Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sunday road weather alert

Bureau of Meteorology
Tasmania

Road Weather Alert for Tasmania
for the Upper Derwent Valley, North West Coast, Central North, North East, Central Plateau, Midlands and East Coast forecast districts


Issued at 9:33pm on Saturday 30 June 2018.

Icy roads will make driving conditions potentially dangerous during Sunday morning in parts of the North West Coast, Central North, North East, Central Plateau, Midlands, East Coast and Upper Derwent Valley forecast districts.

For information on any road closures, please contact your local council or the Police.

The next alert will be issued by 5am Sunday.

VIDEO: New Norfolk v Huonville today

FINAL SCORES

Seniors: New Norfolk 13.16 (94) d Huonville 9.12 (66)

Reserves: Huonville 14.9 (93) d New Norfolk 8.8 (56)

Colts: New Norfolk 17.10 (112) d Huonville 2.2 (14)

Women (Friday night): Lauderdale 18.19 (127) d New Norfolk 0.0 (0) played at Lauderdale.

 

Road weather warning

Bureau of Meteorology
Tasmania


Road Weather Alert for Tasmania
for the Upper Derwent Valley, North West Coast, Central North, North East, Central Plateau, Midlands and East Coast forecast districts


Issued at 3:19 pm EST on Saturday 30 June 2018.

Potentially icy roads will make driving conditions dangerous during Sunday morning in parts of the North West Coast, Central North, North East, Central Plateau, Midlands, East Coast and Upper Derwent Valley forecast districts.

For information on any road closures, please contact your local council or the Police.

The next alert will be issued by 11pm Saturday.

Get into robotics at Glenora

Click image to enlarge or click here to book online.

Friday, June 29, 2018

This weekend's footy

SFL Round 13 – Saturday, June 30

New Norfolk v Huonville at Boyer Oval


Seniors, 2pm
Reserves, noon
Colts, 10am

Jake King is chaired from the ground after his 200th senior
games for the Eagles last Saturday.

Band's farewell concert this Sunday

Click image to enlarge
THE Derwent Valley Concert Band will perform a farewell concert in the New Norfolk War Memorial Hall this Sunday, July 1, at 1pm.

In the year of its 25th anniversary, the band is about to set off on a two-week tour of Malaysia. This will be the band's 10th overseas trip since it was formed in 1993.

Sunday's concert will feature a selection of the music that will be performed during the tour, including works based on British and Australian folk music: Bushdance by Ralph Hultgren; Click go the Shears; Loch Lomond; Greensleeves; Shepherd’s Hey and Children’s March by Percy Grainger. There will also be music by Americans Duke Ellington, Richard Rogers and Morton Gould;  and excerpts from a Malaysian work, Taiping Suite, written by expatriate British composer, Paul Michael Baker.

Sunday's concert in the New Norfolk War Memorial Hall, Circle St, will start at 1pm. Entry is by donation and afternoon tea will be available during the interval.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Positive ageing expo this Thursday

Click image to enlarge
AN expo showcasing some of the extensive range of services and activities available to older residents of the Derwent Valley will be held at the New Norfolk RSL this Thursday from 11am until 2pm.

The Keeping Engaged in the Derwent Valley positive ageing expo is funded by the Tasmanian Government and organised by the Derwent Valley Council and an external partner.

“We’re very pleased to be partnering with Corumbene Care to hold the expo," Derwent Valley mayor Martyn Evans said. "It’s a great opportunity for members of the Derwent Valley community to see what sort of services are available and opportunities to remain active in the community,” he said.

Corumbene chief executive Damien Jacobs said the organisation had hosted two previous health and wellbeing events.

This week's event is expected to feature a wide range of stalls providing information, demonstrations, and health checks. There will be organisations and groups with information on how older people can remain active in the community through recreation and volunteering opportunities with local community groups and service providers.

People needing transport to the event can contact either their usual service provider, Community Transport Services Tasmania, or Corumbene Care. “We’d like to thank Corumbene Care and Community Transport Services Tasmania for their support in making Keeping Engaged in the Derwent Valley a successful and informative expo”, Councillor Evans said.

During the expo attendees will be able to state what services or activities they would like more information about. Subsequently, three forums will be organised to provide more detailed information on the topics that participants have indicated they are most interested in.

There is no charge to attend the Keeping Engaged in the Derwent Valley positive ageing expo and light refreshments will be provided.

Roadworks later this week

REDUCED speed limits and lane closures will be in place for roadworks at two locations in the Derwent Valley this week.

The Department of State Growth has advised that maintenance will be carried out on Gordon River Rd from Westerway to National Park from Wednesday to Friday this week, between 7.30am and 4.30pm. There will be a reduced speed limit and frequent lane closures.

Maintenance will also be carried out on the Midland Hwy at the Bridgewater Bridge this Thursday night. There will be a reduced speed limit and occasional lane closures between 7-10pm.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

June council meeting rundown

PUBLIC question time once again provided a lively start to the monthly Derwent Valley Council meeting last Thursday night, despite the provision of 30 minutes of open discussion time before the start of formal proceedings.

The open session, replacing public participation at the regular councillor workshops, included questions about illegal dumping of rubbish at the top of Kensington St, the need for disability parking spots outside the New Norfolk post office, a reported decline in the relationship between the council and many of its committees, road repairs since the recent floods, and the partial collapse of Molesworth Rd in the area known as the Bridle Track.


When the meeting-proper got under way at 6.30pm, mayor Martyn Evans announced that general manager Greg Winton was sick and corporate and community services manager Mark Eady would be standing in for him during the meeting. Councillors Anne Salt and Julie Triffitt and infrastructure and development services manager Richard Blackwell declared conflicts of interest in items before the council that night.

Cr Paul Belcher took issue with a written answer provided to a local resident following questions to recent council meetings about a mooted economic impact survey of the High St market. After several months of questioning by former councillor Wayne Shoobridge about the survey, general manager Greg Winton wrote to him to say the council "has not endorsed or requested an economic impact study of the trial market to be undertaken." Cr Belcher asked why the general manager would have made such at statement, when his own report to the November 2017 council meeting said: "A survey of the economic and social impacts of the market will be conducted at the four week mark of the trial (following the 25 November market)." Mayor Evans said he would ask the general manager about this.

Public question time kicked off with New Norfolk's Len Butterworth asking if the council was aware TasWater wanted to buy six local properties in order to expand it water treatment plant at Bryn Estyn outside New Norfolk. He was surprised that the council, as a part-owner of the water corporation, did not know about those plans.

Mr Butterworth also asked why the council continued to allow the building of houses along a flood-prone stretch of riverbank alongside the Lachlan Creek at New Norfolk, despite it being declared flood-prone on at last four occasions. In his third question Mr Butterworth asked how he could oppose the recent finding that deputy mayor Ben Shaw had no case to answer in a recent Code of Conduct complaint; and in his fourth question he asked whether the council had the power to invoke a heritage listing on a property.

Anne Stephenson from Molesworth followed-up her recent question about signage on Tubbs Rd. Manager Richard Blackwell said options for signage were being discussed and works to improve visibility were being investigated.

Alby Stephenson from Molesworth repeated his statement from the earlier open session, advising that the partial collapse of Molesworth Rd was having an impact on traffic and any worsening of the damage would potentially force motorists to travel via unsealed Collins Cap Rd.

Former councillor Chris Lester asked about the public being excluded from workshops and drew attention to the council's Strategic Plan having expired. Mayor Evans said public consultation on a new "community strategic plan" would start on July 31. Mr Lester also spoke about the lack of funding being made available for properties affected by last month's flooding and asked why the council did not do something practical such as allowing free use of the tip for as long as required.

Jeanette Kaiser asked for a third time about the deteriorating relationship between the council and its youth advisory committee, D'FAT, and asked why the group had been excluded from recent consultations on a youth strategy and the local International Women's Day event. The manager responsible, Mark Eady, said it was within his prerogative to meet with whomever he chose.

With the time nearing 7pm, the meeting moved on to two notices of motion. In the first, Cr Julie Triffett proposed acknowledging the hurt experienced by people affected by last months floods, and make a donation to assist with flood relief. Cr Triffett acknowledged that the methodology had not yet been worked out, and the amount of the donation would be discussed during the budget deliberations. The motion as written did not win a lot of support from other councillors, with Cr Ben Shaw describing it as a "nice thought ... but not really formed up." Cr Paul Belcher said the eighth community working bee had been completed that day, and he felt people were looking for a "hand up, not a handout." After 10 minutes of discussion Cr Shaw provided Cr Triffett with an alteration to her motion, which added words to the effect of  "consider a methodology through the budget process" and this resulted in the motion being carried.

Manager Richard Blackwell left the room for the second notice of motion, in which Cr Ben Shaw proposed that the council ask the Minister for Planning to remove the house at 16 George St, New Norfolk, from the council's heritage register. He said the property was presently up for sale but potential buyers were not prepared to take it on because of the local heritage listing. He said the house had been heritage listed in error and the homeowner had not been informed at the time. He said the estimated cost of up to $4000 to remove the heritage status should be borne by the council. Several councillors questioned whether this would "open the floodgates" to other property owners who would like the council to pay for the heritage listings to be removed, but the motion passed with only three councillors opposing it.

Cr Shaw then proposed a motion without notice, to the obvious consternation of mayor Evans. Cr Shaw moved that the council consider cleaning up illegally dumped rubbish in Kensington St; provide council trucks to collect large items; allow free entry to the tip for people delivering smaller items; and for cameras to be installed to catch future offenders. This motion was seconded by Cr Triffett and was carried unanimously. Cr Belcher mentioned other illegal dumping sites on the Lyell Hwy, Cockerills Rd and Glen Dhu Rd, and Cr Pearce named Black Hills Rd, but these were not added to the motion.

MORE TO COME

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Today's footy scores

Seniors: New Norfolk 12.12 (84) d Sorell 10.8 (68)

Reserves: New Norfolk 7.7 (49) d Sorell 7.6 (48)

Colts: New Norfolk 6.9 (45) d Sorell 5.7 (37)

Friday, June 22, 2018

It's Eagles v Eagles this weekend

REINVIGORATED after last weekend's win, the New Norfolk Eagles head to Pembroke Park tomorrow (Saturday) to take on the Sorell Eagles in Round 11 of the Southern Football League competition.

Jake King has reached his 200th senior club game for the Eagles since his senior debut in 2007. With four premiership wins under his belt, King has been a fixture on the backline this year. He has also captained the reserves team.

Colts: New Norfolk v Sorell at 10am.
Reserves: New Norfolk v Sorell at noon
Seniors: New Norfolk v Sorell at 2pm.

The New Norfolk women's team will play at Pembroke Park on Sunday in another of the SFLW gala days. New Norfolk will meet North Hobart in the first match of the day at 10am.

Police guard for council meeting

LAST night's Derwent Valley Council meeting was monitored by three police officers in case any members of the public overstayed their welcome.

Three police officers sat in two vehicles parked outside the courthouse in Circle St, New Norfolk. One appeared to be parked on private property. They did not leave until the front doors of the courthouse were locked.

The police presence was in response to the situation at last month's council meeting held at Molesworth, where the closed session had to be abandoned when a member of the public refused to leave.

Two police officers were present when that meeting reconvened a week later at the New Norfolk Courthouse and this presence was increased to three for last night's meeting.

Despite an interesting closed agenda including the outcomes of the Willow Court Expressions of Interest process, no members of the public attempted to stay for the closed session, although several members of staff stayed behind without explanation.

BreastScreen bus heading to New Norfolk

THE BreastScreen Tasmania Mobile Unit will return to New Norfolk next month. The free service gives women aged over 40 the opportunity to make an appointment for a mammogram which can detect cancer in its early stages. The mobile unit last visited New Norfolk in 2016.

BreastScreen Tasmania is part of a national program that aims to continue to reduce deaths from breast cancer through early detection of the disease. The service provides a free screening mammogram every two years to women between the age of 50 and 74 years throughout Tasmania.

While women in the target age group are particularly encouraged to participate, all women over the age of 40 years are eligible for the program.

From July 16 until August 3, the BreastScreen Tasmania Mobile Unit will be available at the car park adjacent to the library in Charles St, New Norfolk. Appointments can be made by calling 13 20 50. Click here for more information.

Click image to enlarge.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

New open session for monthly council meetings

TONIGHT'S Derwent Valley Council meeting will start with a 30-minute open session following a partial backflip on the recent decision to bar members of the public from council workshops. Until last month, members of the public were invited to attend the first half-hour of the councillor workshops held on the first and second Thursdays of the month, but this was brought to an end following acceptance of a motion from deputy mayor Ben Shaw at the April council meeting.

By the May council meeting, Cr Shaw seemed to have had a change of heart. "I moved a motion at the last council meeting to remove the public open sessions at workshops and also to change the workshop dates," he said. Cr Shaw said he had since had discussions with people who had suggested that 30 minutes be allowed for a public open session at the start of each ordinary council meeting.

Cr Shaw this was already done in the form of community forums when council meetings are held outside of New Norfolk at locations such as Molesworth, Lachlan, Granton, Westerway, Maydena and Bushy Park, and his proposal was to extend that opportunity to all council meetings. "That still gives that chance to all ratepayers to come along and have open question time with the councillors for the half-hour before the meeting starts," Cr Shaw said.

The proposal was seconded by Cr James Graham, who had been one of two councillors to vote against the removal of public participation at workshops. "I'd like to see this as a bit of a small win," he said. "I was in the room when it was clawed back from every Thursday back to two [and then none], and now we're back to one, but at least as far as I'm concerned that's an opportunity for people to have their say. You heard how I felt about the motion the last time and to me this is a bit of a small win ... so I'm voting for this," Cr Graham said

Cr Frank Pearce said the Local Government Meeting Procedure Regulations already required councils to have a minimum of 15 minutes of public question time and in the case of the meeting in progress at Molesworth the question time had gone for about 40 minutes. "I think there is already sufficient provision within the public question time part of the meeting to take all of the discussion without having to spend an additional half-hour as well. I will be voting against it because I feel we already have it covered.

Cr Paul Belcher said he had been happy to support the previous month's motion "for getting rid of the public session out of the workshops," but he thought the new proposal was a great idea. Cr Julie Triffett echoed Cr Belcher's remarks.  "I think it's a great idea to take it away from the workshops and have it with the meetings," she said.

Cr Anne Salt, attending her first meeting, said if the open forum was available in every other district it should also be available when the council met at New Norfolk. "Yeah, I'm in agreeance because I think it's important for people to have the opportunity to come along and chat to the councillors before the meeting," she said.

Closing the debate, Cr Shaw thanked his colleagues for their comments. Addressing Cr Pearce's remarks he said public question time at council meetings was structured and rigid, with a set time available. "There's really no back and forth and I guess that's what we get to have at a public open session and what we're missing from some of the discussions we're having our workshop nights," Cr Shaw said.

When put to the vote the motion was carried 6-1, with Councillors Shaw, Graham, Lathey, Triffitt, Salt and Belcher, in favour, and Cr Pearce opposed. Mayor Martyn Evans was absent.

* The monthly council meeting for June will be held tonight (Thursday) at the New Norfolk Courthouse in Circle St. The public open session will start at 6pm followed by the formal meeting at 6.30pm. Anyone wishing to participate in public question time in the open session must submit their questions writing no later than 6.15pm.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Children's University expands to the valley

Click image to enlarge.
A COMMUNITY event will be held tomorrow to launch the Children’s University Tasmania in the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands.

The event at the Salvation Army's local headquarters on Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk, will celebrate the local launch and provide more information about the program.

Children’s University Tasmania - which is operated by the Peter Underwood Centre at the University of Tasmania - aims to build confidence and to encourage and celebrate learning outside school hours.

Each participating child is issued with a Passport to Learning from their school, in which the hours of validated activity are recorded. Once they have reached the required number of hours, participants graduate from the Children’s University. The activities are chosen by the childrens and the emphasis is on experience as a powerful learning tool.

The achievements of graduates are celebrated each year at high profile graduation ceremonies. Children's University Tasmania is supported by the Salvation Army’s Communities for Children program.

The local launch will be at 4pm tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Salvation Army's Derwent Valley Corps, 79 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk. To register for this free event, click here.

Slow pace on Sorell Creek roadworks

WORKS on the Lyell Highway near the Sorell Creek cherry farm appear to be taking longer than expected. Roads Tasmania initially advised that work would be carried out between June 4-8 to repair damage to the road surface and fix drainage issues.

The project seems to have had a later start than was expected and was further delayed by the Queen's Birthday long weekend. The Department of State Growth now says that this Friday, June 22, is the approximate completion date.

A reduced speed limit is in place and motorists are advised to prepare for frequent lane closures and delays during the hours of 9.30am-3.30pm.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Final flood watch update

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, Tasmania


Final Flood Watch for the Derwent and South East catchments

Note: This Flood Watch is a "heads up" for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning.


Issued at 10:25am on Monday 18 June 2018

By the Bureau of Meteorology, Hobart.


Flood Watch Number: 4

The risk of flooding in the Derwent and South East catchments has eased.

A low pressure system to the east of Tasmania moved away the Tasman Sea on Sunday as a ridge builds to the west, resulting in a fresh to strong southerly stream over the state.

In the 48 hours to 9 am Monday rainfall totals of 10-60 mm were recorded in the Derwent and South East catchments.

No significant rainfall is forecast for the next few days.

River rises are occurring as a result of the observed rainfall, but the risk of flooding has eased.

Strong and dangerous flows may be a hazard over the next couple of days.


Flooding is no longer expected in the following catchments: Derwent, Jordan, Coal, East Coastal Rivers and South East

Note: This Flood Watch is a "heads up" for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning. The Bureau of Meteorology does not provide a flood warning service for all of the catchments covered by this flood watch. For more information on the Flood Watch Service: http://www.bom.gov.au/water/floods/floodWarningServices.shtml

For the latest warnings see www.bom.gov.au/tas/warnings

For the latest rainfall and river level information see www.bom.gov.au/tas/flood

For the latest weather forecast see www.bom.gov.au/tas/forecasts


Flood Safety Advice:

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.tas.gov.au

Road closure information is available at www.police.tas.gov.au

For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.

For life threatening situations, call 000 immediately.

Next Issue:

This is a final Flood Watch, no further watches will be issued for this event.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Flood watch updated

Bureau of Meteorology, Tasmania

Flood Watch for the Derwent and South East catchments


Note: This Flood Watch is a "heads up" for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning.


Issued at 9:53am on Sunday 17 June 2018

By the Bureau of Meteorology, Hobart.


Flood Watch Number: 3

A flood watch continues for the River Derwent and catchments in the south east of Tasmania.

A low pressure system to the east of Tasmania will move away over the Tasman Sea today as a ridge builds to the west, resulting in a fresh to strong southerly stream over the state. Rainfall showers will continue about the west, south and east of Tasmania for the remainder of Sunday into Monday.

In the 48 hours to 9am Sunday, up to 60 to 70mm of rainfall was observed in the Huon and western parts of the Derwent catchments. These catchments are wet and small amounts of rainfall are causing renewed stream level rises. Other catchments in the South east including the Jordan and Coal are now also wet with some stream rises being observed.

A further 25-30mm of rainfall is expected across the south east of Tasmania on Sunday into Monday, with higher totals possible in elevated areas.

A minor flood warning is current for the Huon River, significant rises have also been observed in the Styx River. Further catchment specific warnings will be issued if and when required.

River rises are likely in smaller rivers and creeks that received high rainfall totals in May, including the Plenty and Mountain rivers, potential for rises in the Coal and Jordan rivers..


Catchments likely to be affected include:

Derwent River

Jordan River

Coal River

East Coastal Rivers (south of Bicheno)

South East


Note: This Flood Watch is a "heads up" for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning. The Bureau of Meteorology does not provide a flood warning service for all of the catchments covered by this flood watch. For more information on the Flood Watch Service: http://www.bom.gov.au/water/floods/floodWarningServices.shtml

For the latest warnings see www.bom.gov.au/tas/warnings

For the latest rainfall and river level information see www.bom.gov.au/tas/flood

For the latest weather forecast see www.bom.gov.au/tas/forecasts


Flood Safety Advice:

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.tas.gov.au

Road closure information is available at www.police.tas.gov.au

For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.

For life threatening situations, call 000 immediately.

Next Issue:

The next Flood Watch will be issued by 10am on Monday 18 June 2018.

"Pay for it yourself", ratepayer told

One of the Trevor Terrace retaining walls after being signed-off
as "finished."
A PROPOSAL to reimburse a New Norfolk ratepayer for the cost of completing a retaining wall has been rejected by the majority of Derwent Valley councillors.

Councillor Paul Belcher told the April council meeting that program to complete the long-overdue retaining wall improvements at the western end of Trevor Tce, New Norfolk, had come in $50,000 under budget after the project approved by councillors had been modified by persons unknown, resulting in several residences receiving shorter-than-expected walls.

"Who made the decision to override councillor decisions, to reduce the height of the wall?" Cr Belcher asked. "Why didn’t this come back to council to make this decision? I don’t mind seeing savings but when it is told to us by the ratepayer it becomes a lack of communication," he said.

In a written answer, council infrastructure and development services manager Richard Blackwell  advised that the height of the retaining walls had been "communicated and viewed by all affected  owners through the duration of the works."

"All residents were advised at the initial consultation period, and through the duration of [the] project, that if additional works were required, they could make arrangements with the contractor at their own cost," Mr Blackwell said.

Cr Belcher followed up with a notice of motion to the May council meeting, proposing that a ratepayer be reimbursed for work that he completed after the council had finished at the front of his property in Trevor Tce. Cr Belcher's motion was seconded by Cr Barry Lathey. 

"My understanding of the retaining wall project was that there was insufficient money to finish the project last year so council decided to add more money, which it did," Cr Belcher said. "Now the work is completed, some of the retaining walls are shorter than expected, resulting in the project being under budget by $50,000 which seems to have come from shortcuts in the project," he said.

"The gentleman is not seeking any money for his time to do the work, which was a full week, but he  would be happy to be repaid his expenses for materials. Maybe the amount owing could be reimbursed to the gentleman’s rates," Cr Belcher said. 

A written "management comment" responding to Cr Belcher's motion went close to describing the ratepayer's actions as illegal and potentially dangerous. "It appears the additional works have been undertaken on [the] council road reserve and without permission of council," the nameless executive wrote. "The proximity of the additional works to the kerbside wall constructed by council adjacent the kerb places loads on that wall beyond those recommended on the manufacturers design notes and may lead to failure of the wall constructed by council."

Cr Belcher said the ratepayer had done a professional job, matching the council work to such an extent that the council was now receiving credit. "When you drive past this property now, council gets a pat on the back for doing such a wonderful job," he said. "A full week's work went into it ... he's just seeking to get the [materials] cost back which was $1400."

Cr Julie Triffett said she had struggled with the proposal for a little while. "Trevor Tce looks great, and the property owners did have to wait a long time to get it, and its $1500," she said, before going on to draw attention to the management comments about additional work being at the property owners' expense. "I'd like to know what changed, between the time that the consultation was undertaken, and now, and if this [motion] is supported, what happens... what are the ramifications for the council in the long term.  What if the wall, that the property owner has put in, fails. Who is responsible for that?"

Responding to deputy mayor Ben Shaw's invitation to address Cr Triffett's remarks, infrastructure manager Blackwell said the affected residents in Trevor Tce had been consulted and shown plans and documents relating to the scope of work and the option for additional work at their own cost. Mr Blackwell said he could see that some people in the public gallery were disagreeing with him but he could verify that those actions had taken place. "That conversation was happily accepted," he said.

Cr Frank Pearce said he could not see why the council would want to pay the additional costs because a resident had decided to do something extra. "I think it would create some considerable precedent if other people start doing works on council property and putting in claims to council," he said.

Cr Lathey said he had inspected the retaining wall and the householder had done an excellent job. He noted this was right on the edge of the council's boundary. "If it hadn't been done there would have been about a metre and half of no-man's land there, before the council's wall." Cr Lathey said the householder had clearly believed that the council wasn't going to fill the gap so he had done it himself. "I'm of the opinion that the council ought to pay him the costs which he shows receipts of to the amount of nearly $1500," he said.

Cr James Graham said he was concerned about the reference to "shortcuts" saving $50,000 on the Trevor Tce project and he wondered about the implications. However, he did not feel that the council was indebted to the resident who carried out the extra work.  "It's an emotional one and in my heart of hearts I don't feel that we asked for that work to be done and I don't feel, personally, that we as a council are indebted for that."

Cr Shaw then invited Cr Anne Salt to speak, as she was the only councillor who had not yet done so. "I would take the advice of the planner," Cr Salt said, interrupted by Mr Blackwell who replied "sorry?" as Cr Salt continued "...or your position, whatever it is."

"Looking at the management comments, and following on from what Cr Pearce said, if there was an agreement in place with the council and the property owner has gone outside that, then I don't see that the council would be responsible for reimbursement," Cr Salt said.

Closing the debate, Cr Belcher thanked councillors for their comments. He advised that he had visited and photographed the work at Trevor Tce once it had been certified as completed, and noticed at least one property had a steep drop over a bank to the retaining wall below, which was quite dangerous, leading to the property owner taking the necessary steps to rectify it.

When put to the vote, the motion to reimburse the ratepayer was defeated 4-3. Crs Belcher, Shaw and Lathey were in favour of the proposal, and Crs Pearce, Graham, Triffett and Salt were opposed.  

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Man helping police following Dromedary crash

A MAN is helping police with their inquiries into a single-vehicle crash off Boyer Rd last night that resulted in a car ending up in a dam. Sergeant Kelly Taylor of Tasmania Police said emergency services had been notified around 9.20pm on Friday of a car crash off Boyer Rd, east of the Pegasus Drive intersection.

"Witnesses reported a vehicle had run off Boyer Rd into a dam [but] were unable to confirm if there were people trapped inside the vehicle," Sgt Taylor said. "On police arrival, the vehicle was completely submerged in the dam."

The police dive squad, forensic services and the Derwent Valley SES were called to the scene but poor visibility prevented the divers from confirming if there were people trapped in the vehicle.

"The vehicle was recovered from the dam and it was confirmed there was no-one was inside," Sgt Taylor said. "A male person was located near the scene suffering from hypothermia. He was treated by Tasmania Ambulance and subsequently transported to RHH for treatment."

Sgt Taylor said the man was assisting police with their inquiries.

Today's football scores

New Norfolk players in a huddle at quarter-time in today's
senior game at Boyer Oval.
SFL Round 11 at Boyer Oval today

Seniors: New Norfolk 15.13 (103) d Claremont 10.9 (69)

Reserves: Claremont 12.8 (80) d New Norfolk 9.5 (59)

Colts: New Norfolk 21.10 (136) d Claremont 2.4 (16)

Women: New Norfolk plays Claremont at 11.40am at Abbotsfield Park tomorrow (Sunday)

Flood watch updated

Bureau of Meteorology, Tasmania


Flood Watch for the Huon, Derwent and South East catchments

Note: This Flood Watch is a "heads up" for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning.


Issued at 9:51am on Saturday 16 June 2018

By the Bureau of Meteorology, Hobart.


Flood Watch Number: 2

A flood watch continues for the Huon River, River Derwent and catchments in the south east of Tasmania.

A low pressure system to the south of Tasmania will slowly move to the southeast of the state this evening, then over the Tasman Sea on Sunday bringing showers about the west, south and east of Tasmania over the weekend.

In the 24 hours to 9am Saturday, up to 40mm of rainfall was observed in the Huon catchment. Most catchments in the east and south-east are moderately dry. The Huon catchment and parts of the Derwent catchment are wet.

A further 25-35mm of rainfall is expected across the west, and south east of Tasmania on Saturday, with higher totals possible in elevated areas.

River rises are currently being observed in the Huon river. Minor flooding is possible at some forecast locations from Saturday.

Catchment specific warnings will be issued if and when required.


River rises are likely in smaller rivers and creeks that received high rainfall totals in May, including the Styx, Plenty and Mountain rivers.

Catchments likely to be affected include:

Huon River

Channel Coastal Rivers (South East Cape to Gordon)

Derwent River

Jordan River

Coal River

East Coastal Rivers (south of Bicheno)

South East


Note: This Flood Watch is a "heads up" for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning. The Bureau of Meteorology does not provide a flood warning service for all of the catchments covered by this flood watch. For more information on the Flood Watch Service: http://www.bom.gov.au/water/floods/floodWarningServices.shtml

For the latest warnings see www.bom.gov.au/tas/warnings

For the latest rainfall and river level information see www.bom.gov.au/tas/flood

For the latest weather forecast see www.bom.gov.au/tas/forecasts

Flood Safety Advice:

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.tas.gov.au

Road closure information is available at www.police.tas.gov.au

For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.

For life threatening situations, call 000 immediately.

Next Issue:

The next Flood Watch will be issued by 10am on Sunday 17 June 2018.

Friday, June 15, 2018

VIDEO: New Norfolk v Claremont preview



THE Southern Football League competition resumes this weekend with Round 11 following a bye for the Queen's Birthday long weekend. The feature match of the round is at Boyer Oval on Saturday with New Norfolk lining up against Claremont.

Many of the New Norfolk v Claremont clashes of recent years would have had both teams in the top three on ladder. The Eagles at home this weekend find themselves in unfamiliar territory, sitting seventh on the ladder and really needing to win against a team much higher on the ladder if they wish to remain in contention to play finals in season 2018.

The Eagles' performance in the last round against Lindisfarne was much improved, which will give them really good confidence for this home match. Claremont lost at home to Cygnet in its last match which was the Magpies' first loss for the season. The Pies will be hoping to have a few players back from injury for this clash. This is one of the most decisive clashes of the season.

Match times at Boyer Oval
Colts: 10am
Reserves: noon
Seniors: 2pm

The SFLW competition also resumes this weekend after last week's intrastate march. Round 11 this Sunday is the next Gala Day with all matches being played at Abbotsfield Park, including New Norfolk v Claremont at 11.40am.

Claremont should continue its way with a victory and jump into second spot on the ladder following this round. The Eagles will be striving for improvement each week.

SFL president Madeleine Ogilvie presents
New Norfolk player Tayhlar Tangata with
her SFLW representative side guernsey.
The SFL has congratulated all the players selected in the inaugural SFLW representative match against TWL North last Sunday at UTAS Stadium, including New Norfolk's Tayhlar Tangata.

While the game did not go the South's way, all players gave their all and can be proud of having represented themselves, their clubs and the league in this historic match.
DAVID HARDING

Flood watch issued for River Derwent

Bureau of Meteorology, Tasmania


Initial Flood Watch for the Huon, Derwent and South East catchments

Note: This Flood Watch is a "heads up" for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning.


Issued at 4:02pm on Friday 15 June 2018
By the Bureau of Meteorology, Hobart.

Flood Watch Number: 1
This is a flood watch for the Huon River, River Derwent and catchments in the south east of Tasmania.
A low passing to the south of the State will bring persistent showers to the west and south west of the State during Friday and Saturday, and then to the east and south-east on Sunday.
Most catchments in the east and south-east are moderately dry. The Huon catchment and parts of the Derwent catchment are wet.
During the remainder of Friday and Saturday rainfall totals of 30-50 mm are forecast for the upper Huon and elevated areas. During Sunday widespread 10 to 20 mm is forecast for the east and south east, with locally high totals up to 40 mm.
River rises are expected in the Huon river. Minor flooding is possible at some forecast locations from Saturday.
Catchment specific warnings will be issued if and when required.
River rises are likely in smaller rivers and creeks that received high rainfall totals in May, including the Styx, Plenty and Mountain rivers.


Catchments likely to be affected include:

Huon River

Channel Coastal Rivers (South East Cape to Gordon)

Derwent River

Jordan River

Coal River

East Coastal Rivers (south of Bicheno)

South East


Note: This Flood Watch is a "heads up" for possible future flooding and is NOT a Flood Warning. The Bureau of Meteorology does not provide a flood warning service for all of the catchments covered by this flood watch. For more information on the Flood Watch Service: http://www.bom.gov.au/water/floods/floodWarningServices.shtml
For the latest warnings see www.bom.gov.au/tas/warnings
For the latest rainfall and river level information see www.bom.gov.au/tas/flood
For the latest weather forecast see www.bom.gov.au/tas/forecasts


Flood Safety Advice:

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.tas.gov.au
Road closure information is available at www.police.tas.gov.au
For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.
For life threatening situations, call 000 immediately.


Next Issue:

The next Flood Watch will be issued by 10am on Saturday 16 June 2018.

Foggy conditions in historic precinct

Woodbridge House seen through the fog yesterday morning.
GRAND old Woodbridge on the Derwent will have seen thousands of foggy mornings since it was built on the bank of the river at New Norfolk in 1825. A location with a rich history, this area is often blanketed in fog at this time of year.

The big house would have dominated the local landscape when built. Its original name is not known (if there was one) but for a time it was called the Richmond Hill Academy when it operated as a school.

Perhaps the house took its present name from the first wooden bridge that was constructed across the river in 1840-41 after many years of debate.  This was the first permanent crossing over the Derwent at any location and more than 100 years ahead of floating Hobart bridge that opened in 1943. A timber structure at Bridgewater opened in 1849.

The present owners of Woodbridge added a pavilion - seen here
through the fog from the far side of the river  
The first three bridges over the Derwent at New Norfolk were accessed via Bridge St. The original structure was replaced by another timber bridge in 1880 and this remained in place until a new concrete and steel bridge opened in 1931.

Construction of the present bridge in a new location on the upstream side of Woodbridge cost $900,000 (more than $7 million today) and resulted in the demolition of the property known as Alloway Banks which had originally been the outbuildings of Woodbridge House but had been converted into residences. This bridge, just under 200m long, opened in 1974 and by this time the house had long been divided into a number of flats.

The present bridge is the fourth to be built across the river
at New Norfolk since 1840.
The present owners restored the house and converted it into a boutique luxury hotel, adding a pavilion on the downstream side to serve as a guest dining room.

Across the river, the building that once served as the toll-house for the original bridge still stands up by Rocks Rd. The company that built the first bridge was granted the right to charge a toll for 30 years.

The toll-keeper's house was demolished after suffering flood damage in 1960 and a public toilet block stands in its place.

The open space opposite the toll house was once suggested as a possible location for the New Norfolk caravan park but it was eventually developed into a park in memory of a long-serving warden (mayor) of New Norfolk, Clyde Fitzgerald, who operated a general store across the road on the corner of Rocks Rd and Station St (now a private residence).

Isn't it amazing where a few photos of the fog can take you.

Looking through the fog over the River Derwent yesterday.







In finer weather you would see both Woodbridge and the New Norfolk Bridge
from this vantage point at the rowing ways below Rocks Rd.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Crash on Boyer Rd

6.15PM UPDATE: The road is now open to traffic.

EARLIER: POLICE have advised that Boyer Rd is closed until further notice tonight, from both the New Norfolk and Bridgewater ends. 



Emergency services are at the scene of a motor vehicle accident in the area and police have advised motorists to avoid the area. 
Social media commentators say the crash is in the Dromedary area, which has not been confirmed by police.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Don't mention the council staff

Derwent Valley Council acting general manager Mark Eady, left,
and Mayor Martyn Evans at the April council meeting.
RATEPAYERS have been told their questions about Derwent Valley Council staff will not be answered. Under increasing pressure to explain why two short-term appointments have lasted five times longer than planned, the council says neither councillors or the general manager can make public comment about staffing matters.

The same issue has been raised on many occasions by several councillors who would like to see the roles of council engineer and systems manager publicly advertised if they are to be made permanent.

Molesworth resident Diane Cowburn raised the issue during public question time at the March council meeting, stating: "Two temporary appointments were made independently by the general manager early in his tenure in order to assist him. These positions were not advertised at the time. Those positions are remaining and I suggest 'temporary' is an inaccurate description," she said.

Acting general manager Mark Eady took the question on notice, saying a full answer would take three hours and a whiteboard. Deputy mayor Ben Shaw said the issue of the temporary positions had been raised by several councillors but had not been answered to their satisfaction.

Despite the indication that a lengthy answer would be provided to Mrs Cowburn, the agenda documents for the next council meeting included a statement that the acting general manager's response had been: "Neither councillors nor the general manager are permitted to make public comment regarding staffing matters."

Not satisfied with this response, Mrs Cowburn followed-up at the April council meeting. "I feel that the answer provided by Mr Eady to my question around temporary appointments was filibustering and that my question wasn't answered," she said. There is a danger of separation of powers here whereby a duly elected council can be overridden by management who have no specified code of conduct other than that signed under their conditions of employment. The general manager apparently has wide-ranging powers in line with council policy as per the Local Government Act (1993), Part 7, Section 62."

Mrs Cowburn continued: "My question is not about individuals or staffing matters in general, but specifically are these positions to be advertised, what constitutes 'temporary', and what roles are fulfilled by these positions?"

"It's still staffing matters," Mr Eady said, sotto voce, before mayor Martyn Evans responded that  staffing matters were in the remit of the general manager. "It's operational and it is staffing, which falls under the general manager, and he has the power to appoint staff in line with the budget," Cr Evans said.

"That's the same old same old, you've just dished up the same answer," Mrs Cowburn protested before being cut off by the mayor. "Thank you - that's my answer," he said. Mr Eady followed in a quiet voice, "That's the answer."

The issue of the two temporary staffing positions goes back to December 2015 when the general manager advised councillors: "To improve the efficiency of council, it is proposed that an amount of $150,000 be allocated for the purpose of revitalising the staff structure within council, with temporary arrangements being implemented for this financial year." Funding for three more full-time positions was included in the next budget (2016/17), with an expectation among some that the temporary positions would no longer be necessary. The temporary positions were still there a year later (2017/18 budget), when the council allocated a further $118,000) for staffing in the general manager's department, and with the 2018/19 budget now being drafted, the two temporary positions are still there, two and a half years after they were created.

Did you see the Granton crash?

The driver of this Hilux was injured when
the vehicle was forced off the road by an
oncoming car. (Used with permission).
POLICE are trying to locate the driver of a car involved in an incident that forced a vehicle off the road at Granton late last month.

Senior Constable Lee Warrington of Tasmania Police said witnesses were being sought to the crash where a white Toyota Hilux utility, travelling towards New Norfolk, was forced off the Lyell Hwy near Rowbottoms Rd, Granton, at about 5.30pm on May 21.

"A dark-coloured, small-medium-sized car veered onto the incorrect side of the road in front of the utility," Senior Constable Warrington said.

"The utility was forced to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision, which resulted in the utility crashing. The other vehicle continued to travel towards Hobart," he said.

The driver of the utility suffered several spinal fractures and was hospitalised for several days. The Derwent Valley man is still recovering from the injuries and has been off work since the crash. Police are understood to have dash-cam vision of the incident and are now calling for the driver of other vehicle, and any witnesses, to come forward.

Information can be provided to the New Norfolk Police Station by calling 13 14 44. Details can also be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestopperstas.com.au

No news in Willow Court report

Deputy mayor Ben Shaw and mayor Martyn Evans on the
WIN TV News on Thursday night.
SPECULATION about a major redevelopment of the Willow Court historic site has been dismissed by Derwent Valley Council deputy mayor Ben Shaw.

Councillor Shaw, who yesterday announced his intention to run for mayor at this year's council election, said report broadcast on WIN News on Thursday night had been filmed weeks ago.

WIN TV newreader Brent Costello told viewers: "Speculation is mounting that New Norfolk's Willow Court is set for a $25 million redevelopment. The country's oldest running mental institution has been left untouched for 18 years, but there's talk international investors are about to give it, and the Derwent Valley community, a new lease on life."

Reporter Ainsley Koch referred to speculation that "Russian investors" were looking to turn the site around. Using the privately-owned buildings adjacent to the New Norfolk Woolworths as a backdrop, the news item combined aspects of three different development processes into one muddled story.

Mayor Evans featured prominently in the report but did not respond to the New Norfolk News' request for a statement about the alleged $25 million project. He told WIN News that Willow Court had been a millstone around the council's neck for 18 years, costing ratepayers "a couple of hundred thousand dollars" a year.

Deputy Mayor Shaw told the New Norfolk News that the WIN News report had been filmed three weeks ago. He believed that the reporter's interest had been piqued by Facebook speculation about the sale of privately-owned buildings centred around the Willow Court Antiques area. Cr Shaw said there was no basis to social media discussion that buildings in that section had been sold to a Korean church.

Cr Shaw said the three buildings featured in the WIN News report, often described as the "Oval Buildings" or the "Ellis Buildings", were also privately owned and had been in the hands of LJ Hooker Real Estate for some time. He said a firm offer is understood to have been made for those buildings, which was a good thing for the community. He did not believe the potential purchasers to be Russian.

In relation to the council-owned buildings on the site, Cr Shaw said an expression of interest process had recently concluded and a number of submissions had been reviewed. "A report to council is expected this month," Cr Shaw said, noting that this was likely to be tabled in a closed council meeting due to confidentiality.

Cr Shaw said he did not know the origin of claims by social media commentators that an announcement about property sales at Willow Court was to be made on June 7.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Remembering dressmaker Elaine O'Neil

Bridesmaids Helena O'Neill, left, and Edna Gill, 9, with
19-year-old bride Elaine Gill.
AT the first anniversary of the passing of Elaine O'Neill (nee Gill), her sister the well known local artist Edna "Gillem" Reid wonders know how many people living in the Derwent Valley and surrounds may have memories of a beautiful dress she fashioned for them or a member of their family in years gone by.

Elaine came to New Norfolk from Sydney in 1951, with husband Reg and baby Madeleine, to live at North Crescent in the housing estate built for workers of Australian Newsprint Mills, now Norske Skog.

"Here she found things quite  different," Mrs Reid recalled. "It was her first  cold winter - and her 21st birthday as well - when she found her first snow had fallen in the backyard, but the green wood they had to burn produced little warmth in the open fireplace."

After her second child, Helen, was born, 24-year-old Elaine's world was shattered at finding that terminal ovarian cancer was the reason she just didn't feel right. "Given only six months to live, radiation was the only offer. These were early days and the treatment was radical, but she was saved to continue raising her children.

"It was in those years that  she became known as a capable seamstress. What an understatement! The ballgowns, confirmation dresses, outfits of all styles and oh-so-lovely wedding gowns were fashioned to the desires of her patrons because Elaine had the ability to draft her own patterns. She had also trained as a milliner, so matching head gear could be another unique addition."

Throughout the years, the radiation treatment's effects showed up in many forms but Elaine continued through adversity after adversity. When her father Arthur Gill, died in Sydney in 1957, her mum, Betsy, came to live with them and was a great help to the household. Elaine's sister Edna (Gillem Reid) was also settling in New Norfolk with husband Garry.

For a time Elaine set up a shop in Hackett St, but being the only person on the premises didn't  give her enough time for sewing. At one stage she became wardrobe mistress for the Theatre Royal Light Opera Company, where her husband Reg was involved in acting.

"During this time, they moved to North Hobart. Then the Sydney Theatre Group approached her to design and dress their productions, but she felt she could not disrupt her family and so declined," Mrs Reid said. "Elaine had become a textbook case for doctors, specialists and surgeons who were involved with her stability over the years. She became used to their references to her case being unique."

When her children married and eventually settled on the mainland, Reg was retiring and so they moved to Geelong in 1991 to be close to the grandchildren. Doctors in Geelong took over her mounting health issues and their care was so great, combined with Elaine's determination, that she lived on until June 2, 2017, passing away at age 86.

At home until the last few days, in the company of her husband Reg and adoring family, Elaine had become the longest living ovarian cancer patient in Australia.