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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A new day dawns

HERE'S a view of dawn breaking over Hobart about 20 minutes ago, courtesy of the Rose Bay High School web-cam. It would be wonderful to have some public web-cams (internet cameras) set up at places of interest in the Derwent Valley.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quick action saves hospital building

QUICK action by the New Norfolk and Magra fire brigades saved one of the more modern buildings on the Willow Court historic site from potential destruction this evening.

New Norfolk Police said a fire at the building known as Lyprenny had been reported at about 4.30pm. Several units from the New Norfolk Fire Brigade were soon on the scene. Volunteer firefighters wearing breathing aparatus located a fire just inside the main entrance and soon had it in hand. A unit from the Magra Brigade soon arrived in support.

Incident controller and local fire chief Colin Triffitt supervised as several of his men searched the building for any squatters who may have become overwhelmed by the large volume of smoke. No-one was located inside the two-story brick building, which was erected in the late 1960s as a hospital ward at Willow Court. It was more commonly known as H Ward.

The deliberately-lit fire was found to have been set in a pile of timber just inside the main entrance to the building, which is owned by an interstate developer.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Norfolk - two fabulous centuries (3)

NEW Norfolk, as a healthy place of residence, has been highly, and perhaps, not undeservedly extolled: but, in winter, from the dense and excessive fogs, it is too much charged with humidity to be salubrious: at other seasons, however, we know of no place in the Island, where the invalid can repose with so much satisfaction and enjoyment—it is, indeed, a most delightful and most invigorating place.

From Henry Melville's Hobart Town Magazine, Volume III, page 24, 1834

The above image titled View of the Governor's retreat, New Norfolk, Van Diemens Land by Joseph Lycett was first published in Views in Australia, or, New South Wales & Van Diemen's Land, in 1825.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eagles claw Tigers

NEW Norfolk defeated Kingborough  at Kingston on Saturday afternoon, ending the Tigers' run of eight wins in the Southern Football League. Scores were New Norfolk 3.3 7.6 10.12 15.16 (106) to  K’borough 3.6 6.8 8.12 11.19 (85)

Best for New Norfolk were: N. Ross, L. Joseph, P. Ross, B. Carver, L. Horne and T. Triffett. Goals were scored by: B. Carver 6, N. Ross 3, M. Thompson, R. Belcher, N. Clayton, R. Martin, T. Triffett and P. Ross.

The reserves match saw Kingborough score a big win over New Norfolk, 21.19 (145) to 11.5 (71). Best for the Eagles were: L. Browning, N. Benson, L. Fysh, T. Bligh and S. Collis, while the goal-scorers were: S. Collis 2, M. Bearman 2, P. Jelkic 2, T. Jarvis, B. Chaplin, D. Triffett, T. Allcock and B. Hall.

The colts match was another win for the Tigers, 14.11 (95) to 13.10 (88). New Norfolk's best players were: N. Lester, L. Menzie, B. Coppleman, B. Lovell, N. Grant and D. Walsh.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

End nears for Ward 8

DEMOLITION of Ward 8 at the former Royal Derwent Hospital is under way, blog site reports. Late last week most of the roofing tiles had been removed from the building, which was erected in 1959. The owner last year received council permission to demolish most of the buildings at Royal Derwent and started with Ward 7 after successfully overturning a heritage listing on that ward and its significant security yard.

Kev's parting gift

A WEEK before being overturned as prime minister, Kevin Rudd announced that additional funding of $100 million would be made available to local councils as the third round of the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP). Some $89,000 has been allocated to the Derwent Valley Council on the condition that it meet certain criteria and lodge a suitable application by the end of July.

Mr Rudd said this money would help councils to build and modernise community facilities including town halls, libraries, community centres, sports grounds and environmental infrastructure and is aimed at strengthening our communities during the economic recovery by supporting local jobs and provide long-term benefits to communities by renewing and upgrading local infrastructure.

Ideas for suitable projects can be sent to general manager Stephen Mackey at the Derwent Valley Council office, or by posting a comment to this blog or emailing Councillor Damian Bester at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bridgewater Bridge best avoided at weekends

TRAFFIC using the Bridgewater Bridge should expect delays over the coming weekends, when work begins to restore the wire rope cables which operate the bridge’s lifting mechanism, Deputy Premier and Infrastructure Minister Lara Giddings said today.

The work forms part of a $10 million package funded by the Federal Government to refurbish the bridge, and will be done during the day over the weekends of July 10-11 and 17-18.  Further weekend work may be needed during the weekend of July 24-25 if poor weather slows progress. This latest restoration work will be done between  6.30am and 7pm. This may result in traffic delays but emergency services will have priority access at all times.

"The lifting mechanism of the bridge has been out of action since 2006 and this project will use modern technology to restore the liftspan to full operation," Ms Giddings said. "The work cannot be done at night because of the current icy weather conditions and the impracticality of being able to fully light the bridge to complete the overhead cable work."

Ms Giddings said everything possible would be done to make sure the public and bridge workers remained safe and travellers were not too inconvenienced.  “The contractors will use lane closures during the day and only on the weekends rather than full night closures as we have done in the past."

One lane of traffic will flow most of the time, with traffic fully stopped only when hazardous overhead work on the wire rope cables is being undertaken. Delays of about 15 minutes may occur at those times. "The public should take these delays into consideration when travelling through the area and, where possible, use the alternative routes of the New Norfolk and the Bowen Bridges," Ms Giddings said.

"The public has been very tolerant of all the work that has been going on in the Bridgewater and the Brighton regions recently and I would like to thank them for their ongoing patience," Ms Giddings said.

No joy for Lakes Rd improvements

THE State Government was continuing to ignore the potential of the Highland Lakes Rd, Western Tiers MLC Greg Hall said yesterday. Mr Hall said sealing the road was a good alternative to the controversial Tarkine Road project in the north-west. Originally called the Lake Highway, the Highland Lakes Rd is a partially sealed route linking Bothwell and Deloraine via the central plateau.

"I have formally written to the Tasmanian Government submitting the case for embracing sealing of the [road]  an alternative to the Tarkine Rd project," Mr Hall said. “My letter to the Minister for Infrastructure requested that an appropriate portion of the $23 million allocated in the State Budget for the Tarkine Rd be reallocated to progressively seal the Lake Secondary Rd."

Mr Hall said the idea had strong community support and the sealing of this road through the heart of Tasmania was decades overdue. "This would offer a viable alternative north-south route to the Midlands Highway from the north-west of the state,” he said.

Mr Hall said about 18km of the lakes road was still gravel, from the northern end of Great Lake down to Miena. "This should be sealed in the interests of safety and promoting tourism. The Haulage Hill section of the road can be particularly treacherous in poor weather needs to be sealed as a priority."

"It should not be forgotten that apart from the huge tourism potential, including further tapping into the iconic recreational fishing opportunities, there are also many more people living permanently in the Great Lake area than ever before and there is significant seasonal traffic for families visiting holiday shacks. I have been banging this drum since 2004."

The Highland Lakes Rd (below)

Adams welcomes apple exports to China

FRUIT growing in the Derwent Valley has been given a potential boost with the recent approval of apple exports to China. "This is a great step forward for our apple export industry," Lyons MHR Dick Adams said last week. "Tasmania was once known as the 'Apple Isle' and with good reason - our producers grow some of the finest apples in the world. This step forward will only enhance our international reputation," he said.

Mr Adams said the Derwent Valley had a strong history of fruit production, which in recent years has encountered some setbacks. "This announcement builds upon the Derwent Valley’s success in the lucrative non-fumigated Japanese cherry market, and it’s to be hoped that this will signal a new strength in Tasmanian fruit exports," he said.

Mr Adams said China had now recognised Tasmania’s pest-free status for fruit flies and the monitoring and control program for apple codling moth along with orchard management of light brown apple moth, woolly apple aphid and brown rot. "“I commend the work that has been done to allow Tasmanian growers to access the Chinese market under a new workable protocol system."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

X-ray patients suffering

THE lack of operational x-ray facilities at the New Norfolk Hospital were starting to have an adverse impact on patients, Greens MHA Tim Morris told State Parliament late last month. Following-up his earlier question to health minister Michelle O'Byrne raised the matter again on the adjournment on June 22.

"Tonight I would like to rise to follow on from a question that I asked the Minister for Health last week in relation to the x-ray unit at the New Norfolk District Hospital," Mr Morris said. "I asked her whether the government would look at re-opening that facility. The brief response she gave me was that the government would look at seeing if they could find a consultant. That, of course, is not the only option available.The other option that is very logical would perhaps be for the government to operate that service itself and to employ a radiologist to provide that service.

"I have a report today of a patient at the New Norfolk District Hospital who was this morning in some urgent need of an x-ray. They were taken to Glenorchy for that x-ray and whilst travelling down to Glenorchy their condition significantly deteriorated - for some reason of which I am not aware," Mr Morris said. So this is while we have potentially a fully-equipped radiology section at the New Norfolk District Hospital, established and run by Rush Tracey a number of years ago and subsequently by another operator.  I suspect the government itself may have utilised that facility and run that facility at some stages.

"Everyone from the Derwent Valley and the Central Highlands who comes down through the Derwent Valley now has to come at least to Glenorchy to access radiology services whilst there is a perfectly good radiology department sitting idle at the New Norfolk District Hospital," Mr Morris said. "I would urge the government, in response to the comments from the minister last week, to keep an eye out for a private operator.  Yes, it would be lovely if a private operator would come in and operate a five part-day or five full-day a week service.  If that is not possible it would be good for the government also to look at whether it might be able to provide staffing to keep that facility open at least for a few hours each day.

Mr Morris said there was "quite a significant demand" for an x-ray service in the Derwent Valley, both from the hospital, dental services, Corumbene aged care home and the former Ouse hospital. "We have a community of more than 10,000 people in the area who have to drive away from their local services because that service is closed. I would encourage this government to seriously look at the options that might be available for re-opening and providing that service from New Norfolk because we are starting to see and have reports of adverse outcomes for individuals because that service is not available."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Norfolk back on track

THE Eagles have recovered from last weekend's shock loss to claim three good wins over Lindisfarne at Boyer Oval yesterday. The seniors prevailed over the Two Blues by 44 points while the reserves were victorious by 31 points and the colts won by a massive 162 points.

Scores - seniors
New Norfolk 0.1 6.5 9.10 17.13 (115) d Lindisfarne 3.3 5.4 7.4 11.5 (71)
Goals—New Norfolk: B. Carver 5, B. Booth 4, M. Thompson 2, M. Horne, J. Clifford, T. Triffett, N. Lester, J. Murray, M. Smith; BEST — New Norfolk: L. Horne, B. Carver, J. Murray, B. Chaplin, B. Booth, L. Joseph.

New Norfolk 16.12 (108) d Lindisfarne 11.11 (77)
Goals—New Norfolk: M. Bearman 5, B. Chaplin 4, C. Ransley 2, B. Hall, A. Minchin, D. Triffett, T. Jarvis, B. Lovell; New Norfolk: L. Browning, M. Hay, J. King, B. Lovell, N. Benson, M. Bearman.

New Norfolk 25.21 (171) d Lindisfarne 1.3 (9)
Goals—New Norfolk: B. Coppleman 6, N. Wakefield 4, S. Triffitt 3, J. Wallner 3, N. Grant 2, J. Walsh 2, J. Bomford, L. Menzie, J. Wallner, R. Tebb, T. Youd; Best—New Norfolk: T. Youd, R. Tebb, J. Young, N. Grant, J. Adams, J. Bomford.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Willow Court security

SECURITY has been upgraded at the Willow Court historic site to protect the property from ongoing vandalism. Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans said funding had been set aside in the new council budget to provide for a comprehensive revamp of security measures including day and night surveillance and the installation of securuity fencing around at-risk buildings.

"It is regrettable that these steps need to be taken but it is unfortunately apparent that there are some elements within our community who care little for heritage properties and therefore we will be ensuring that those people caught within this area will be prosecuted as this type of activity can no longer be tolerated," Mayor Evans said.

Mayor Evans stressed the need to financially cope with future demands on its infrastructure from economic and tourism development continued to provide a challenge for the council.

Council sets budget for 2010-11

DERWENT Valley ratepayers would pay about $40 extra on their rates this year following an increase of four per cent, Mayor Martyn Evans last this week. The council held a special meeting last Monday night to set the rates for the new financial year.

Mayor Evans said the council continued to seek public submissions for consideration in the budget and this year four such requests had been funded. These are:
  • The first stage of upgrading an unsealed footpath at Dixon St, New Norfolk
  • An allocation towards the investigation and design of a walkway at WesterwayA start on repairs to Glen Dhu Rd
  • A start on the sealing, widening and drainage of Tarrants Rd, Granton
The mayor said capital works spending this financial year would be in the order of $2.2 million. He highlighted the following initiatives:
  • Upgrading Glenora Road
  • Kerb and guttering in Station St, New Norfolk
  • A start on roadworks at Golding and Montagu Sts, New Norfolk
  • Stormwater improvements at Lachlan Rd and Lower Swamp Rd, Lachlan
  • The purchase of a cleaner for graffiti removal

The Council will also be involved in the following community activities:
  • Participation in the Drug Education Network (Good Sports) program
    Sponsorship of the Launceston/New Norfolk Cycling Classic
    Participation in the Lower Derwent Flood Warning Upgrade Project

Government to investigate railway insurances

GREENS MHA Tim Morris has welcomed a decision by the State Government to investigate the option of the state-owned Motor Accident Insurance Board (MAIB) taking on public liability insurance for tourism rail operations like the Derwent Valley Railway. Mr Morris said some of the $100,000 allocated to rail tourism in the State Budget must be used to investigate both public liability insurance and main line access, to help boost the industry.

"Tasmania’s tourism rail operators have been hit hard by the unaffordable cost of existing public liability insurance, and the Greens have suggested that the Minister investigate the option of MAIB taking on this insurance requirement by treating passenger trains in the same manner that buses are treated," Mr Morris said. "I am delighted that Minister O’Byrne has undertaken to explore the MAIB option. Such a system would see a train carriage treated in the same manner as a bus."

"Currently Lloyds of London is the only insurer at present, and that organisation does not understand, or show much interest in, the particular Tasmanian situation or impact on our tourism rail operations," Mr Morris said. "The Greens understand that the MAIB option should be relatively simple to expand to cover passenger rail, which would be a green light for organisations including the Don River Rail, and the Derwent Valley Rail Society."