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Monday, January 31, 2011

Highway plaque disappears

The bare plinth today
A PLAQUE commemorating the near-completion of improvements to the Lyell Highway disappeared at the weekend. Unveiled by Infrastructure Minister David O'Bryne last Tuesday, the plaque appeared to have been made of plastic and was attached to its concrete plinth with double-sided tape.

At the unveiling ceremony, Mr O’Byrne said the $14 million project had been an example of the State Government delivering infrastructure that improved links between communities. “This upgrade has improved safety, achieved a more consistent road standard and reduced future maintenance costs,” Mr O’Byrne said. “Only a few finishing touches and a final seal remain to be done," he said.

“Along with the recent restoration of the Bridgewater Bridge liftspan to full operation, access by both road and river to New Norfolk and the Derwent Valley has been greatly enhanced. These improvements will help to bring communities together, whilst providing easier access to educational, employment and recreational opportunities.”

“Completion of the Lyell Hwy project has not been an easy task as it posed significant design and engineering challenges. The topography in some sections provides limited scope to widen the road alignment with high, steep terrain on the southern side of the highway and the Derwent River with deep river silts on the northern side.”

Mr O’Byrne said completion of the project fulfilled a 2006 pre-election commitment, but councillors speaking at this month's Derwent Valley Council meeting were not so enthusiastic about the result. Cr Judy Bromfield asked whether the community had to be satisfied with the "second-rate road surface" and poor line markings. Cr Damian Bester suggested that that council should ask when the next stage would start, including overtaking and bicycle lanes.

The now-missing plaque

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fast food opposition grows

OPPOSITION is mounting against the unspecified 24-hour fast food restaurant proposed for the corner of Burnett and George Sts at New Norfolk. A group calling itself Residents Against Inappropriate Development is lobbying against the proposal; a petition has been started; and a Facebook group has been created.

Developer Humana Pty Ltd has applied to the Derwent Valley Council to build a 24-hour fast food restaurant and takeaway with a 16-car drive-through. Humana has not specified who will operate the restaurant but most community attention has been focused on McDonald's. The RAID group objects on the following grounds:
  • Adverse impact on streetscape and historic character of New Norfolk (directly opposite entrance to Willow Court).
  • Noise and air pollution generated by vehicles idling in drive-through bays adjoining heritage-listed buildings and opposite residences.
  • Increased litter in surrounding area and wider New Norfolk.
  • Lower property values for nearby residents.
  • Lack of 24-hour policing in New Norfolk.
  • Possible loss of local family businesses.
  • Contribution to the "obesity epidemic".
Planning documents relating to the development are on display for public comment at the Derwent Valley Council Chambers. Written submissions close this Thursday, February 3.

A representative of the RAID group wishes it to be known that the group is not the originator of the Facebook page.

Rail track rider gathers steam

Rod Bender
AUSTRALIA’S only rail track rider experience has been further enhanced with the official opening of the new Florentine Station near Maydena yesterday. This latest initiative of the Maydena Community Association was funded by Norske Skog and built on the company’s land. The work was undertaken by Workskills clients and through community working bees.

Maydena Community Association member Geoff Williams is one of the driving forces behind the Rail Track Rider, which forms part of Forestry Tasmania's Maydena Adventure Hub experience. “The Rail Track Rider has become increasingly popular and we sold our thousandth ticket recently,” Mr Williams said. Purpose-built carts are pedalled along 2.5km of disused rail track which is now providing an economic impetus for the upper Derwent Valley.

Mr Williams said the new Florentine Station further enhanced the Railtrack Riders experience.“It outlines the whole history of the ANM era. It includes photos of what was actually there back in the day when it was operating full steam," Mr Williams said. “There is also information about the Tasmanian tiger, the last of which was captured only 10km away.”

The new station, which becomes the focal point of the end of the Rail Track Rider route, was officially opened by Rod Bender, general manager of Norske Skog Boyer. Also among the invited guests were Forestry Tasmania managing director Bob Gordon and Derwent Valley Council deputy mayor Craig Farrell.

Mr Williams said the new station, with its verandah, gas barbecue and picnic tables, was an ideal place for visitors to break their journey. “We’ve also built five and 10 minute walking tracks through regrowth forest and included a number of other elements which help showcase the 'thylacine den', which is actually an interestingly shaped hollow log,” he said.

Bookings for rides on the Rail Track Rider are recommended, but not essential. Phone 1300 720 507 or 6288 2288.

Geoff Williams outside the new Florentine Station.

Sandra Hetherington - Citizen of the Year

Sandra Hetherington
LACHLAN resident Sandra Hetherington is the Derwent Valley Council's Australia Day Citizen of the Year for 2011. The award was announced last Wednesday by mayor Martyn Evans and in her absence was accepted by Sandra's employer, Norske Skog Boyer general manager Rod Bender.

Sandra serves the community in a variety of ways, going well beyond her community liaison role at Norske Skog. She was instrumental in keeping the Friends of Frescati group alive through long years of negotiation leading to its official recognition by the council. She is also a supporter of the Friends of Lachlan River and an active member of Timber Communities Australia.

She organised easier access to St Peter's Church for frail and disabled people, and has much involvement with the St Brigid's School community.  Sandra is also a member of a public speaking group and was a significant member of New Norfolk's Bicentennial Committee and the organiser of a Back to Maydena day.

Lisa Clarke - Young Citizen of the Year

RebeccaWhite MHA congratulates Lisa Clarke
NEW Norfolk student Lisa Clark has been named as the Derwent Valley's Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year for 2011. The announcement was made by mayor Martyn Evans on Wednesday and the presentation was made by Lyons Labor MHA Rebecca White.

Lisa has been an active member of the Derwent Valley Council's youth advisory group since 2007 and the Autumn Festival Committee since 2008. In 2010 she also joined the Lachlan Festival Committee and the Derwent Valley Council Access Advisory Committee.

A prefect at New Norfolk High School in 2008, Lisa has been a writer for the Derwent Valley Gazette's monthly youth page since 2007 and has participated in National Tree Days and the Ellis Dean Reserve refurbishment project. She has also assisted with Mission Australia family fun days and council youth information days.

Australia Day - good sports honoured

A YOUNG footballer and three rowers have been named as the Derwent Valley's sportspeople of the year. At Tynwald Park on Wednesday, Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans named New Norfolk student Matthew Byrne as the municipality's Young Sportsperson of the Year.

Matthew has twice represented Tasmania in National School Futsal Championships, at Albury-Wodonga in 2009 and Queensland in 2010. In April he will be part of the Australian Vikings 15 Boys' Futsal Team competing in the United Kingdom.

Matt has been playing futsal (indoor soccer) since 2009 and started playing regular soccer two years earlier.

New Norfolk Rowing Club captain Peter Nichols accepted the Sports Team of the Year Award on behalf of the club's senior squad - Anthony Edwards, Kate Hornsey and Kerry Hore - who had all won silver medals at the 2010 World Rowing Championships in New Zealand.

Mr Nichols said all three rowers had had an outstanding 2010 season, including excellent results at numerous state regattas and at the Australian championships last March. All won gold medals at the national titles and Edwards was Tasmania's most successful oarsman with four golds. In addition to their personal achievements, all three give freely of their time to assist younger rowers at the New Norfolk Rowing Club and are presently in training with a view to selection for the 2012 London Olympics.

Edwards is the state development officer for Rowing Tasmania. Hornsey and Hore were recently made life members of the New Norfolk Rowing Club. All three have competed at Olympic Games.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Our quiet achievers

Some of this year's award winners
A NUMBER of the Derwent Valley's quiet achievers were acknowledged on Australia Day with awards recognising their contribution to the community. Mayor Martyn Evans presented certificates of appreciation to:

Barbara Morley, secretary of the Magra CWA for 18 years and a member of the Derwent Valley Sport and Recreation Centre Committee. Previously involved with the New Norfolk Licenced Anglers Association and indoor bowls.

Stacey Dolliver, fitness and life coach and dance instructor who has been an active fundraiser for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Barry Adlard, member of a variety of community groups including the Lions Club of New Norfolk for 17 years; New Norfolk Rowing Club for more than 20 years including for years as president and being awarded life membership; New Norfolk Visitor Information Centre volunteer for nine years; and the Australia Day Committee.

Richard Lang, founding member of the Derwent Valley Community House and a management committee member for the last eight years; also a supporter of community radio, Friends of Frescati and the Willow Court Working Group.

Susan Farley, active member of the Molesworth community and a member of the Molesworth hall and reserve committees for 10 years. A volunteer at the New Norfolk "Vinnies" shop and a past committee member of the New Norfolk Hockey Club, as well as a supporter of the Masonic Lodge, Molesworth school and the girl guides.

Colleen Graham, long-time supporter and fundraiser for Molesworth Primary School, Lachlan Playgroup, Lachlan Community Hall, Magra CWA, Lachlan Fire Brigade, New Norfolk Hospital Auxiliary, Corumbene, Cancer Council and more. 

Owen Cashion, volunteer at Corumbene Nursing Home for 18 years and initator of the Corumbene Garden Group. A retired member of the New Norfolk golf and bowls clubs who also spent many years assisting junior football.

Lynne Graham, volunteer ambulance officer in Maydena, president and secretary of the Maydena Community Association, craft group co-ordinator, online access centre volunteer and volunteer co-ordinator of the Maydena swimming pool.

David Gleeson, founding member of the Lachlan Fire Brigade 27 years ago and brigade chief since 1997. An active volunteer in thee Lachlan community for more than 50 years and a member of the Lachlan Reserve Committee and Lachlan Community Hall Committee.

Kevin Hardwick, founding member of the Magra Fire Brigade 42 years ago and brigade chief from 1978-2010. Also Lower Derwent Group Officer until 2005, member of the Derwent Fire Management Committee and co-ordinator of junior and cadet fire fighters.

The following recipients were unable to attend Wednesday's presentations and received their certificates afterwards:

Ian Lacey, founding member of the New Norfolk Tidy Towns Committee and primary organiser of the successful entry in Tasmanian Tidy Towns Award. Has also taken an interest in weeding and planting along the Lachlan River and removing graffiti in New Norfolk. (Presented by Councillor Damian Bester at Bushy Park later on Wednesday afternoon)

Geoff Williams, tireless worker for the Maydena community who has held senior positions on the Maydena Community Association, supervised Work for the Dole programs in the Derwent Valley, co-ordinated the Maydena Online Access Centre, produced fundraising DVDs and managed the daily operations of the Railtrack Rider. (This award presented at Maydena today by deputy mayor Craig Farrell)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rosedown open for flood relief appeal

Rosedown Garden, New Norfolk
A FUND-RAISING event for the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal will be held at Rosedown Gardens, 134 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk, on February 3 from 10am to 1pm. Visitors can take a stroll through the many gardens of roses, exotic trees and perennials.

Devonshire teas will be served, featuring scones with fresh raspberry and mulberry jams. There will also be a trade table. Organisers Joan Excell and Brenda Triffitt suggest making up a group to support this worthy cause. Admission will be $6 per person and more information is available by calling 6261 2030.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Medal for local fire chief

RECENTLY retired Magra fire chief Kevin Hardwick has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in the Australia Day Honours List for 2011. Mr Hardwick joined his local fire brigade in 1969 and is one of its original members. Magra was one of many country brigades established in the wake of the disastrous Black Tuesday fires of 1967. Mr Hardwick was elected brigade chief in 1978 and held the position until he retired last October.

Mr Hardwick worked with Telstra for 28 years and his community service has included the renovation of the old Magra school and Magra church and membership of the Lions and Probus clubs. He was chosen as a torchbearer for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

The Australian Fire Service Medal was created was created in 1988 to acknowledge distinguished service by members of state, territory or federal fire service agencies. Mr Hardwick is a previous recipient of the National Medal (1990). 

Kevin Hardwick

Australia Day 2011

PICTURESQUE Tynwald Park at New Norfolk was the venue for the main Australia Day observance activities in the Derwent Valley today, although there were simultaneous events at Bushy Park and Maydena. Australia Day Ambassador Nigel Dick gave an interesting address which showed he had learned much local history during his visit. Mayor Martyn Evans then named the recipients of this year's Derwent Valley Council Australia Day Awards:

Citizen of the Year: Sandra Hetherington
Young Citizen of the Year: Lisa Clark
Sportsperson of the Year: Anthony Edwards, Kerry Hore and Kate Hornsey (New Norfolk Rowing Club)
Young Sportsperson of the Year: Matthew Byrne

Community Appreciation Certificates: Barbara Morley, Stacey Dolliver, Barry Adlard, Richard Lang, Sue Farley, Colleen Graham, Ian Lacey, Owen Cashion, Kevin Hardwick, Geoff Williams, Lynne Graham and David Gleeson.

Check back later for profiles of the award recipients

Part of the crowd at Tynwald Park.

Scouts prepare the flag for raising.

Letter - New Norfolk Caravan Park

NEW Norfolk should be very proud of its Caravan Park. We returned again this year to stay in your dog-friendly park. The continued improvement is very noticeable. It is a pleasure to stay here, in such a well run friendly facility, very neat grounds, with spotless amenities. The park is  a credit to the manager and his staff.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Police petition

SIGNATURES are being sought on a petition calling for an increased police presence in the Derwent Valley. The petition can be found at Camelot Fashions in High St, New Norfolk.

The same topic was discussed briefly at last week's Derwent Valley Council meeting when Mayor Martyn Evans reported on the appointment of five additional police officers at Bridgewater. Councillor Damian Bester remarked that a police spokesman had claimed this would benefit New Norfolk and the Derwent Valley. "Unless we see additional names on the roster at the New Norfolk police station, it is in fact a nil-increase for New Norfolk," Cr Bester said. Mayor Evans said he would take this up with the Bridgewater divisional inspector.

Farewell 'Wingy'

A WELL-KNOWN member of the Derwent Valley Council staff, Eric Dowling, unexpectedly passed away yesterday. Mr Dowling, of Rosegarland, was 67. He had manned the tollgate at the Peppermint Hill tip site for many years, invariably greeting customers with an opinion on current events and a joke or two.

Eric had been a long-serving country fire brigade volunteer and in 1992 was named the New Norfolk Municipality's Australia Day Sportsman of the Year, having recently won a gold medal for weightlifting and a bronze medal in the shotput at a national amputee championships.

Eric is survived by his wife Patricia and it is understood his funeral will be held on Friday. The Derwent Valley Council Chambers, council depot and the Peppermint Hill refuse site will close at 10.30am on Friday. Peppermint Hill operating hours will be as normal from Saturday.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Australia Day plans

BELOW are the details of Australia Day activities in the Derwent Valley this January 26th.

At Tynwald Park, New Norfolk:
11am: Start of fun run & walk (entries close 10.30am)
11.30: Children's activities with Derwent Valley Youth Future Action Team
11.30: Free barbecue and drinks provided by New Norfolk Lions Club
11.30: Derwent Valley Concert Band performance
Noon: National Anthem & flag raising by New Norfolk Scouts
12.30pm: Welcome to Australia Day Ambassador Nigel Dick
12.40 (approx): Derwent Valley Council Australia Day Award presentations.

At Kensington Park, New Norfolk:
Harness racing: A seven-race program featuring the New Norfolk Pacing Cup and E.C. Plunkett Memorial. Children's entertainment provided. 1.30-6pm.

At Maydena, the Community Association will once again hold its traditional community walk to Junee Caves. Meet at the Maydena Swimming Pool at 9.30am on January 26 and then walk, ride or run 4.2km to the cave where cordial and biscuits will be supplied to provide sustenance for the walk back to the Community Hall for a barbecue lunch and a cricket match.

At Bushy Park, the War Memorial Swimming Pool will be open for a fun day on January 26. Discounted family admission prices will apply between 10am and 7pm, but the games and activities will take place between 11.30am and 2.30pm, along with a free barbecue.

At Gretna, Central Highlands mayor Deirdre Flint and councillors of the Central Highlands Council will host a free family fun day on the War Memorial Recreation Ground, Lyell Highway, from 11am-2pm on January 26. Awards for the Australia Day citizen, junior citizen and community event of the year will be presented at 11am, followed by local awards won in the 2010 Tidy Towns competition. Other activities will include a junior cricket match, quilting competition, Aussie cooking competition, children’s games, spit roast, barbecue and refreshments.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fast food - who can it be?

A MILLION-DOLLAR fast food restaurant and take-away has been proposed for the now-vacant corner of Burnett and George Sts in New Norfolk. Developer Humana Pty Ltd has not revealed who would operate the restauarant it wants to build on the site of an old house it demolished last year. Humana owns various properties including the New Norfolk Woolworths supermarket and car park.

The restaurant includes a two-lane drive-through with a single exit and is proposed to operate 24 hours a day. The supermarket carpark would be reconfigured as part of the development and the Burnett St entry point would be repositioned. The existing hedge on the corner of George and Burnett Sts would be retained.

Plans are currently on display for public comment at the Derwent Valley Council Chambers. A traffic impact assessment provided by the applicant incorrectly shows the Willow Court oval as the site of the proposed development.

Above: The proposed 24-hour fast food restaurant

Above: The site of the proposed restaurant development

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Potty idea fading into history

Our photo shows the scene in lower Burnett St, New Norfolk, around 8.30 this morning following the successful removal of the first few planter boxes. The remainder are expected to go tomorrow (Wednesday). A sprinkling of rain serves to highlight the immense damage done to the road surface by the ill-considered placement of the boxes nearly two years ago. It is to be hoped the council will investigate more appropriate tree plantings to bring shade and scenery to this thoroughfare.

Modern X-ray for New Norfolk Hospital

A MODERN digital X-ray service will be introduced at the New Norfolk District Hospital in the new financial year, Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne has told the Derwent Valley Council. The new facility will be integrated into medical imaging services at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

In a letter to Mayor Martyn Evans prior to Christmas, Ms O'Byrne said the existing radiology set-up at New Norfolk had been inspected by Dr Michael Carr, director of medical imaging at the RHH, to assess the potential for reintroducing a local X-ray service. "While it is practical to install an X-ray machine at the site, it is preferred that service re-establishment be considered in line with the implementation of the Statewide Radiology Imaging Service/Picture Archive Communication System," Ms O'Byrne wrote.

"This will require the purchase of a digital X-ray [and] will enable the transmission of digital images and reports to the Royal Hobart Hospital Department of Medical Imaging, which can provide reporting at no cost," the minister wrote.

The Statewide Radiology Imaging Service is expected to be introduced by the end of June, with the New Norfolk service due to follow soon after.

Plinth poser

MYSTERY surrounds the purpose of a concrete plinth which has appeared in a prime position alongside the Lyell Highway near the Denis McCarty monument in recent weeks. No doubt all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

D-Day for planter boxes

A FIVE-TONNE forklift has been hired for the complete removal of the Burnett St planter boxes this week. The Derwent Valley Council's works department will relocate the boxes and trees to the Peppermint Hill tip entrance where they will be maintained until a decision is made on their future location. The work is scheduled to be carried out on January 11 and 12.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More memories of Christmas

MANY thanks to New Norfolk News reader John Davidson for the following gallery of photos from the New Norfolk Christmas Parade held on December 11.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Award nominations close next week

THERE is just under a week remaining for nominations in the various categories of the Derwent Valley Council's annual Australia Day Awards. Awards will be made in the following categories and a nomination form can be downloaded from the council website:
  • Australia Day Citizen of the Year
  • Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year
  • Community Event of the Year
  • Australia Day Sports Person of the Year
  • Australia Day Junior Sports Person of the Year.

Nominations close on Wednesday, January 12. Download the form here or contact deputy general manager Robert McCrossen on 6261 8527 for more information.

Media man for Australia Day ambassador

VICTORIAN "Senior Australian of the Year" Nigel Dick has been named as the Australia Day Ambassador to the Derwent Valley for 2010. Mr Dick, 82, from Camberwell, will visit New Norfolk for the local Australia Day observances on January 26.

During a long and distinguished career Nigel Dick has worked at the highest levels of the Australian television industry as a former chairman of HSV 7, Southern Cross Communications and chief executive of GTV 9, TCN 9 and the Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand. He has also made an exceptional contribution as a volunteer with a number of charities. In 1979, he was instrumental in establishing Odyssey House, a residential rehabilitation program for people with a drug and alcohol addiction. More information about Mr Dick's career can be found here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Memories of Christmas

THANKS to New Norfolk News reader Jackie Jackson, here are several more images from the 2010 New Norfolk Christmas Parade held on December 11.