, or real estate advertising to let potential purchasers know that the property was for sale with less stringent heritage requirements than was previously the case.

It is not clear whether the parcel of land in question includes the only remaining car-parking area on the Willow Court site. All other parking areas, along with some roads and footpaths, were sold to private developers some years ago. This matter went unanswered when raised by Councillor Damian Bester at last month's council meeting.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Secret land sale comes unstuck

A MOVE will be made next week to rescind a secret decision of the Derwent Valley Council to sell part of the Willow Court historic site for a supermarket development. Until last night's monthly council meeting, former deputy mayor had been the only councillor to speak publicly about the decision to sell the Willow Court sportsground to a developer planning to build a new supermarket.

At last night's meeting, Cr Judy Bromfield sought leave to make a personal statement. Cr Bromfield said she believed the sale of the oval was in the best interests of the ratepayers and she believed the decision to sell was correct. Cr Bromfield went on to say that certain circumstances had changed since the decision was made, and as such she was foreshadowing a motion of revocation and requested a closed council meeting next week to debate the motion.

At a "meet the candidates" forum at New Norfolk in October, Cr Scott Shaw revealed that the council was poised to sell the oval property to a supermarket developer for $500,000.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"No move to unseat mayor"

FORMER deputy mayor Scott Shaw has dismissed local speculation that he would attempt to unseat mayor Martyn Evans at tomorrow night's meeting of the Derwent Valley Council. Councillor Shaw was one of three unsuccessful candidates for the top job at this year's council election. Tonight he told the New Norfolk News there was no truth to a rumour he was planning to somehow remove Cr Evans from office.

Cr Shaw said he was aware of the rumour, which spread like wildfire today. He had been contacted by Mayor Evans, who had heard the story from the council's general manager. On hearing that it was alleged Cr Shaw had made certain comments whilst at the New Norfolk Christmas Parade on Saturday, Cr Shaw said he had not attended the parade.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Whatever it is, it's taking shape

A COLOURFUL structure is taking shape at Tynwald Park, where the Derwent Valley Council announced it was building a "sound shell" for public entertainment.

The council's recently-released annual report refers to it both as a "bandstand" and a "stage facility". Regular readers of the New Norfolk News know that the NewsBlogger is a grumpy pedant and he should be grateful to the Federal Government for providing $150,000 to make it happen.

The stage is being built at the furthest end of Tynwald Park, New Norfolk's highly regarded parkland and sportsfield complex. It looks out over the football and cricket ground and will be a valuable public facility.

Willow Court funds under scrutiny

A SPECIAL meeting will be held to analyse every detail of the expenditure of funds intended for the redevelopment of the Willow Court historic site. The move was one of a raft of measures put forward by new councillor Damian Bester at his first council meeting last month. Cr Bester consented to a minor amendment by Cr Jim Elliott which saw the term "line-by-line analysis" replaced with "an analysis", and the amendment was then supported by all councillors with the exception of Cr Barry Lathey who had declared an interest and left the meeting room.

In debate, Cr Elliott said it would be "quite interesting" if councillors were tied up for a week conducting the review. He suggested that Cr Bester should provide a precis of his own investigation of the financials, as a line-by-line analysis would be a lengthy process. In contrast, Cr Scott Shaw said it may be necessary for a series of meetings to be held. A lot of new information would be brought forward, he said.

Deputy mayor Craig Farrell said a close look at the Willow Court financial report was warranted. He said the council was now in a position to seek funding for the heritage property and future funds would have to be managed "properly and responsibly".

Cr James Graham said he had been asked many questions about Willow Court during the recent election campaign. He supported a review of the financial report, no matter how long it took.

Dazzling Derwent Dollar smiles

THE Derwent Dollar Draw is always guaranteed to put some smiles on the faces of several lucky winners after the New Norfolk Christmas Parade. The tradition started when the parade was revived by Ngaire Glover and Damian Bester 11 years ago and it couldn't be simpler: complete a coupon published in the Derwent Valley Gazette and place it into a box at the Christmas parade. The prizemoney is issued as Derwent Dollars, which can be spent at about 80 participating businesses in High St and surrounds.

This year's lucky winners, photographed with Mayor Martyn Evans, were, from left, Narelle Lane, of Lachlan (500 Derwent Dollars); Maxine Adlard, of New Norfolk (200 Derwent Dollars); Marlene Adlard, of New Norfolk (100 Derwent Dollars); Helen Hynes, of New Norfolk (100 Derwent Dollars) and Danielle Triffett, of New Norfolk (100 Derwent Dollars). Thanks to Ngaire Glover for this great photo.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nearly perfect day for Christmas Parade

THE crowd at today's 11th annual New Norfolk Christmas Parade was generally regarded to have been the best yet. The weather was almost perfect, with only just enough wind to blow over the council's small road-closure signs after the event.

There were 39 entries in the parade, which once again covered a wide area of community life in the Derwent Valley. As always, the Derwent Valley Concert Band and Derwent Scottish Pipe Band earned a cheer as they passed by. A pleasing feature of this year's event was the vastly increased number of walking participants and fewer trucks.

Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans and his son Campbell judged the contest for the best floats in various categories. These were:
  • Best overall presentation: St Brigid's School nativity scene (prize: 50 Derwent Dollars)
  • Runner-up: New Norfolk Cubs and Scouts (prize: 25 Derwent Dollars)
  • Best school presentation - Glenora Early Learning Group "A Very Fairy Christmas" and Glenora District High School human powered vehicle (prize: 50 Derwent Dollars)
  • Runner-up: Blair Street Kindergarten - "How Does your Garden Grow" (prize: 25 Derwent Dollars)
  • Best decorated vehicle: Norske Skog bumble bee (prize: 25 Derwent Dollars)
  • Mayor's special prize: New Norfolk Primary School - "Peace across the World" (prize: 25 Derwent Dollars)
Check out our photo gallery:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Valley Vision loses Willow Court

THE Derwent Valley Council has resumed direct control of the future development of Willow Court. Newly-elected councillor Damian Bester made Willow Court one of the key elements of his first council meeting and was able to gain enough support from his fellow councillors to see economic development group Valley Vision lose its long-held responsibility for the historic site.

Cr Bester moved (seconded by deputy mayor Craig Farrell) that the council resume direct authority for Willow Court and its redevelopment and that the project officer provide a written update at each monthly council meeting, in open session. In discussion, Cr Bester said it was time to make a move. He said Valley Vision had been dealing with Willow Court for about 10 years and had failed dismally. He said it was time to make a move. "It appears that the Valley Vision project officer is also the council’s economic development officer, so there will be no loss of momentum or corporate memory," he said.

Cr Bester also spoke of the importance of working with the community. "We need to formalise the status of the Willow Court working party and open it to the public as was originally promised," he said. Crs Jim Elliott and Barry Lathey asked what impact the move would have on the Willow Court working party. Cr Lathey said he was a member of the working party and would not like to see it disbanded. Cr Bester explained that the motion sought to formalise the working party, not disband it.

Cr James Graham said he liked the intent of the motion, and deputy mayor Farrell said he would like to see experts from the Tasmanian Heritage Council brought in as advisors.

Ernie Dingo drops in again

TELEVISION personality Ernie Dingo visited New Norfolk last week. The Channel 7 and Southern Cross Television presenter was seen relaxing at Banjo's Bakehouse in High St - the same place he was seen when last in New Norfolk several years ago. Dingo is the host of several programs including The Great Outdoors, a travel show which has visited the Derwent Valley several times.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas panto coming up

EVERYONE who enjoyed the local production of Puss in Boots in 2007 will love Cinderella when it hits the New Norfolk War Memorial Hall later this month as a Christmas pantomime. The sweet and kind Cinderella will be played by Holly Ackerly, while Allison Butterworth and Maria Josey are the cruel step-sisters.

Sharon Hutchison will play a delightfully mean granny who likes a bit of a bop. There is also a soccer-mad prince, a king and queen with a problem, the long-suffering Dandini with a constant migraine called Prince Charming, the love-sick Buttons and a 21st century, technology savvy fairy god mother.

The show times will be 1pm and 5pm on December 19 and 20 at the New Norfolk War Memorial Hall, Circle St. Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults or a family pass for $20. Tickets can be booked through Roz Chapman on 0403 858 210 or call in to 20th Century Artifacts at 56 High St, New Norfolk, between 11am and 5pm daily..