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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Speed cut for Boyer Rd

THE maximum speed limit on Boyer Rd is to be reduced to 80 kilometres per hour. The Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) has announced its intention to have a "consistent speed limit" on a 16km section of the road between Granton and New Norfolk. At present, two sections (6.2km between Boyer and Dromedary, and 2.5km near Bridgewater) have a 100km/h limit.

DIER traffic projects manager Peter Hubble says the change follows consultation with the Derwent Valley Council and other stakeholders. "DIER has arranged for the installation and changes to the signage, with temporary 'Changed Speed Limit Ahead' advance warning signs to be provided for at least three months," Mr Hubble said in a letter to the Derwent Valley Council.

The existing 80km sections of Boyer Rd have long been a popular haunt for speed camera vehicles, at Boyer, Dromedary and Bridgewater in particular.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Winter wonderland

LIKE clockwork, the last days of August have turned on a fresh blast of wintery weather, including sufficient snow at Mt Field National Park to see the ski tows operating at Mt Mawson. This image from the Southern Tasmanian Ski Association's Mt Mawson snowcam was taken late this morning. The Mt Mawson snow report can be read here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How we voted in the Federal Election

AN at-a-glance review of local voting in last Saturday's Federal Election is now available on Councillor Damian Bester's website here. The sitting member, Labor's Dick Adams MHR, was returned with a massive show of support throughout the electorate and an increased majority. The results make interesting reading, showing a big drop in the Liberal vote in traditionally strong areas, and a curious result at New Norfolk where Secular Party candidate Lucas Noyes polled ahead of Greens candidate Karen Cassidy.

Another one bites the dust

THE owners of the wards area of the former Royal Derwent Hospital site have been slowly demolishing Ward 4 this month. The photo below was taken last week, and some close-up views have been published on the excellent Willow Court/RDH blogsite here. The buillding was about 50 years old and is the second of the ward buildings to be demolished.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Date for annual flower show

THE Derwent Valley Garden Club's annual flower show will be held on November 13-14 this year. The club meets on the first Thursday each month, at 7.30pm at the Community House at Willow Court. It has an active program, including a working bee at New Norfolk's historic Stephen St Cemetary coming up this Sunday (August 29) at 10am. Volunteers are asked to bring their own equipment for the weeding and pruning of the carpet roses. Meanwhile, Plenty farmer Peter Cooper was guest speaker at the club's August meeting, exhibiting some of his prime truffles. For more information about the club, phone 6286 1172. New members welcome.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Vale Michael Whitehead

NEW Norfolk veteran Michael Whitehead has died after a long illness, passing away yesterday afternoon at the New Norfolk Hospital. Mr Whitehead, 81, was a Londoner who went to war as a 15-year-old with the British Merchant Navy. He served as a gunner aboard the "Liberty Ships" that plied the treacherous north Atlantic route between the US and the UK to keep England supplied with essential imports during World War II.

Post-war, Mr Whitehead moved to Australia and served for a time with the Royal Australian Navy. He later had an enjoyable career as a commercial traveller which took him to most parts of New South Wales. In retirement he and second wife Jacky moved to Tasmania and settled in New Norfolk where both quickly became involved in the life of the community.

Mr Whitehead was a keen observer of the Derwent Valley Council and his civic activities included serving on the local Australia Day Committee. He was a supporter of developing links between the Derwent Valley and the town of Daian in Japan, and was involved in early discussions that led to the Derwent Valley Concert Band's Japanese tour. Michael and Jacky also hosted many Japanese visitors at their home.

The couple were also strong supporters of the World Family of Norfolk and Norwich - an association of places named Norfolk or Norwich. They attended a World Gathering on Norfolk Island and were active in organising the 2008 World Gathering in New Norfolk for the town's bicentenary.

Valley of the Derwent

The above view of the Derwent Valley was created by Alexander Sutherland Murray around 1899 and first appeared in his book Tasmanian rivers, lakes and flowers in 1900. The artwork is titled The Valley of the Derwent. Below is a companion piece titled Cliff on the Derwent (clearing mist) which would appear to be the bend in the river at New Norfolk, with the Derbyshire Rocks on the left and Turriff Lodge on the right.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Forestry Tasmania prays for snow

FORESTRY Tasmania is anxiously awaiting this winter's first decent snow to launch its new "Top of the World Snow Tours" at Maydena. Maydena Adventure Hub manager Richard Skinner says the new tour would offer a unique way to see and experience Tasmania during the winter months.

"These intimate tours will involve the chance to experience snow first hand together with spectacular views of Tasmania’s snow-capped mountain peaks which can be taken in from the fireside comfort of the Eagles Eyrie at Abbotts Peak," Mr Skinner said. “The sensory experience will be further enhanced by indulging in fine Tasmanian cool climate wines from the award winning Meadowbank Estate Winery and appetising cuisine prepared by leading Tasmanian chef Waji Spiby using fresh local and seasonal produce.”

The snow tours will leave from the Maydena Adventure Hub and will start with a 2km ride in the rainforest along Derwent Valley railway track on Australia’s first pedal-powered rail-rider. This will be followed by a drive to the Styx Big Tree Reserve to see some of the tallest hardwoods in the world in their majestic old-growth forest environment. The 12-seater Maydena OKA (a four-wheel-drive tour bus) will then take passengers through a range of forest types on the way to the summit of Abbotts Peak. Along the way there’ll be a stop for snow play – with the chance to build a snowman, make a snow angel and throw snowballs.

Numbers for the tours will be limited and as such, people interested in embarking on a Top of the World Snow Tour are encouraged to register their interest by phoning 1300 720 507. "Anyone interested in taking part in a snow tour should register their details with our staff and once the snow falls, we will contact them to arrange their tour," Mr Skinner said.

* A reminder that the Maydena Hub is closed for winter, re-opening in October. Most of the local attractions remain open... click here for more information.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Woobridge aims for Christmas re-opening

THE landmark luxury hotel Woodbridge on the Derwent is planning to be open for business by Christmas. The New Norfolk hotel's operations were suspended in August 2009 when owners Laurelle and John Grimley rushed to Perth to care for their son Nils following a severe car accident.

Built in 1825, heritage-listed Woodbridge was the winner of the 2005 Tasmanian and 2006 Australian Renovation of the Year Awards after being restored from run-down flats to the grand mansion of its earlier days. In 2008 it became Tasmania’s only member of the prestigious international group, Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Prior to the suspension of business, it had built up an enviable reputation for elegance, quality and service, and the owners intend to continue, and to build on this reputation.

An experienced management team will provide the personalised service and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of the Woodbridge experience. Laurelle and John will oversee the business, which is part of their long-term vision to open up the riches of the Derwent Valley for visitors and travellers, a vision in which they hope their son will still play a part.

The Derwent Valley is an emerging food and wine region, with businesses such as the Agrarian Kitchen, Two-metre Tall Brewery, local wineries and the nearby Nant Distillery providing world-class produce and experiences. With the imminent re-opening of Woodbridge, visitors will once again have world class luxury accommodation to match. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Transition talk at Molesworth

FORMER New Norfolk journalist Peter Boyer will speak at Molesworth this month to introduce the Transition movement in the Derwent Valley. The Transition Network is a world-wide community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and economic uncertainty. There are thousands of Transition initiatives around the world, and the movement has recently arrived in the Derwent Valley.

Peter Boyer is a student of former US vice president Al Gore and the Mercury newspaper's climate change columnist. He will speak at the Molesworth Hall at 7pm on Friday, August 13, giving an introduction to the Transition movement.

Transition Derwent invites all interested individuals to attend the presentation and learn more about the movement. Visit for more information.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Verandahs set for September re-opening

NEW Norfolk's best-known restaurateurs expect to re-open their Burnett St establishment next month. Laurelle and John Grimley have told the New Norfolk News of the recent appointment of Jamie Bowerman as chef at Verandah's in the Valley.

Mrs Grimley said many customers would remember Jamie as a local lad who started work at Verandahs in 2004 and left several years later to take up an apprenticeship and gain some city experience. The restaurant would be supervised by another returning staff member, Kathryn O’Donnell.

The restaurant has been closed for about a year while Mr and Mrs Grimley have been attending to family matters.

Lachlan festival seeking stallholders

STALLHOLDERS are being sought for the Lachlan Festival to be held at Gleeson Park, Lachlan, on Sunday November 28. For bookings or more information contact Janine on 6261 3576.