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Thursday, June 30, 2011

One minister, two cops and a bodyguard

McKim, right, arrives at Glenora
EDUCATION Minister Nick McKim today made his promised visit to Glenora District High School, having previously committing to spend an hour at each of the 20 schools he proposes to close or downgrade. With only a few hours' notice - and no invitation to meet the minister - a vocal group of about 20 parents gathered outside the school to confront Mr McKim on arrival this afternoon.

To his credit, Mr McKim did not avoid the assembled parents. When his limousine pulled up close to the school's front door, he stepped from the car and walked back to the road in order to speak to the protesters. With two police officers and a plain-clothed security guard on hand, the minister was never in any danger.

A large media contingent was again on hand. The ABC News report can be read here.

At 9am tomorrow (Friday) the community will have its chance to put the case for Glenora's school future to representatives of the Education Department. The Save Glenora Action Group's Facebook page is being updated frequently.

McKim expected at Glenora today

THE Save Glenora Action Group is reporting that Education Minister Nick McKim will visit Glenora District High School today (Thursday) at 2.30pm. Click here for updates at the group's Facebook page.

If you are not a Facebook member, the Save our Schools page may be a better option, here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All eyes on Glenora yesterday

YESTERDAY'S protest and public meeting at Glenora District High School attracted much media attention. Speaking after the event, Derwent Valley mayor Martyn Evans said he was astounded by the level of support shown by the community. “I always knew our community could pull together in tough times, but this has been amazing," Councillor Evans said.

The protest and meeting were held to rally opposition against the State Government's proposal to downgrade Glenora to primary school status. “If [Education] Minister Nick McKim can’t see that we are a community who won’t take this proposed change lying down, he has rocks in his head,” Mayor Evans said.

Cr Evans said removing Grades 7-10 from Glenora would mean students from as far afield as Wayatinah,  Hollow Tree and Maydena would have to travel to New Norfolk to attend high school.

Other media coverage:Mercury newspaper

UPDATE: Facebook forums are reporting that Education Minister Nick McKim will visit Glenora on Friday at 9am.

The empty chairs were for government representatives.

New fire station for Hamilton

HAMILTON will be the location of one of four new fire stations to be built in Tasmania in the next year. Police and Emergency Management Minister David O’Byrne today said the new stations would be built from steel-framed colorbond. The new station at Hamilton would have dual engine bays and would cost about $110,000. There will be a separate meeting room, toilets and kitchenette, as well as storage and office facilities.

“Our dedicated volunteer firefighters do an incredible job protecting Tasmanians and their property – especially over the summer months,” Mr O’Byrne said. “They spend countless hours away from their families, training and protecting their communities. 

"We deeply appreciate their selfless contribution and we’re supporting them by providing the best and most modern facilities possible. The new fire stations will strengthen these regional communities, and help keep them safe and prepared. This is also an important step towards attracting new volunteers,” he said.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Standing up for Glenora

A PROTEST against the proposed downgrading of Glenora District High School will be held outside the school tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon. After the protest everyone will get their chance to have a say in the future of the school at a community forum, also being held at the school.

The State Government has shortlisted 20 schools for closure or substantial downgrading, including Glenora which it proposes to reduce to a primary school.

“Our community is strong; we won’t be taking this lying down," protest organiser Kelly Wilton, said.“If Mr McKim and Ms Giddings think we’re just a backward little town they can push around – they have another thing coming.

“To the fat cats in Parliament we are just a dot on the map, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. One ant can do little on his own, but an army can move mountains! We are that army! We are a strong community who will fight to stay alive," Ms Wilton said.

"Closing our school would kill the heart of the community and kill our towns and we are not going to let that happen."

Derwent Valley mayor Martyn Evans said the loss Grade 7–10 classes at Glenora District High School would have a wide impact. “This isn’t only about people with children at the school; it will affect our whole community, from the local businesses to the price of homes in the area – who wants to move to a place where their kids can’t go to school?” Councillor Evans said.

“The State Government has said that they want to save money, but they haven’t thought of the cost to our community, and they haven’t counted on the spirit we have here in the Derwent Valley. I’m urging everyone who can, to come out and support our community and our future and attend the protest and forum on Tuesday (June 28), starting at noon,” Cr Evans said.

Singer supports Glenora

Bridget Pross
SUCCESSFUL singer-songwriter Bridget Pross is among the hundreds of people who have taken to Facebook to show their support for Glenora District High School in the face of its proposed downgrading. Pross, of Melbourne, writes that she attended the school from 1997-2000.

"Growing up in the Derwent Valley and attending Glenora High was one of the most amazing, fulfilling and precious times of my life. Having that much countryside to breathe and freedom to dream big, I am forever grateful for having that opportunity under my belt," Pross wrote on the Save Glenora Action Group's Facebook page.

"I now live in Melbourne and think to myself all the time...WOW Glenora High was really something special, something that needs to be saved and cherished forever."

The Save Glenora Action Group now has 351 members. The group has organised a protest outside the school at noon tomorrow (Tuesday), followed by a public meeting in the school's dining room at 1.30pm.

UPDATE: Click here to listen to the special version of Brick in the Wall (Save Glenora High) recorded this week by Bridget Pross.

Praise for valley bus service

THE State Government project supporting the continuing expansion of bus services in regional Tasmania was proving a success, Sustainable Transport minister Nick McKim MHA said today. “There is no better example of this than O’Driscoll Coaches’ Derwent Valley to Hobart run,” Mr McKim told a Budget estimates hearing.

“Last year, O’Driscoll Coaches agreed to trial an extended timetable including additional evening, Saturday and Sunday services for 12 months. The trial has been well supported by the community, and while the new services attracted good patronage from the earliest days of the trial, passenger numbers have increased even further over successive months,” Mr McKim said.

“One benefit of the additional weekend services has meant that events like Salamanca Market are now more widely accessible. Access to transport is something most people take for granted, yet for many in our community, the absence of frequent reliable transport can be very isolating," he said.

Hayes "worth $2.5m"

THE soon-to-be-closed Hayes Prison Farm was worth about $2.5 million, ABC News reported today. Quoting Corrections Minister Nick McKim, the ABC went on to say an "unspecified amount" would have to be spent to prepare the facility for sale. Read the ABC report here.

Big win for Under 14 footy team

AFTER a sluggish first half, the New Norfolk Under 14s defeated Lindisfarne by a whopping 106 points at Tynwald Park at the weekend. After the three week break the young Eagles were slow out of the box and missed goals they would normally kick. However, after a half -time rev-up by the coaching staff the team came out all guns blazing to kick five goals in the third quarter and a further seven in the fourth.

None tried harder than Zoe Thurston. Her hard work all over the ground was superb and she kicked two goals in the last quarter to cap of a great day. Another to get amongst the goals was Hayden Bielleman, whose hard running and good use of the footy saw him bag four goals. Josh Raspin's presence up forward was a real standout, Jordan Eiszele continued on with his good form, while Jacob Picken and Jahrod Locher stood tall around the ground. Brandon Bearman and Jack Evans were in and under all day, kicking a goal each.

The team had 11 goal kickers for the game, which is a great sign of some more big scores ahead. Pocket rocket Josh Whitford-Marriott kicked a great goal on the run from the boundary in the first quarter, very nicely done. Hayden Smith, Charlie Stewart, Jakob Triffitt kicked two goals each and Nathan Wakefield booted one.

Thank you to all who worked in the canteen, it was a job well done The next game is on Sunday against Sandy Bay at Queenborough, starting at 11am.

New Norfolk 19.12 (126) d Lindisfarne 3.2 (20)
Best - New Norfolk: Zoe Thurston, Hayden Bielleman, Joshua Raspin, Jordan Eiszele, Jacob Picken and Jahrod Locher; Goals - New Norfolk: Hayden Bielleman 4, Hayden Smith 2, Charlie Stewart 2, Zoe Thurston 2, Jakob Trifftt 2, Joshua Whitford 2, Brandon Bearman, Jordan Eiszele, Jack Evans, Joshua Raspin and Nathan Wakefield.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Three wins in the footy

NEW Norfolk scored three wins over Claremont at Boyer Oval yesterday. The seniors had a runaway win, the reserves enjoyed success and the colts won by forfeit.

Scores - New Norfolk 4.3 7.8 11.15 22.19 (151) d Claremont 1.2 1.2 2.5 3.6 (24)
Goals - New Norfolk: R. Heron 5, J. Hall 4, M. Thompson 3, B. Booth 3, J. Clifford 2, B. Carver 2, B. Wardlaw, S. Crane, R. Belcher; Best - New Norfolk: N. Ross, M. Thompson, R. Heron, B. Carver, R. Belcher, B. Wardlaw.

Reserves - New Norfolk 13.11 (89) d Claremont 6.10 (46)
Goals - New Norfolk: C. Ransley 3, P. Jelkic 3, J. Styles 3, L. Menzie 2, D. Triffett, B. Coppleman; Best - New Norfolk: N. Lester, A. Minchin, D. Triffett, M. Hay, T. Bligh, B. Chaplin.

Colts - New Norfolk d Claremont by forfeit.

Cricket umpiring

THE Tasmanian Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association is looking for new umpires and scorers for next season. If you love the game of cricket then cricket umpiring can provide you with a great challenge and you get the "best seat in the house". It could be that summer job you've been looking for! You can earn $105 tax-free for full-day matches and $80 for T20 matches.

If you are interested in umpiring then you must attend a Laws School, which runs for five nights, starting on Wednesday, August 3 at 6.30pm in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval. Over the five  weeks the 42 Laws of Cricket will be explained in some detail. With Tasmania joining the Womens National Cricket League last season and with womens cricket growing in popularity in Tasmania there is a demand for female umpires as well as males. With the growth of T20 cricket there is an even greater demand for umpires in general.

For more information contact Mike Graham-Smith on 0410 025 394 or 6227 8182 (H), email or visit

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Glenora latest

A PUBLIC protest will be held against the looming closure high school classes at Glenora District High School. This will be held outside the school yard at noon this Tuesday, June 28 and will be followed by a public meeting in the school dining room at 1.30pm.

For more information visit the Save Glenora Action Group Facebook page here. This group now has 323 members and its online petition has 441 signatories calling on the Tasmanian State Government to keep Glenora District High School secondary classes open.

UPDATE:  A combined "Save our Schools" rally will be held on the Parliament House Lawns, Hobart, from 11am-1pm on July 7.

Selling the farm

THE State Government was selling the Hayes farm to plug holes in the state budget, Opposition corrections spokeswoman Vanessa Goodwin MLC said this week. "The state of Tasmania’s finances under Labor and the Greens is now in such disarray that they have been forced to literally sell the farm," Ms Goodwin said.

"The fact that Hayes Prison Farm has been allowed to fall apart to the extent that it would cost over $4 million just to get it up to scratch highlights this Government’s neglect. That neglect was apparent when the Government was forced to spend $500,000 last year to upgrade the fire safety infrastructure at Hayes after a fire in a prison cell showed just how dilapidated the facility had become.

"Corrections Minister Nick McKim must confirm that by shoe-horning even more prisoners into the old Ron Barwick facility, the safety of corrections officers will not be put at risk and the prospects of rehabilitating prisoners won’t be diminished," she said.

Prison closure confirmed

CORRECTIONS Minister Nick McKim has confirmed sale and closure of the Hayes Prison Farm. “Hayes Prison Farm is an ageing and dilapidated facility and for it to operate into the foreseeable future, the government would need to spend around $4.5 million just to keep it at a reasonable standard and to ensure it is safe for inmates and staff.

“Although seeing Hayes close will be a somewhat sad occasion, in a modern corrections system the government believes the money expended operating Hayes, and the funding needed to keep it operating, can be better spent,” Mr McKim said.

Mr McKim said the Tasmania Prison Service would retain all proceeds from the sale to spend on refurbishing two divisions at the Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison at Risdon, including a pre-release transition facility.

Staff at Hayes had been advised of the decision and all would be retained and relocated to other positions within the prison service.“The sale process will take some time while the Department undertakes further work to prepare for the closure,” Mr McKim said.

“The decision to sell Hayes Prison Farm is about better correctional outcomes. This is a significant step in modernising our corrections system. Transition from prison to the community is a very high-risk time for inmates and pre-release accommodation is designed to replicate community living. It will give selected inmates the opportunity to prepare for release by taking charge of key areas of their life including cooking, budgeting and the normal routines of daily life, while still remaining in a supervised environment.

“It will also provide a strong incentive for good behaviour by inmates to achieve the necessary security rating for placement there.Improved rehabilitation and employment opportunities can be provided for inmates by centralising services and by providing improved access to programs, education and skills based training.

“The Tasmania Prison Service is undertaking planning for other infrastructure improvements as part of the Prison Infrastructure Redevelopment Program. The sale of Hayes was recommended by the Legislative Select Committee on Correctional Services and Sentencing in 1999.

“It is important that the closure of Hayes is considered in that context, along with recent reports such as the Palmer Report, the Ombudsman’s Report and the Workplace Standards Tasmania Report into workplace safety,” Mr McKim said. “The closure of Hayes will help us to deliver a Prison Service that will reduce recidivism by providing genuine opportunities for rehabilitation which benefits all Tasmanians.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is Hayes next?

CLOSURE of the Hayes Prison Farm may be the next bombshell in the Derwent Valley, with ABC 1 television news reporting that a decision on the facility's future is imminent. Coincidentally, the jail farm is the responsibility of Corrections Minister Nick McKim - who also serves as Education Minister and has targetted Glenora District High School for downgrading to a primary school.

The Hayes Prison Farm, near New Norfolk, houses 70 minimum security inmates and has been subject to rumours of closure for some years. ABC 1 News reported that Mr McKim "hopes to be in a position to make an announcement in the very near future."

Watch the ABC report here.

Letter to the editor: Consultation?

ONE hand giveth, and the other taketh away. The State Government has committed a callous act of cruelty against its people, by setting an impossible task as the only option schools and their surrounding communities have to object to the imminent closure of their schools.

On the surface the smiling assasins have offered an opportunity for the communities to have an influence on the ultimate decisions of which schools will be axed. But in reality the time limits and the parameters the set for public consultaion, and preparation of a structured evidenced-based objection that addresses the criteria as well as all concerns of the community, are impossible to meet.

Perhaps the greatest twist of the knife is that they have put volunteer parent associations in a position where they are obliged to drip feed the information to the public as they recieve it and are given strict guidelines of how it is to be done. These parents volunteered their time to represent their children's best interests - which these decisions clearly are not!

Kelly Wilton
Save Glenora Action Group

PS: Have you registered your support yet? Please follow the links to sign the petition and or join our facebook group. Please spread the word!

Save Glenora Action Group

Save Glenora District High School petition

Monday, June 20, 2011

A reader asks...

A READER asks: Does anyone know if it is true that the new units being built on Ring Rd/Lower Rd are intended to house ex-prisoners?

Comments may be posted below. They may also be emailed to if confidentiality is required.

Epilepsy blamed for horror crash

AN epileptic seizure caused a car crash that killed three security guards at New Norfolk two years ago, a coroner has found. Craig Moore, 29, Danny Pedder, 50, and Adam Behrend, 22, were on their way to work in the Florentine Valley when the car Mr Moore was driving flipped at the end of a no-through road, became airborne and collided with a tree. The accident occurred on May 21, 2009. The coroner's report can be read here.

Other media reports can be read here and here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Glenora action group formed

PARENTS and friends of Glenora District High School have wasted no time in organising an action group to fight the downgrading proposed by the State Government. The group can be contacted via its Facebook page here.

A group of parents was interviewed by ABC TV at the school last Friday afternoon and appeared on 7.30 Tasmania that evening. A clip from the program can be seen here.

Adams goes into battle for Glenora

THE Federal Member for Lyons, Dick Adams MHR, has said he will do everything within his power to stop the closure of rural schools including the senior section of Glenora District High School. Mr Adams has expressed his shock at the news that nine schools in his electorate faced uncertain futures under the 2011/12 State Budget.

“In the unfortunate event that all nine of these schools do close, more than 500 students will be without a school to attend, over 50 teachers without a job, and more than 50 support staff, including cleaners, teachers aides and office staff will be out of the job,” Mr Adams said.

Mr Adams said that while these schools might have small enrolment numbers, they were nonetheless vital to the communities in which they are located. “In some rural areas populations tend to peak at about 200, and student numbers in these schools make up a considerable portion of the town’s residents. This should not dissipate the importance of the education that those students receive,” Mr Adams said.

Mr Adams said closing schools would add extra costs to communities, and with some students having to leave their local communities to attend school, there will be gaps. “A number of students hold after school jobs in local businesses. If students have to leave their local communities to attend school, local businesses will soon find that they no longer have the after-school help that many local businesses rely on,” Mr Adams said.

Closing schools would mean extra transport would need to be found to get students to the nearest school. “For a number of communities, this is simply not possible, and where it is, the cost of getting that transport has to be considered," he said. “There are a number of students who live in far flung areas of the Derwent Valley.  If Glenora [is downgraded], that will mean these students will have to travel greater distances or move to New Norfolk to complete their high school education,” Mr Adams said. “This is a strain that neither parents nor students should have to feel”, he added.

Mr Adams also called into question the statement made in 2007 that no small regional or remote schools would be closed. “This is the complete opposite of this promise, and is a slap in the face for parents in rural areas of Tasmania who only want the best education for their children”, Mr Adams said.

Low student numbers and small class sizes were not necessarily a bad thing, Mr Adams said. “Smaller class sizes means teachers can spend more quality time with each student to ensure that they are getting the best education and the latest technology allows them to interact with the rest of the world. This is where schools in Lyons have an advantage,” Mr Adams said

Mr Adams said education was very important to him, and it seems odd that the targetted schools were around timber towns. “Give us more timber and the schools will be viable!” he said. “This is not the end. I have always believed that all students, whether they live in rural or suburban environments, deserve to have the best education possible. These nine schools are certainly no exception. I will do everything in my power to ensure that these schools are not closed”, Mr Adams said.

Glenora shafted - mayor

REGIONAL communities including Glenora had been "shafted" by Tasmania's Labor-Green government, Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans said on Friday. Expressing his dismay at the State Government’s decision to consider closing schools, Councillor Evans said the vast majority of these were in regional and rural areas.

“This is a real kick in the teeth for these areas, and a very short-sighted move on the part of the State Government. I understand that these are tough economic times, but closing schools is a false economy," Cr Evans said. "When [a] school is closed or downgraded, the whole community suffers, and so does the regional economy of the area," he said.

Education Minister Nick McKim last week announced that 20 schools were being considered for closure, including the secondary section at Glenora District High School. The school serves students from a wide area of the Upper Derwent Valley and has a SkillsCentre, child care facilities and an Online Access Centre attached. The school hall was recently upgraded at a cost of nearly $1 million.

“Glenora, like many other regional schools, is the hub of the community, it’s a place that parents meet and talk about what’s happening, and it helps to build the fabric of the community," Cr Evans said. “If years 7–10 close at Glenora District High, what will happen to the Skills Centre there?"

“When areas such as this lose services, families are forced to reconsider their lives, and some are forced to move on. A drop in population leads to a drop in services. Some parents may decide that if the high school closes it is better to send their child to primary school in New Norfolk as well, to avoid disruption. This leaves us with a community without a school, but with another large empty building courtesy of the State Government.”

“This is a poorly thought out, inept and blunt tool to solve an issue that should be looked at in terms of the survival of communities, not in dollar terms,” Martyn Evans said.

Lindisfarne's three losses at Boyer

THE New Norfolk District Football Club scored three wins over the Lindisfarne Blues at Boyer Oval yesterday.

Seniors: New Norfolk 23.14 (152) d Lindisfarne 10.9 (69)
Goals - New Norfolk: N. Ross 5, R. Belcher 4, M. Thompson 4, J. Hall 3, S. Bonnitcha 3, B. Booth 2, J. Clifford, B. Wardlaw; Best - New Norfolk: B. Carver, R. Heron, R. Belcher, N. Ross, Z. Graham, B. Chaplin.

Reserves: New Norfolk 17.14 (116) d Lindisfarne 1.4 (10)
Goals - New Norfolk: C. Ransley 6, M. Bearman 3, T. Triffett 3, J. Wallner 2, D. King, T. Jarvis, N. Benson; Best - New Norfolk: L. Browning, C. Ransley, P. Ling, T. Triffett, D. King, D. Walsh. 
Colts: New Norfolk 12.12 (84) d Lindisfarne 1.6 (12)
Goals - New Norfolk: B. Coppleman 6, S. Triffitt 2, J. Walsh, J. Maddox, D. Huxley, N. Coy; Best - New Norfolk: D. Triffett, K. Gilbert, N. Coy, J. Wallner, S. Triffitt, D. Huxley.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Council to fight school downgrade

Glenora District High School
THE Derwent Valley Council will object to the proposed closure of the high school section of Glenora District High School. Education Minister Nick McKim today said a number of schools had been identified for possible closure.

"I know that the potential closure of schools will come as a shock to many people, but I can reassure everyone that this is a crucial part of renewing Tasmania's education system," Mr McKim said. "I am aware that many school communities will have strong and passionate arguments to keep their schools open and all these factors will be considered during the consultation process which will begin immediately," he said.

At tonight's Derwent Valley Council meeting, several councillors expressed their opposition to the proposal to remove secondary classes (Grades 7-10) from Glenora District High School which would effectively reduce the campus to a primary school. Mayor Martyn Evans agreed to a request that he write to Premier Lara Giddings to oppose the proposed closure, as well as writing to Mr McKim to advise him of the importance of maintaining the Glenora school in its current form.

Downgrading Glenora District High School to a primary school would leave no high schools between New Norfolk and Queenstown. High school classes were removed from Ouse District High School several years ago. On ABC Radio this evening, Ms Giddings said a principle would be that students would not be expected to spend more than 45 minutes traveling to school.

The Mercury has more here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Three wins at Bothwell

THE New Norfolk District Football Club scored three big wins over the Central Hawks at Bothwell yesterday. Scores follow.

Seniors - New Norfolk 38.18 (246) d Central Hawks 7.9 (51)
Goals - New Norfolk: J. Hall 7, Z. Graham 5, N. Ross 5, N. Benson 5, B. Booth 3, M. Thompson 3, J. Gregson 2, S. Bonnitcha 2, J. Clifford 2, R. Heron, K. Styles, B. Chaplin, M. Horne; Central Hawks: D. Bagorski 3, R. Delaney, S. Muir, N. Piuselli, D. Scott.
Best - New Norfolk: M. Thompson, R. Belcher, Z. Graham, N. Ross, B. Booth, M. Horne; Central Hawks: J. Horne, S. Burrill, D. Thompson, N. Piuselli, S. Cornish, D. Bagorski.

Reserves - New Norfolk 20.20 (140) d Central Hawks 6.4 (40)
Goals - New Norfolk: M. Bearman 6, C. Ransley 4, B. Chaplin 3, J. Wallner 2, L. Browning, L. Menzie, N. Lester, D. Triffett, T. Triffett; Central Hawks: M. Conolon 3, L. Breward , J. Triffett , J. Little.
Best - New Norfolk: L. Browning, J. Wallner, C. Ransley, T. Triffett, A. Minchin, B. Chaplin.

Colts - New Norfolk 22.9 (141) d Central Hawks 4.2 (26)
Goals - New Norfolk: B. Coppleman 7, S. Triffitt 6, J. Maddox 3, J. Walsh 2, D. Huxley, K. Gilbert, D. Triffett and L. O'Brien; Central Hawks: D. Ingles, J. Hazelwood, D. Groves, J. Hazelwood.
Best - New Norfolk: D. Triffett, N. Coy, J. Maddox, J. Williams, J. Adams, B. Wakefield; Central Hawks: J. Byers, J. Hazelwood, D. Ingles, D. Groves, J. Hazelwood.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Business on the move

THE New Norfolk branch of La Bella Pizza is due to re-open tomorrow (Thursday). A delivery service will not be available at first, but the shop will be open every day from 11am.

Meanwhile, further down Burnett St, the Caltex petrol station will resume 24-hour trading from tomorrow.

Wild weather cuts power

AREAS of the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands have been hit by weather-related power interruptions in the last 24 hours. Wild weather late on Tuesday night affected electricity supplies to about 2400 customers in areas including New Norfolk and Arthurs Lake. Aurora Energy said New Norfolk supplies were restored the same evening, but customers at Arthurs Lake remained without power overnight.

Continuing wild weather led to further blackouts this morning, including New Norfolk, Moogara and Uxbridge. The main cause was wind-borne material such as bark coming into contact with power lines and several instances of fallen wires. Supplies were progressively restored through the morning and early afternoon, but 700 customers at Waddamana, Great Lake, Miena and Arthurs Lake were still without power mid-afternoon.

About 12,000 customers were affected at the height of the trouble. Aurora says restoration efforts have been hampered by treacherous weather conditions including heavy snow, and Waddamana would be without power tonight. Waddamana power supplies are expected to be restored by 4pm tomorrow (Thursday).

Aurora Energy urges people to stay away from fallen power lines and to call 13 20 04 to report them.

On a cold and windy day throughout Tasmania, local temperatures peaked at 10.4 degrees at Bushy Park (2pm) and 11.3 degrees at Ouse (2.40pm).

Three charged over fire

THREE youths have been charged over an incident that resulted in a vehicle fire behind the Derwent Valley Sport and Recreation Centre, the Derwent Valley Gazette reported today. The New Norfolk Fire Brigade was called to the sports centre in Third Avenue at about 7.15am yesterday morning, where an allegedly stolen van was on fire up against the rear wall of the building.

The vehicle was completely destroyed and minor damage was done to the wall. The centre filled with smoke but was otherwise undamaged.

The vehicle after it was moved away from the building.
Smoke damage on the rear wall of the sports centre.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ward 2 the latest to burn

YET another fire has ripped through one of the abandoned buildings at the former Royal Derwent Hospital in New Norfolk. The partially demolished Ward 2 went up in flames late last night, with fires in all three wings of the building.

The building on Ring Rd was one of the first two wards erected at Royal Derwent, with construction starting in 1956. Its present owners had recently started demolition works as part of their ongoing project to clear the site. Last night's fire gutted the building and brought down the roof.

The smouldering ruins of Ward 2 this morning.

Monday, June 6, 2011

New hops honour old kilns

EXPERIMENTAL hops named after three Derwent Valley oast houses are the key ingredients in the 10th anniversary First Harvest ale from Cascade Brewery. Cascade First Harvest is a limited edition brew made from the first harvest of Tasmanian barley and hops.

The hops for the 10th anniversary brew were harvested at Bushy Park Estate on  March 9. They were experimental hop varieties named Valleyfield (aroma hop), Lanoma (flavour hop) and Tynwald (bitterness hop) in honour of well-known hop drying kilns (oast houses). Amongst many others which were built more than 100 years ago, these kilns still stand today in the Derwent Valley.

Valleyfield, New Norfolk, is the birthplace of Australia's commercial hop industry and initially presented an irrigation challenge for Ebenezer Shoobridge, who established and pioneered the hop industry in Tasmania. The famed circular kiln was built in 1883 and was used to dry hops until 1973.

Lanoma, Westerway, was built in 1938 and was used as a community kiln for smaller growers in the area.

Tynwald, New Norfolk, is better known as "The Oast House". Built in 1867, it was in use until 1969. Purchased by Pam Moore in 1971, the Tynwald oast house was converted into a residence, museum and gallery which is open to the public.

Coal mine changes hands

THE lease on the Langloh coal mine near Hamilton has changed hands. Leaseholder Spitfire Resources today announced that it had sold its Tasmanian interests to Advaita Power Resources for $1.5 million cash.

Spitfire managing director John Mackenzie said he was pleased to have concluded an agreement with a specialised coal-focused company to purchase the Tasmanian assets, enabling Spitfire to concentrate on its manganese project in Western Australia.

NineMSN has more here.

Two wins at Cygnet

THE New Norfolk football team scored two wins over Cygnet at Cygnet on Saturday. The remaining match was abandoned.

Seniors - New Norfolk 26.13 (169) d Cygnet 5.6 (36)
Goals - New Norfolk: M. Thompson 5, N. Ross 4, B. Booth 3, R. Belcher 3, J. Hall 3, B. Carver 2, K. Styles 2, M. Smith, S. Bonnitcha, M. Horne, M. Cashion; Best - New Norfolk: M. Thompson, R. Belcher, N. Ross, B. Carver, M. Smith, L. Joseph.    

Reserves - New Norfolk 14.9 (93) d Cygnet 8.5 (53)
Goals - New Norfolk: J. Wallner 3, C. Ransley 3, L. Menzie 2, S. Rogers 2, J. Kelly, L. Browning, J. Walsh, P. Ling; Best - New Norfolk: J. Kelly, C. Ransley, A. Minchin, N. Lester, L. Browning, D. Walsh.

Colts - match abandoned.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

School holiday fun

A NUMBER of school holiday activities for 11-16 year olds are being offered by the Derwent Valley Council in partnership with the Bridgewater Police and Citizens Youth Club over the next two weeks.

Parents wishing to send their children on any of the following activities are required to complete a permission form at the Derwent Valley Council Chambers and make the necessary payments by Monday, June 6. All activities depart from New Norfolk High School at 9.30am and return at 3.30pm.

  • Monday, June 6: Ten-pin Bowling, $12, BYO lunch or lunch money.
  • Tuesday, June 7: Aquatic Centre, $8, barbecue lunch provided.
  • Wednesday, June 8: Village Cinemas, $12, BYO lunch or lunch money.
  • Thursday, June 9: Putters Golf, $10, BYO lunch or lunch money.
  • Friday, June 10: Zone 3, $12, BYO lunch or lunch money.
  • Monday, June 13: Public Holiday
  • Tuesday, June 14: Tony’s Speed Boat, $8, barbecue lunch provided.
  • Wednesday, June 15: Village Cinemas, $12, barbecue lunch provided.
  • Thursday, June 16: Pizza Hut, $12, BYO lunch or lunch money.
  • Friday, June 17: Aquatic Centre, $8, barbecue lunch provided.

Permission forms and payment will not be accepted after June 6. For more information contact: Matt Hill on 6261 8511.