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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Garden club's global outlook

A TALK on the Eden Project - the world's biggest greenhouse - will be given by guest speaker Colin Jones at this month's meeting of the Derwent Valley Garden Club. The Eden Project (pictured) is located in a reclaimed china claypit in Cornwall, England.

The meeting will be held at 7.30pm this Thursday (November 4) at the Derwent Valley Community House, Willow Court, New Norfolk. New members welcome. The club is also making final preparations for its annual flower show, to be held in the New Norfolk War Memorial Hall, Circle St, on November 13-14.

Fashion parade for garden funds

A MELBOURNE Cup Day fashion parade and afternoon tea this Tuesday will aid the establishment of a community garden at St Matthew's Anglican Church. The event will be held from 2-3.30pm in the St Matthew's Hall, Bathurst St, New Norfolk. Entry will be by donation and the proceeds will go towards setting up the garden.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Petition on x-ray service

A PETITION launched this week by Tasmanian Greens MHA Tim Morris calls on the State Government to fund, re-establish and operate the x-ray service at the New Norfolk District Hospital. Mr Morris said re-opening of the x-ray service at New Norfolk would greatly assist people in the area, who currently need to travel long distances to access this basic medical service.

"This is particularly important for the frail and aged in our community, including New Norfolk District Hospital patients and Corumbene Nursing Home residents, for whom at present, an x-ray appointment is extremely difficult to attend, or requires the use of an ambulance and often results in significant delays in being able to access this vital medical service," Mr Morris said.

"There is a fully equipped x-ray facility at the New Norfolk District Hospital that only requires staffing and which has been previously operated by both the public and private sectors over many years. The service was well utilised in the past and will be again, taking considerable pressure off GPs, relatives, carers as well as the Tasmanian Ambulance Service."

Mr Morris has raised the matter in State Parliament on several occasions and has received a generally sympathetic hearing from Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne. The petition, once completed, will be tabled in Parliament.

Lady Jane Franklin returns

THE life of colonial first lady and sometime New Norfolk resident Jane Franklin will be explored in a fascinating performance touring the state this month. Presented by the musical ensemble Silkweed, Jane Franklin: An Examined Life is a multi-media performance based on the life of Lady Jane Franklin, who as the wife of an early governor of Tasmania contributed much to the development of the arts, education and exploration in the early colony.

Lady Franklin is also particularly pertinent to the Derwent Valley as it was she who planted the willow tree from which Willow Court took its name and is also reputed to have planted a pear tree at the Bush Inn.  As the governor's wife, Lady Franklin spent time at the governor's retreat at Turriff Lodge, New Norfolk. Sir John and Lady Franklin were behind a proposed university at New Norfolk but this did not progress beyond the laying of a foundation stone. Opponents of the proposal uprooted the foundation stone and hurled it over the Turriff Lodge cliff and into the Derwent below.

Silkweed's performance melds original music, voice, drama and visual storytelling to capture the audience's imagination. The production is touring the state and will be in New Norfolk this weekend for a 2pm performance at the War Memorial Hall, Circle St, this Sunday only. 

Tickets cost $15 for adults and $5 for children. For more information contact Gail Woodford on 6261 4850 or email

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cycle challenge for charity

THE Rotary Club of Claremont and the Hobart Branch of Make-A-Wish Australia will stage the Cycle Challenge 2010 at New Norfolk on October 31. Open to everyone aged 13 and above, there will be three circuits, all starting and ending at Kensington Park, New Norfolk. The "short circuit" will be a 38km ride from New Norfolk to Bushy Park and back, via Rosegarland. The 76km "medium circuit" is two laps of the short route, while the 106km "long circuit" is from New Norfolk to Hamilton and return via Ellendale.

Riders in all events are asked to be at Kensington Park by 8.30am. The short and medium events start at 10am and the long event will set off earlier at 9.30. Entry costs $30 per person and riders are encouraged to seek sponsorship per kilometre or for the whole trip. Registration details and more information can be found at or by calling Jan on 6249 7060 or Anne on 6244 1948.

Literacy co-ordinator for New Norfolk

APPLICATIONS for 13 regional literacy co-ordinators closed yesterday. Announced earlier this month by Education and Skills Minister Lin Thorp, the scheme aims to extend an existing network of eight literacy co-ordinators to regional areas where there is little or no adult literacy help. The successful applicants will be appointed to positions at New Norfolk, Bridgewater (2), George Town, Glenorchy, Hobart, Launceston (2), Scottsdale, Smithton, Sorell, St Helens and Queenstown.

“This will help adults from all walks of life improve their literacy skills and open up more opportunities for them," Ms Thorp said. "Coordinators will work with a team of volunteers to help people access support and programs to build adult literacy skills in communities and workplaces."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Short-term shop pops up

A SHOP selling women's fashion items has opened this week in High St, New Norfolk. Located in a recently-renovated shop between The Roost and the Riteway Supermarket, the short-term clearance outlet is believed to be operated by Miller's Fashion Club.

National award for Derwent project

THE Derwent Estuary Program has won a national prize for its outstanding achievement and excellence in river management. Environment Minister David O’Byrne today said the globally recognised National Riverprize was a tribute to the dedication and co-operation of the Derwent Estuary Program partners, which includes the Derwent Valley Council and Norske Skog Boyer.

“Their co-operative efforts have significantly improved the health of the Derwent and their stewardship will ensure this vital restoration continues,” Mr O’Byrne said. “I congratulate the DEP for achieving this wonderful and well-deserved honour," he said.

“This is the third time it has been short-listed for this important and celebrated prize and it’s an absolute credit to the DEP’s work on reducing water pollution, conserving habitats and species, monitoring river health and promoting greater use and enjoyment of the foreshore.”

Mr O'Byrne said more than $100 million had been invested in environmental projects since the DEP was established in 1999. “The Derwent is showing signs of recovery. During the past five years, there has been an 80 per cent reduction in organic inputs, an estimated 50 per cent reduction in heavy metals, and 30 per cent reduction in sewage-derived nutrients in the estuary, as well as improvements in stormwater treatment.”

DEP Director Christine Coughanowr was in Perth, Western Australia to receive the $200,000 prize at the International Riversymposium last week. Ms Coughanowr said it was a huge thrill for the DEP to join the “big league” of past project winners which have developed major waterway projects all over Australia including the Murray and Lake Macquarie. “This is the first time the prize has been awarded to Tasmania and it really puts us up there among the leaders of river management,” Ms Coughanowr said.

The other partners in the Derwent Estuary Program are the Brighton, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glenorchy, Hobart and Kingborough councils, the Tasmanian Government, Southern Water, Nyrstar Hobart, Tasmanian Ports Corporation and Hydro Tasmania. More information about the Derwent Estuary Program can be found at

Monday, October 18, 2010

TV spotlight on Lachlan

THE Derwent Valley will feature in this week's Better Homes and Gardens "Eye on Oz" special on Southern Cross Television at 7.30om on Friday. Presenter and chef Karen Martini will create the freshest spring salad ever, using produce straight from the farm at The Agrarian Kitchen, the famed “paddock to plate” cooking
school at Lachlan.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Community grants closing Friday

APPLICATIONS for funding under the Derwent Valley Council community grants program close this Friday, October 15. Non-profit, sporting and community groups in the municipality are eligible to apply for assistance in cash and kind under this scheme. Preference is given to applications with broad community benefit in the range of $200 to $500. More information is available on the council website here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Praise for tree-planting
CLIMATE-CHANGE minister Nick McKim has congratulated Greening Australia and the University of Tasmania on the start of a project to plant more than 30,000 trees in the Upper Derwent Valley with the aim of restoring dry landscapes and conserving biodiversity. Titled "Biodiverse carbon for landscape restoration: The establishment of a permanent research site in the Derwent Catchment, the project is being is being funded by the Tasmanian Government and the Australian Research Council.

>Mr McKim said the State Government would provide $540,000 over five years for the establishment of permanent "biodiverse carbon restoration research sites" at Hamilton and Bothwell. “This project provides an opportunity for Tasmania to lead the development of a major climate change adaptation and mitigation solution for Australia,” Mr McKim said. “Climate change projections show that the agricultural landscape in Tasmania’s midlands will become warmer and drier."

“To help prepare for changes in conditions, the project team has this week started planting genetic strains of locally sourced native Tasmanian species that have an ability to survive and grow in low rainfall regions. The reforestation of this private land will build resilience into the landscape to allow for the movement of species of plants and animals that is anticipated with climate change,” he said.

Mr McKim said the project had the potential to improve agricultural productivity and property values by restoring degraded landscapes. “It will also highlight opportunities to develop new income stream models for landholders in the carbon market, as well as new models for securing private land conservation and reforestation through forestry right covenants for biosequestration. The information from the project will be used by land owners, land managers and government in planning for future resource management and policy.”

The project is also supported by a number of Tasmanian businesses offsetting their carbon emissions including Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, Stornoway, and Targa Tasmania.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Glenora vineyard remains in family hands

THE original Meadowbank vineyard at Glenora will remain in the hands of the Ellis family following the sale of the newer estate in the Coal River Valley, ABC News reported today. Meadowbank's main vineyard and winery at Cambridge were to be sold to neighbouring Frogmore Creek Wines, but the company's Derwent Valley vineyard would continue to be owned and operated by its founder, Gerald Ellis, under a different label. Read more at the ABC News website here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday bus arrives after 10 years

GREENS MHA Tim Morris has welcomed increased bus services in the Derwent Valley, with the reintroduced Sunday services between New Norfolk and Hobart starting yesterday. “After more than 10 years of work and lobbying I am very pleased to at last see that New Norfolk and Hobart will be connected by public transport seven days a week, and as a bonus there will be increased weekday services and a doubling of Saturday services,” Mr Morris said.

“Now it will be convenient for Hobart residents to catch a bus to New Norfolk to visit friends or to enjoy the many recreational opportunities that exist in and around New Norfolk. For New Norfolk residents who work in, or simply wish to access Hobart on weekends they will now have a service seven days a week including until 9pm on most nights,” Mr Morris said. “This will also provide a significant boost to local small businesses, as both locals and visitors will have increased flexibility in their transport options,” he said.

Mr Morris said seed funding from the State Government would underwrite the new public transport services for a year, after which those that had become commercially viable would continue. “The Greens have every confidence that most or all of these trial services will remain in place beyond the period of the seed funding after having watched the significant increase in patronage over the past 20 months that O’Driscoll Coaches have operated the Derwent Valley Link bus service,” Mr Morris said.

“Peter O’Driscoll also deserves congratulations for being such a progressive service operator and one prepared to take advantage of the government incentive so quickly after it was announced in this year’s Budget.”

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sunday bus service to be reintroduced

DERWENT Valley bus services would be increased on a 12-month trial basis, Sustainable Transport and Alternative Energy Minister Nick McKim said yesterday. Mr McKim announced "funding agreements" that would trial new services to the Huon and Derwent Valleys, the Tasman Peninsula and East Coast.

“The trials will be for 12 months and are an important step in improving bus services for all Tasmanians,” Mr McKim said. “After community consultation, and market research, operators have identified routes and times where they believe there is significant unmet demand.  “For example, O’Driscoll Coaches will be introducing new Sunday services, additional Saturday services and extra weekday evening services operating between the Derwent Valley and Hobart."

Mr McKim said State Government seed funding would provide sufficient time during which passenger numbers could grow to support ongoing operations. “Expanding services into unproven markets is not without risk. The long-term viability of these services will depend on the individual operator’s professionalism, the quality of service delivered and community support. Passenger numbers are the key and the long term future of these services really is in the hands of bus patrons. I would now strongly encourage these communities to support their local operator and the environment by making use of the new services.”

Mr McKim said other new services would be announced as more funding agreements were reached.

For full details of the new Derwent Valley services visit the O'Driscoll Coaches Derwent Valley Link website here.