COVID-19 ADVICE: The following links provide official advice and information about the virus known as COVID-19.
Australia's state and federal governments are taking action to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Use the links above to source the latest advice about what you can do to protect yourself and others. Washing your hands for 20 seconds is one of the most effective forms of infection control. Do this after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; after close physical contact with anyone who is unwell; after using the toilet; before and after eating; before, during and after preparing food; and after feeding or touching a pet.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pleasing numbers at Willow Court open days

ABOUT 500 people attended open days at the Willow Court historic site this weekend, organised by the Willow Court Working Group as part of the National Trust "open doors" month. Congratulations to all involved.

Two out of three for the Eagles

NEW Norfolk hammered Brighton 25.25 (175) to 1.11 (17) in the SFL match played at Boyer Oval yesterday. Best for New Norfolk were M. Thompson, J. Clifford, P. Ross, B. Carver and R. Belcher, while goals were scored by R. Martin 6, B. Carver 4, M. Thompson, 4, B.Booth 3, J. Kelly 2, L. Horne, J. Clifford, M. Smith, N. Ross, T. Cleary and R. Belcher.

The Eagles reserves were not so lucky, going down to the Robins by 13 points; 9.6 (60) d 7.5 (47). Best for New Norfolk were T. Bligh, B. Hall, L. Browning, T. Triffett, S. Rogers and N. Coy, and the goal-scorers were M. Bearman 2, C. Ransley 2, T. Wright, D. Triffett and P. McGowan.

The New Norfolk colts had a 44-point win over Brighton, 15.9 (99) to 8.6 (54). Best for New Norfolk were N. Lester, R. Smith, R. Tebb, L. Menzie, B. Coppleman and T. Youd. Goal-scorers were J. Walsh 4, S. Triffitt 4, L. Menzie, B. Coppleman, B. Lovell, J. Young and J. Mayne.

Another week, another Willow Court backflip

LOCAL journalist Blair Richards scored herself quite a scoop this week with the State Government's retreat from its promise to resume responsibility for the contentious Willow Court historic site. In a written statement drafted by the premier's office, new Labor Lyons MHA Rebecca White said the government had made no promise to take back the historic former hospital it sold to the council a decade ago.

"I was not personally involved in the discussion with the council, but I have been advised that during the election campaign the government did not agree to take back Willow Court and that the discussion with the council was on general models for management that could be used for the site," Ms White told the Derwent Valley Gazette. "Any negotiations around the future of Willow Court are to be the subject of future Partnership Agreements between the Government and the council."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another triple win for the Eagles

NEW Norfolk scored three wins over Cygnet in last weekend's Southern Football League matches. The seniors defeated the home team 19.23 (137) to 6.6 (42). Our goal-scorers were R. Martin 6, S. Bonnitcha 4, B. Booth 3, N. Ross 3, B. Carver, S. Bonnitcha and S. Collis; while the best players were B. Chaplin, B.
Booth, J. Clifford, S. Bonnitcha, M. Cashion and L. Horne.

The reserves defeated Cygnet 11.21 (87) to 8.7 (55). New Norfolk's goals were scored by P. Jelkic 3, P. McGowan 3, M. Bearman 2, L. Browning, D. Huxley and C. Ransley. Best were P. Jelkic, B. Hall, M. Hay, T. Triffett, P. McGowan and M. Bearman.

The colts had their own sizeable win over Cygnet, 12.17 (89) to 4.4 (28), with goals scored by S. Triffitt 3, N. Grant 3, L. Menzie 2, J. Walsh, M. Thurston, N. Lester and B. Coppleman. Best for New Norfolk were R. Smith, D. Walsh, B. Stone, L. Menzie, D. Triffett and J. Bomford.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Willow Court shocker

DON'T miss this week's Derwent Valley Gazette for reporter Blair Richards' exclusive article on the latest development in the Willow Court saga. No-one saw this coming! Grab your copy at Derwent Valley newsagencies and corner shops, or at the Mercury office in Hobart.

Planter boxes set to survive another winter

IN the latest Derwent Valley Council go-slow, a decision on removing the controversial Burnett St planter boxes has been referred to this year's budget deliberations. Despite earlier advice that repairing the damaged road surface could be funded from this year's roadworks budget, last week's council meeting heard there was no money available.

Councillor Damian Bester sought to accelerate the process by having the council decide exactly what recitifcation works it wanted to refer to the budget process, but he was defeated by an amendment by Cr Judy Bromfield to have a comprehensive report prepared for the council budget process.

Cr Bester's motion had been to have the planter boxes removed and the road surface returned to its original condition; to replant the existing trees in the footpath using tree guards as seen at Kingston; and to have four pedestrian refuge sites built for safe crossing of the street.

Mayor Evans, Deputy Mayor Farrell and Councillors Lathey, Bromfield, Shaw, Molan-Hill and Elliott voted for Cr Bromfield's motion. Crs Bester and Graham opposed it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Willow Court handback moves closer

SIX members of the Derwent Valley Council tonight endorsed a plan to negotiate the transfer of the whole of the Willow Court site back to the State Government. During a debate lasting more than an hour, Councillor Jim Elliott agreed that his own motion to hand back parts of the site was deficient, and he endorsed an amendment put forward by Cr Judy Bromfield.

Cr Bromfield's amendment followed a failed bid by Cr Barry Lathey to defer consideration of the handback proposal until October. Cr Damian Bester said he was opposed to any handback but he wanted to see the matter resolved now rather than in several months' time. Cr Bester said also cast doubt on Premier David Bartlett's offer to take back Willow Court, referring to it as a desperate pledge made at a time when the recent State Election campaign was not going well for the government. Cr Bester said he had emailed the premier and every Labor Member and candidate for Lyons, asking for more information about the proposal, and no-one but two unsuccessful candidates had responded.

Putting forward his proposal to defer consideration until October, Cr Lathey said respect ought to be shown to the recently-established Willow Court working group. In particular, he said time would be needed to digest the recommendations of a report due to be completed by heritage consultant Malcolm MacDonald by the end of July. Cr Lathey said Cr Elliott's proposal to hand back parts of the historic site was going against the grain of recent progress made at Willow Court.

Cr James Graham said the council had created the process that was now being explored, and the logical conclusion was to allow the process to reach a conclusion.

Cr Jim Elliott said the council should never have become involved in the redevelopment of Willow Court. He said that under council ownership historic buildings had been destroyed, opportunities lost, and about $2 million lost. Cr Elliott said he had been advised by the mayor and general manager that Willow Court occupied 60 per cent of their time and angst.

Cr Bester said he was sympathetic to Cr Lathey's proposal to defer consideration of the handback, but his own preference was to see the matter resolved now.

Deputy Mayor Craig Farrell said he had taken on board the remarks of Crs Elliott and Bester, and his opinion was that the council should retain responsibility for Willow Court while establishing an authority to manage the site. He said the timing was wrong for a handback and was not in favour of the idea.

Cr Narelle Molan-Hill said there was no guarantee what the government would do with Willow Court. "They could leave it and do nothing," she said, adding that she would like to see the results of consultant MacDonald's work.

Closing debate on his amendment, Cr Lathey said he hoped councillors would support his deferral plan, adding that he wanted Mr MacDonald to be able to complete his task. Cr Lathey said the new Willow Court working group - of which he was a member - had every reason to feel bewildered that its main purpose was to be removed.

When put to the vote, Crs Lathey, Graham, Molan-Hill and Shaw supported the deferral, and Crs Bester, Elliott, Farrell, Bromfield and Evans opposed it. The amendment was lost.

Cr Bester then spoke to Cr Elliott's motion, which he described as "deficient" as it did not clearly indicate which parts of the site were being referred to. Cr Bester's lengthy address can be read on his blog.

Cr Bromfield then moved her own amendment, which was as follows:

1. That council negotiate the transfer of the whole of the Willow Court site to the State Government on such terms and conditions that are satisfactory and in the best interest of our community and that take into account the business plan for the site by Malcolm MacDonal and Associates, that is adopted after consultation with council and the Willow Court and Barracks Working Group Special Committee.
2. That after satisfactory negotiations for the transfer of the site to the State Government, the Willow Court and Barracks Working Group Special Committee is to be the link between the State Government and the Derwent Valley Council to ensure the business plan and development plan adopted by the council and the Willow Court and Barracks Working Group Special Committee is implemented in a timely manner.

Cr Elliott then acknowledged that his own motion was deficient. He would support Cr Bromfield's amendment but was concerned about the implications for the oval space, which the council had recently decided to sell for an extension of New Norfolk's commercial precinct.

When put to the vote, Cr Bromfield's amendment was supported by herself and Crs Evans, Elliott, Graham, Shaw and Molan-Hill. Crs Lathey, Farrell and Bester were opposed. The amendment then became the substantive motion and was carried by the same 6-3 margin with Crs Bester, Farrell and Lathey dissenting.

  • Among the observers in the packed public gallery were former mayor Tony Nicholson, who Cr Elliott described as having lost his seat because of Willow Court, and new Lyons Labor MHA Rebecca White, who Cr Bester indicated was one of those who had not responded to his email about the government's Willow Court promises.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Willow Court working party calls on its friends

Willow Court and Barracks Working Group

The Chairman of the Willow Court and Barracks Precinct Working Group, Mr John Boutchard, speaking on behalf of the Working Group, has expressed serious concern and dismay at the actions of Councillor Jim Elliott in proceeding, at next Thursday’s council meeting, with his motion to hand the Willow Court and Barracks precinct back to the State Government.

The Working Group, which was recently established as a Special Committee of Council, is particularly concerned at the scant regard Cr Elliott is showing for the wishes of the Derwent Valley community whom he claims to represent. This will was expressed at a series of community forums in late 2009 where ratepayers strongly condemned council’s inaction over the development of the site and expressed strong support for the retention of the site in community ownership.

Mr Boutchard also said that the Working Group was troubled by the potential waste of ratepayers’ funds if Cr Elliott’s motion was passed. Council has recently engaged a consultant, Mr Malcolm MacDonald, to prepare a business plan and a development plan to guide the future development of the Willow Court site. Mr MacDonald is due to present the draft plans to council by 30 June next and the Working Group believes it prudent for council to wait until it has had time to consider Mr MacDonald’s report before deciding the fate of the precinct and council’s future role with regard to its development.

The Working Group is also concerned that if the site were to be handed back to the State Government there would be no obligation on the part of the government to implement the plans or in fact undertake any development of the site.

Mr Boutchard has urged all ratepayers who wish the Willow Court and Barracks Precinct to remain in community ownership to contact as many councillors as they are able prior to Thursday’s council meeting. They are also urged to attend the meeting if possible, to ensure council is aware of the community’s views.

(This press statement has been published without alteration)

Three big wins for New Norfolk

THE Eagles had three big wins in SFL football at the weekend. The seniors defeated Sorell by 91 points, 22.18 (150) to 9.5 (59). New Norfolk goal-scorers were M. Smith 8, R. Martin 3, B. Booth 3, M. Thompson 3, R. Belcher 2, N. Ross, J. Clifford and S. Collis, while the best players were B. Chaplin, R. Heron, T. Cleary, M. Smith, J. Clifford, M. Thompson.

The reserves had a massive 129-point victory over Sorell, 22.24 (156) to (27). Our goal-scorers were P. Jelkic 8, C. Ransley 4, M. Bearman 4, L. Browning 3, N. Benson 2 and D. Triffett; while our best players were T. Triffett, M. Bearman, B. Lovell, A. Minchin, P. Jelkic and N. Benson.

The smallest margin on the day was recorded in the colts match, which saw New Norfolk win by 49 points over Sorell, 13.7 (85) to 5.6 (36). Scoring goals for New Norfolk were L. Menzie 3, B. Coppleman 2, J. Walsh 2, M. Thurston, N. Grant, N. Wakefield, S. Triffitt, N. Coy and B. Wakefield; while the best players were M. Horne, B. Wakefield, B. Coppleman, N. Grant, B. Stone and D. Triffett.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Friends elect Willow Court executive

ACCORDING to a report on the Royal Derwent Hospital and Willow Court Study blogsite, the Friends of Willow Court committee met to vote on its executive members last Thursday night, with John Boutchard elected chairman, Simon Rolfe deputy chairman, Wayne Shoobridge secretary and Graham McLean treasurer. Despite being a committee of the Derwent Valley Council and obliged to hold its meetings in accordance with the Local Government Meeting Procedure regulations, the Willow Court body has held its first three meetings without publicising them for the benefit of the community - and in some cases, its own members.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Quadruple backflip on Willow Court oval

THE Derwent Valley Council will make another attempt to sell the sportsground at the Willow Court historic site. At a closed council meeting on Monday night, the majority of councillors voted in favour of the general manager's recommendation to sell the oval.

This follows recent moves to overturn an earlier secret decision to sell the property to a supermarket developer and a call for tenders for redevelopment of the prime property on the edge of New Norfolk's central business district. After the close of tenders, all applicants were advised that none of the submissions had been successful.

The council's latest decision is to directly negotiate with four of the unsuccessful tenderers to bring about the sale of the oval. Those named were Kalis Properties (Kalis family), Humana Pty Ltd (Rockefeller family), Snowy Mountain Pty Ltd (Saadri family), and the Tasmanian Government Department of Education. The council proposes to put a yet-to-be-determined project to the tenderers and ask which is prepared to build it.

Despite this latest decision being made in closed session, the matter can be reported following a motion moved by Cr Damian Bester and seconded by Cr Jim Elliott that "the council make public its decision." Mayor Martyn Evans said he would advise the Derwent Valley Gazette of the decision.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Norfolk survives close call with Huonville

HUONVILLE came close to ending New Norfolk's 27-game winning streak in this weekend's round of the Southern Football League, going into the half-time break with a three-goal lead. However a rousing half-time address by Eagles coach Anthony McConnon did the trick and New Norfolk rallied for a 28-point victory, 21.9 (135) to 16.11 (107). New Norfolk goal-scorers were B. Booth 5, R. Martin 4, N. Ross 4, R. Belcher 2, S. Collis 2, M. Smith 2, J. Murray 2 and M. Thompson.

Meanwhile the New Norfolk reserves scored their first win of the year, defeating Huonville by 76 points. Goal-scorers were: P. Jelkic 5, M. Bearman 4, L. Browning 2, C. Ransley 2, N. Benson 2, D. Triffett, A. Minchin and B. Shaw.

New Norfolk colts also continued on their winning way, beating Huonville by 57 points. Goal-scorers: S. Triffitt 3, B. Coppleman 2, J. Walsh 2, N. Coy 2, J. Young, J. Booker, M. Horne, D. Triffett, B. Lovell and J. Wallner.

Friday, May 7, 2010

TV stars recall Curringa visit

THE stars of the television program Discover Tasmania have today posted their fond recollections of a visit to Curringa Farm in the Upper Derwent Valley. The show is currently screening nationally on digital station 7TWO at 5pm on Sundays. Click on their names to read the comments of Jack Campbell and Ed Halmagyi (pictured). Congratulations to Curringa owners Tim and Jane Parsons on this excellent publicity both for their business and for our Valley. The farm is nestled mid-way between Hamilton and Ouse and has its own website here.

Classic cars

HERE'S an interesting find from the blog site - some excellent images of a car show held in conjunction with last year's Derwent Valley Autumn Festival. Click here to see some more classic cars on the esplanade at New Norfolk.

Letter to the editor: Willow Court

The following comment was submitted today in response to an old article about Willow Court. It deserves repeating here & it's a shame the writer did not leave their name as the points listed here are well made.

WHY does someone not do something like make New Norfolk the centre for antiques and collectables in Tasmania? It is close to Hobart. There could be an auction in one of the [Willow Court] buildings a few times a year; a market set up in the grounds; and encouragement for more of these type of shops in the town. What a great town for this sort of thing with the Derwent River and a lot of old-English-style settings and houses. Even some of the old homesteads might be open to the public a few times a year.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Willow Court's new Friends

FIFTEEN people have been appointed to the Friends of Willow Court Special Committee established by the Derwent Valley Council. Appointed for a 12-month term were:

    1. Mr Wayne Shoobridge
    2. Mr Jorrin Newton
    3. Mr Mark Bennett
    4. Mrs Anne Salt
    5. Mr Graham McLean
    6. Mrs Denise Rushworth
    7. Mr Nick Jarvis
    8. Mr Simon Rolfe
    9. Mr Aiden Sullivan
    10. Mr Glenn Hevey
    11. Mr Colin Jones
    12. Mr Thomas-Liam Ryan
    13. Mr Richard Lang
    14. Mr John Boutchard
    15. Cr Barry Lathey (council representative)

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Norfolk defeats Claremont

ROUND five of the Southern Football League saw New Norfolk score a 128-point victory over Claremont at Boyer Oval on Saturday, 203 points to 75. Scoring goals for the Eagles were M. Smith 9,  R. Martin 6, R. Belcher 4, N. Ross 4, B. Carver 3, P. Ross 2, Z. Clayton 2, J. Murray and L. Horne.

Thirteen points separated winner from loser in the reserves match, with Claremont the victor. New Norfolk goal-scorers were N. Clayton 4, L. Browning 3, M. Bearman 2, N. Benson 2, M. Horne and P. McGowan.

New Norfolk colts defeated Claremont by forfeit.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Targa triumph despite poor turnout

DESPITE poor publicity, no official welcome and some indifferent weather, Targa Tasmania today made a welcome return to New Norfolk. Thanks to some urgent promotion on local community radio station Tyga FM, there were at least a few onlookers and hopes of more to come next year.