COVID-19 ADVICE: The following links provide official advice and information about the virus known as COVID-19.
Australia's state and federal governments are taking action to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Use the links above to source the latest advice about what you can do to protect yourself and others. Washing your hands for 20 seconds is one of the most effective forms of infection control. Do this after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; after close physical contact with anyone who is unwell; after using the toilet; before and after eating; before, during and after preparing food; and after feeding or touching a pet.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Local surprise on Channel 9 tonight

FORMER New Norfolk woman Peta-Gai McLaughlin is one of the people being featured on Channel 9's This Time Next Year program tonight.

Hosted by Karl Stefanovic, the reality TV show allows viewers to follow a group of everyday Australians as they try to achieve monumental personal goals over the most challenging and rewarding year of their lives.

A barrister turned businesswoman, Peta-Gai attended New Norfolk High School and Claremont College. Now living in Victoria, she graduated from the University of Tasmania and worked initially with Slater & Gordon Lawyers.

Earlier this year she was named the most successful product of Claremont College in the Mercury's Star Students series. She was managing a $90 million superannuation fund when she decided to establish her own business, Iridis Cosmetics.

The season final of This Time Next Year airs at about 8.40 tonight, following The Block, and later on 9now.

New Norfolk man evacuated from Overland Track

A police officer photographing the Westpac Rescue Helicopter
at the Overland Track this morning.
A BUSHWALKER has been evacuated from the Overland Track in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park after a medical emergency overnight. The 50-year-old New Norfolk man has been taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital for treatment.

First-Class Constable David Fitzgerald of Tasmania Police said the alert was raised at 7.44pm yesterday, when police were notified that a man at the Waterfall Valley Hut was experiencing chest pain. The rescue helicopter was sent to the scene but was unable to land due to inclement weather.

"Two land search and rescue parties were dispatched containing specialist police search and rescue along with two wilderness paramedics from Ambulance Tasmania," Constable Fitzgerald said. Arriving at the hut around 2.30am today, the emergency service crews found that the man was having cardiac difficulties.

Waterfall Valley Hut.
The man was stabilised to await transport from the scene later in the morning and at about 7.30am he was evacuated from Waterfall Valley by helicopter and taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital for treatment. “Police would like to thank members of the public for their assistance in this matter,” Constable Fitzgerald said.

The Overland Track is a popular 65-82km bushwalking route from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. The Waterfall Valley campsite will be upgraded this summer, with the replacement of the existing hut.

Tuesday frost warning


Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

Frost Warning
for the Midlands, East Coast and Upper Derwent Valley forecast districts

Issued at 11:14 am on Monday 30 September 2019.

Frosts with temperatures down to -1 degrees are forecast for Tuesday morning in parts of the Midlands, East Coast and Upper Derwent Valley forecast districts

Please be aware 
Temperatures at ground level can be many degrees lower than those recorded by standard weather stations, especially in calm conditions with clear skies.

No further warnings will be issued for this event.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Council calls for community grant applications

THE Derwent Valley Council has opened the latest round of its community grants program. Not-for-profit sporting, cultural and community groups within the Derwent Valley Municipal area are invited to apply for assistance in cash or in-kind under this program.

The council says it will give preference to projects and proposals that have broad community benefit. Under the new policy adopted this year, there is a limit of one application per organisation or group for each financial year. Projects that support the recurrent operations of the applicant are not eligible.

This year's council budget has allocated $20,000 to the community grants program, which is an increase of $8000 on last year.

Applications close on October 18, 2019. More information including application forms, eligibility criteria and guidelines can be downloaded from 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Lots on offer for spring school holidays

Click image to enlarge.
A BIG program of activities its on offer for local children in the upcoming spring school holidays thanks to the Derwent Valley Youth Future Action Team (D’FAT), the Salvation Army, Derwent Valley PCYC and Freedom Health and Wellness Centre.

One of these activities will be a three-day video-making workshop for young people aged 6-12 years. This workshop will be held on September 30 and October 7 and 9. “The aim of the workshop is to produce a five-minute newsreel made up of three or four stories that have a child’s perspective on living in regional Tasmania,” D’FAT chairman Nic Kaiser said. "Participants will gain experience in story development, production scheduling, sound recording, camera work and editing.”

Registration to attend the video-making workshop is essential and can be made through “The video-making workshop is funded through a small grant received from Communities for Children South-East Tasmania, the Salvation Army," D’FAT facilitator Matt Hill said.

D’FAT will also stage an all-age outdoor movie night at Arthur Square in New Norfolk on October 12 from 7pm. This free event is supported by the Derwent Valley Council, and will include a barbecue provided by D’FAT and the showing of LEGO Movie 2 by Tassie Open Air Cinemas.

The following Salvation Army/Derwent Valley PCYC/Freedom Health and Wellness Centre program is provided at no cost to families but bookings are essential due to limited places in some activities. For bookings and cancellations contact Steven on 0438 090 433.

  • Monday, September 30: Cooking at the Salvation Army Centre 1-2.45pm
  • Tuesday, October 1: Basketball Clinic at Derwent Valley PCYC 11am-12.15pm; Netball Clinic at Derwent Valley PCYC 1.30-2.45pm
  • Wednesday, October 2: Dodgeball at Derwent Valley PCYC, 11am-12.15pm; Futsal Clinic at Derwent Valley PCYC, 2-3.15pm
  • Thursday, October 3: Basketball Clinic at Derwent Valley PCYC, 11am-12.15pm; Art and Craft - Encaustic Art, Pyrography and Jewellery making at the Salvation Army Centre 1.30-3pm
  • Friday, October 4: Fit and Fun at Freedom Health and Wellness Centre 11.15am-12.15pm
  • Monday, October 7: Cooking at the Salvation Army Centre, 1-2.45pm
  • Tuesday, October 8: Basketball Clinic at Derwent Valley PCYC, 11am-12.15pm; Netball Clinic at Derwent Valley PCYC, 1.30-2.45pm
  • Wednesday, October 9: Dodgeball at Derwent Valley PCYC ,11am-12.15pm; Futsal Clinic at Derwent Valley PCYC 2-3.15pm
  • Thursday, October 10: Basketball Clinic at Derwent Valley PCYC, 11am-12.15pm; Art and Craft - Tie Dying, Abstract art, Pyrography, Jewellery-making at the Salvation Army Centre 1.30-3pm
  • Friday, October 11: Fit and Fun held at Freedom Health and Wellness Centre 11.15am-12.15pm

Venues are the Salvation Amy Centre, 79 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk; Derwent Valley PCYC, Third Ave, New Norfolk; and Freedom Health and Wellness Centre, Unit 2/99 Ring Rd, New Norfolk.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Fire at Glenfern

THREE Tasmania Fire Service vehicles were dispatched to the scene of a vegetation fire in the area of Glenfern Rd, Glenfern, this evening.

The fire was first reported at 5.25pm, with two light tankers and one medium tanker sent to the incident. The case was reported as "closed" about 30 minutes later.

Parker named Eagles best and fairest

Senior Best and Fairest Marcus Parker.
GOALKICKING ace Marcus Parker took out this year's Les Hepper Medal in a runaway win at the New Norfolk District Football Club vote count and trophy presentations night last weekend. After a big season in front of goals, Parker won the Eagles' Best and Fairest award by the big margin of 45 votes.

Jacob Wigg and Jye County were dual runners-up with 52 votes each, and not far behind were Josh Hills on 50, Blair Wardlaw 48 and Jacob Daley 47. Parker put on a dominant display at full forward for the Eagles this season, kicking 85 goals from 15 matches. At this rate, the big 100 could well be reached in the 2020 season.

Congratulations also to Parker on winning the SFL Leading Goal Kicker Award with 77 goals during the home and away season. Parker then bagged eight in the elimination final to finish with a total of 85.

Seniors Awards - Les Hepper Medal (Best & Fairest): Marcus Parker 97 votes; Runners-up: Jacob Wigg and Jye County 52 votes each; Most Consistent: Josh Hills; Betty Crosswell Rising Star Award: Cody Morgan; Best Backman: Torne Tangata; Best Utility: Jordan Banks-Smith; Coaches Award: Jordan Eiszele; Best Clubmen: Jacob Wigg and Jacob Daley; Players Choice: Marcus Parker; Best Onballer: Jacob Wigg; Most Improved: Ben Lovell; Leading Goal Kicker: Marcus Parker 85 goals.

Senior Best and Fairest tally: Marcus Parker 97; Jacob Wigg 52; Jye County 52; Josh Hills 50; Blair Wardlaw 48; Jacob Daley 47; Ben Lovell 38; Daniel Coppleman 33; Rohan Heron 30; Braydan Chaplin 23; Josh Farrow 19; Cody Morgan 18; Tyson Eiszele 17; Jordan Banks-Smith 17; Zeke Slater 15; Jake Bearman 14; Rowan Thomason 13; Josh Clifford 11; Ashley Burgess 11; Nathan Eiszele 9; Torne Tangata 7; Jake Foster 7; Rhys Franklin 1; Brad Ransley 1.

WOMEN: In the women’s Best and Fairest Award, it was a very close affair with Corina Percey polling 36 votes and taking out the award just one vote clear of runner-up Sharni Devine on 35 votes. Both players had a good season. Much credit goes to the whole team, as they are the pioneers of this team. It’s great to see women’s footy growing in the valley.

Womens Awards - Best & Fairest: Corina Percey 36 votes; Runner-up: Sharni Devine 35 votes; Most Consistent: Chantel Skeggs; Best Backwoman: Gail McNeil; Coaches Award: Sarah Cantrell; Best Allrounder: Jasmine Skelly; Best Club Person: Jodie Kenzig; Goalkickers: Katlin Rainbird, Brianna Franklin, Corina Percy.

Womens Best and Fairest tally: Corina Percey 36; Sharni Devine 35; Sarah Cantrell 24; Jasmine Skelly 21; Kimberley Slater 17; Jodie Kenzig 15; Kylie Kelty 14; Tahila Mundy 14; Hannah McMaster 14; Joanne Flakemore 11; Kaitlen Rainbird 11; Madeline Visser 11; Brianna Franklin 9; Chantel Skeggs 8; Kiara Harris 7; Jemma Folley 7; Natalie Flakemore 7; Gail McNeill 6; Billie Jo Keep 5; Jade Cleaver 4; Shey Manser 3; Nevenka McKenzie 3; Linda Walker 2; Cinna Taylor 1; Kristy Hansch 1; Brittany Bartels 1; Susan Walker 1.

RESERVES: Luke Browning polled well to take home the Roydon Howard Medal for the Reserves Best and Fairest for the second year in a row. Browning, with his 54 votes, has has been a consistent performer for many season in the red,white and black and this certainly typifies his efforts. The ever-reliable player won by a clear 14 votes from runner-up Josh Walsh on 40. Walsh put in a very big pre-season and certainly had his efforts rewarded, playing 12 reserves and four senior games.

Also a big well done to Browning on being runner-up for the SFL's George Watt Medal (reserves best and fairest), finishing just one vote shy of the joint winners Shaun Clark (Lindisfarne) and Dylan Ford (Brighton).

Reserves Awards - Roydon Howard Medal (Best & Fairest): Luke Browning 54 votes; Best & Fairest Runner-up: Josh Walsh 40 votes; Most Consistent: Conna Balmer; Best Backman: Josh Walsh; Best Clubman: Craig Coppleman; Coaches Award: Mathew Jones; Best Allrounder: Tyler Purdon; Leading Goalkicker. Corey Ransley 28.

Reserves Best and Fairest tally: Luke Browning 54; Josh Walsh 40; Tom Bligh 37; Corey Ransley 27; Tyler Purdon 20; Jake Foster 13; Brad Ransley 11; Andrew Minchin 9; Cody Neads 9; Zeek Harris 9; Josh Ransley 8; Matthew Jones 7; Luke Crosswell 6; Brinley Tomlin 6; Rohan Heron 6; Michael Murray 5; Ashley Burgess 4; Corey Keleher 4; Dylan Morgan 3; Richard Graham 3; Jaidyn Fisher-Cooley 3; Leigh Nichols 2; Conlan Balmer 1; Jaiden Triffett 1.

COLTS: Caleb Triffett took out the J.H. Dixon Medal for Best and Fairest, polling 52 votes. The highly-skilled Triffett won by the big margin of 18 votes to runner-up Corey Keleher on 34. Triffett has shown he has what it takes as a footballer and will be looking to become a regular senior player in the not to distant future.

Colts Awards (Under 19s) - J.H Dixon Medal (Best & Fairest): Caleb Triffett 52 votes; Best & Fairest Runner-up: Corey Keleher 34 votes; Most Consistent: Hayden Davis; Best Backman: Jordan George; Best Clubman. Anthony Bean; Coaches Award: Zac Holloway; Taylor Lacey Memorial Award: Will Banks.

Colts Best and Fairest tally: Caleb Triffett 52; Corey Keleher 34; Hayden Davis 29; Will Banks 28; Jordan George 27; Jack Morgan 24; Sam Walker 18; Ethan Holden 17; Zack Holloway 15; Thomas Rainbird 9; Jaiden Triffett 8; Zac Wheeler 7; Tyler Scanlon 6; Blake Howlett 6; Cody Morgan 3; Tatem Lovell 2; Sam Holloway 2; Brock Triffett 1.

Jye County, left, Marcus Parker and Jacob Wigg with their awards.
The seniors best and fairest count was run by three cards of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 votes per round. The Womens, Reserves and Colts were run by three cards of 3, 2, 1 votes per round.

Well done to all the coaches and president Sally Coleman and her board members on a great season.  A big thank you to Vanessa Britten for her work in putting together all four team vote counts. Many hours are given by Vanessa to see that the counts all run smoothly and the club really appreciates her efforts.

During the presentations, long time player Ben Lovell was presented with playing life membership of the club. Lovell has given great service to the club, playing 160 senior and 19 reserves matches, including five senior grand finals for four premierships. Well done Ben, your award is well deserved.

Season stats and game totals supplied by Ray Aitchison:
  • New players: T. Tangata, A. Drew, J. Haremza, B. Howlett, E. Monks, L. Nichols, J. Triffett and S. Walker.
  • Josh Clifford 200th senior game.
  • Ben Lovell 150th senior game.
  • Tyson Eiszele 50th senior and club game.
  • Marcus Parker 50th senior and club game.
  • Matthew Jones 100th club game.
  • Ashley Burgess 50th club game.
  • Conlan Balmer 50th reserves game

Sunday, September 22, 2019

New Norfolk golf results

Youngsters trying their hand at golf at New Norfolk recently.

Saturday 21/9/19 Stroke
A Grade gross: G. Heron 71, L. Post 72 c/b, J. Rainbird 72; Nett: L. Wardlaw 70-6-64, W. Coleman 74-9-65, P. Wilton 78-10-68 c/b.
B Grade gross: A. Richardson 83, B. Withers 84 c/b, L. Heron 84; Nett: G. Smith 82-16-66 c/b, G. Duggan 80-14-66, D. Hack 85-17-68.
C Grade gross: K. Sturzaker 87, A. Watts 89 c/b, B. Coy 89; Nett: S. Gray 90-26-64, G. Reid 93-27-66, D. Giles 90-23-73.
Nearest-the-pins: 3rd S. Ackerley, 6/15th J. Rainbird, 8/17th F. Carmichael.
Superpin: F. Carmichael

Wednesday 18/9/2019 Stableford
18 hole: G. Smith 41, M. Williams 38, G. Hack 37 c/b, W. Hodge 37, A. Bewley 36. Birdie draw: M. Williams.
9 hole: G. Smith 23, M. Williams 20 c/b, R. Oakley 20, A. Bewley 19 c/b, B. Crowley 19. Birdie draw: K. Sturzaker.
Eagle on the 10th: G. Smith

Saturday 14/9/19 Stableford/Aggregate Stableford
M. Williams-F. Carmichael  76 c/b, G. Triffitt-S. Triffitt 76, D. Hack-J.Wilton 70, S. Triffitt 43 c/b, M. Heron 43, A. Watts 40 c/b.
Nearest-the-pins: 3rd M. Smith, 6/15th A. Bewley, 8/17th D. Post, 11th S. Triffitt. Superpin: A. Bewley.

Wednesday 11/9/2019 Stroke
18 hole: M. Williams 74-10-64, D. Post 83-17-66 c/b, M. Smith 83-17-66, M. Hodge 91-24-67 c/b, J. Miller 77-10-67. Birdie draw: M. Smith.
9 hole: L. Dittmann 44-9½ -32½, M. Williams 38-5-33 c/b, T. Hardwick 44-11-33, J. Kinloch 41- 7½-33½, D. Post 43-8½-34½. Birdie draw: M. Williams.

Anyone interested in joining the New Norfolk Golf Club as a playing member (there are clubs and buggies for hire), as a social member, or looking for a function venue, is welcome to contact the club for further information:
1 Howell Drive, New Norfolk, Tasmania. Phone: (03) 6261 2653
The club is available for hire for weddings, private functions etc.  The venue cost is free for a function of more than 40.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Councillor's fears for community connectedness

Cr Julie Triffett.
A COUNCILLOR has expressed grave concern for the Derwent Valley community following fallout from the poisoning of birds at a New Norfolk playground. Cr Julie Triffett told Thursday night's Derwent Valley Council meeting that she feared whether or not the local community would still rally together in the event of a natural disaster.

“I have grave concerns for this community after the reaction following the geese event,” Cr Triffett said. “If we unfortunately had a major disaster, loss of life, loss of property, would this community rally together, or would it turn on itself and each other? Do we have the connectedness now to be able to sustain us through a disaster?”

While successfully proposing that the council develop a resilience policy for its staff, Cr Triffett said outside distractions had prevented the current council members from working together as a team.

“One of the distractions and disappointments is when items are passed on to the media before the relevant people or person get to see it, and when councillors are reported having made comments to the media when the mayor is the spokesperson for the council,” she said.

Cr Triffett said the council had received a “relentless battering” since the poisoning of birdlife at Tynwald Park in June. The impact had been felt by both staff and councillors.

Council general manager Greg Winton stood aside while the incident was investigated but the findings have not yet been made public, due to similar inquiries taking place at the State Government level. Mr Winton returned to work but is now on personal leave.

Cr Julie Triffett, standing, addressing her motion for a council
staff resilience policy.
Cr Triffett she said her motion for a resilience policy had come from her "frustration, anger and disappointment at what has happened and what is still happening. These are my thoughts and feelings alone. I have not spoken about any of the things that have happened recently."

Cr Triffett said she could have had a lot to say as an individual, but as a councillor she must to use words that were respectful, non-judgmental, non-confrontational, and could not be misconstrued.

“Social media storm after social media storm has not helped any situation,” Cr Triffett said.  “Yes, there have been mistakes from inside and outside council, but it is easy to become a keyboard warrior with no consequence.”

She said mayor Ben Shaw had apologised for “distress and hurt” caused by comments in leaked messages, but she asked who was going to apologise for suffering and distress to the council organisation caused through social media.

“From the mayor, councillors and the general manager down through to council officers, we all live in this community with our families and friends, so when one person is hurting it has a ripple effect. We all breathe and bleed the same way.”

Cr Triffett said her motion, which was carried unanimously, aimed to give council staff the strategies and tools to better deal with highly emotional people in a stressful environment.

Cr Rachel Power speaking at the meeting.
Cr Rachel Power commended Cr Triffett. "I think that is a perfect motion. I think that what you have expressed certainly resounds with me and my feelings and things that are going through in my life at this point as well," Cr Power said.

“And I think people don't quite understand that we are people and we're here to do a job but that doesn't mean that we're as resilient as the politicians that are paid the big bucks and are there to ignore this sort of thing. I think that we are part of the organization and we are responsible for the organization in the same breath, and I think that that having a resilience policy is a really good way of expressing that, so well done."

No other councillors spoke on the topic and the motion was carried unanimously when put to the vote. Mayor Ben Shaw and Councillor Paul Belcher were absent from the meeting, which was held in the hall at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool.

Student teacher kicking goals

Student teacher Daniel Coppleman.
A FORMER New Norfolk High School student is well on the way to completing a Masters Degree in Education only six years after completing Grade 10.

Daniel Coppleman has completed placements at Westerway Primary School in Terms 2 and 3 this year to gain professional experience in pre-service teaching towards his Masters of Teaching degree.

He spent last week working alongside another home-grown educator, Leigh Nichols, with his Grade 4/5/6 class. Writing in the school newsletter, acting principal Nick Dodd said the students were happy to see Daniel again.

The talented footballer and cricketer completed his time at New Norfolk High School at the end of 2013, and in January 2014 was named the Derwent Valley's Young Citizen of the Year in recognition of his school and community service. He was secretary of the NNHS Prefect Board in 2013, as well as being a peer support leader and a student ambassador for the Beacon Foundation.

Daniel plays in New Norfolk's senior football team and as well as state league football with Glenorchy, where in 2014 he won the club's Ian Carter Memorial Trophy for Best First Year Player in the seniors. Last year he was runner-up in the Glenorchy reserves best and fairest. He also plays cricket for Molesworth and took home a number of trophies last season, including the Danny Godfrey best player award.

Daniel has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tasmania and during his practical experience at Westerway Primary School he demonstrated a great rapport with the students and was said to have a fantastic energy for learning and achieving success as a teacher.

If you know of a successful former student of our local schools, drop us a line. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thin blue line at council meetings

Police cars at the Bushy Park Pool earlier tonight.
THE cost of police presence at council meetings was questioned by members of the public attending tonight's community forum and Derwent Valley Council meeting in the hall at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool.

Two uniformed police officers sat through the community forum and open council meeting but left just before the council went into its closed session. They interacted good-naturedly with the 20 or so members of the public present, but this use of police resources soon came into question.

"Who pays for the police to come to be at the door of a meeting?" Anne Stephenson asked from the public gallery during the community forum.

Standing in for the mayor, deputy mayor Jessica Cosgove said nobody pays for the police to attend council meetings. "Obviously Tas Police have a station here in the Derwent Valley and I'm assuming that it is just in the interest of the community for the police to occasionally have a presence here as they do throughout other community events and in the public on a regular basis," Cr Cosgrove said.

The matter came up again during public question time at the council meeting, with Rebbecca Thorpe asking whether ratepayers had to pay for the police presence. Cr Cosgrove said she had answered the question during the community forum but would do so again for the benefit of the audio recording.

"No, council do not have to pay for a police presence," Cr Cosgrove said. "Obviously Tas Police provide a service to the greater community and that is to ensure presence at a variety of events in our municipality for the safety not only of ratepayers but for the members of the public."

The public gallery at tonight's meeting.
Ms Thorpe then asked whether police were present for other council meetings around Hobart, and both Cr Cosgrove and acting general manager Margaret Johns said this was the case. "The community police liaison department actually take an interest in community matters and they attend meetings when they think that there might be something on the agenda that is of interest to the community where there might be a large gathering taking place," Ms Johns said, adding that such visits were not necessarily scheduled.

Ms Thorpe asked whether the attendance at tonight's meeting had been specifically requested and Ms Johns said she could not answer that. In response to a further question Cr Cosgrove and Ms Johns repeated that they did not know if someone had requested the police attendance.

Police officers were present at three council meetings in June and August last year. Police also attended last month's council meeting on a matter unrelated to council business.

Emergency roadshow this Saturday

Click image to enlarge.
AN emergency management roadshow will roll into New Norfolk this Saturday to provide information on the services available during and after a flood or other disaster.

The roadshow is making its way around four southern municipalities worst affected by last year's floods. The first stop was at Kingborough, to be followed by Derwent Valley, and then Glenorchy and Hobart in the weeks ahead.

Derwent Valley Council emergency management officer David Bradford says the local expo will be held at the New Norfolk War Memorial Hall from 9am-noon this Saturday, September 21.

"Four councils applied for a grant and were successful to run four emergency roadshows," Mr Bradford said. "The grants were from the Southern Tasmanian Extreme Weather Events community recovery and resilience grants."

The funding allows the Kingborough, Hobart City, Derwent Valley and Glenorchy City councils to conduct the "emergency roadshows" visiting the four municipalities worst affected by the May 2018 floods, to provide information to communities on the services available to them during and after a flood or other disaster.

Entry will be free and visitors will be able to meet and greet emergency services crews and learn a thing or two about being prepared for an emergency.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Mayor pens open letter on bridge issue

Today's front page of the Mercury newspaper,
reporting that three mayors were questioning
whether a new Bridgewater Bridge was value
for money.
IN response to an article in the Mercury today, Derwent Valley mayor Ben Shaw has written an open letter urging the State Government to hold to its promises on the proposed replacement for the Bridgewater Bridge.

“It is extremely disappointing that mayors Reynolds, Johnston and Winter see it as a reasonable option to suggest repurposing funding that has been promised for years. Funding that will directly improve the lives of thousands within the Derwent Valley and Brighton communities, and to rechannel it to other projects in the Greater Hobart area," Cr Shaw said in his letter, authorised for release today by Derwent Valley Council acting general manager Margaret Johns. The following has been lightly edited for clarity.

"The promised funding for the new Bridgewater Bridge is paramount to supporting the ongoing growth of the areas the bridge feeds into; Derwent Valley, Brighton, and the subsequent flow on effect through the Southern Midlands and Central Highlands.

"Economically, this bridge is a thoroughfare for freight, and as volumes increase to support ongoing industry growth, the current bridge is already failing to meet traffic demands. Every day bottlenecks at either end of the bridge, and long lines of traffic, show how urgently the bridge is in need of expansion.

"When the lift mechanism of the bridge went out of action a decade ago, it severely restricted public access to the river. Historically, there were steamboat races and sailing regattas that would sail up the Derwent and visit New Norfolk and the Upper Derwent Valley. In the bridge’s current state, those activities are no more.

"Using the funding promised would allow a new bridge design that would enable the river highway to be re-opened, and provide another form of transport for residents and tourists to utilise. It would allow for a dual carriageway that is needed to handle the increasing traffic demands on this important piece of infrastructure that serves hundreds of thousands of residents and tourists every year.

"When they signed the Hobart City Deal, the Greater Hobart mayors knew this funding was included and allocated for the Bridgewater Bridge upgrade. Attempting to take this funding sends a very clear message – that the communities of Derwent Valley, Brighton and our northern neighbours of Central Highlands and Southern Midlands are not as important as those in the Greater Hobart council areas.

"On behalf of the communities impacted, I call on the State Government not to bend to these demands, to do the right thing by the communities impacted, and fund the new Bridgewater Bridge as promised, as soon as possible. I feel that if this is not funded soon, after many years’ promises, it will never be.”

Mayor appoints acting general manager

THE Derwent Valley Council has its second acting chief executive in as many months, with a Hobart City Council officer yesterday appointed to stand in as general manager.

Council communications officer Daniel Cheetham said mayor Ben Shaw had appointed Margaret Johns to serve as acting general manager while Greg Winton is on leave. The appointment is until October 1.

Ms Johns has been with the DVC on secondment since September 5, in the role of acting executive manager of corporate and community services, until the council completes the recruitment of a deputy general manager. Her role at the HCC is group manager of city government and customer service.

In July, Daniel Smee of the Kingborough Council was seconded to serve as the Derwent Valley Council's acting general manager when Mr Winton stood aside  during an investigation into the poisoning of birdlife at Tynwald Park, New Norfolk.

The council will hold a community forum and the monthly council meeting tomorrow evening (Thursday) at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool, starting with the community Forum at 5.30pm and the council meeting at 6pm. Download agenda documents here.

Thursday frost warning

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

Frost Warning
for the Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts

Issued at 4:19 pm on Wednesday 18 September 2019.

Frosts with temperatures down to 0 degrees are forecast for Thursday morning in parts of the Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts.

Please be aware: Temperatures at ground level can be many degrees lower than those recorded by standard weather stations, especially in calm conditions with clear skies.

No further warnings will be issued for this event.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Upgrade for Derwent Valley power station

Hydro Tasmania has upgraded the Repulse Power Station.
IMPROVEMENTS to power stations in the Derwent Valley are expected to increase hydroelectricity generation by more than 80 gigawatt hours a year by 2021.

Visiting Repulse Power Station near Ouse on Monday, Energy Minister Guy Barnett said this was another step in the work to prepare Tasmania to become the "Battery of the Nation".

The power station was commissioned in 1967, with its adjacent concrete arched dam on the River Derwent which creates a small water storage known as Lake Repulse. Water passes through the station's single turbine and back into the river via Cluny Lagoon.

Mr Barnett said the Repulse upgrade would eliminate the risk of an oil spill in the power station by replacing the turbine’s oil hub with a new water-filled hub, and making the station more flexible and reliable with a modern control system.

The improvements are part of a major upgrade of Hydro Tasmania’s Derwent system, which is expected to increase electricity generation by more than 80 gigawatt hours each year by 2021, supporting plans to make Tasmania the "Battery of the Nation".

Hydro Tasmania chief operations officer Jesse Clark said the company's 10-year strategic asset management plan guided continuing investment to ensure the state's hydropower assets remain fit for purpose.

“In the year just ended, we invested around $105 million in generation assets, including the Repulse upgrade,” Mr Clark said. “Prior to Repulse, we invested $28.5 million in upgrading the Cluny Power Station," he said.

“Projects like this are about getting the most generation we can out of our existing hydropower assets by boosting efficiency and reliability. Longer term, the Battery of the Nation (BotN) vision involves major projects like pumped hydro storage but this work also plays a vital part.

Energy Minister Guy Barnett, left, with Hydro Tasmania
workers at Repulse Power Station near Ouse.
“The opportunities forecast to flow from BotN include thousands of jobs in regional Tasmania. With those job opportunities comes the need for industry and the education and training sector to work together to make our young people ‘job-ready’ when the employment opportunities arrive.

“Understanding what our future workforce will look like is one of our current challenges and, as a major employer in the state, Hydro Tasmania has a role to play in creating opportunities for the future workforce."

Mr Clark said the Hydro Tasmania had a strong history of offering apprenticeships and there were presently four positions available for trainees in the Derwent Valley, closing this Sunday. Click here for details.

'No decisions' at closed meeting

NO decisions were made during yesterday's Special Closed Meeting at the Derwent Valley Council, mayor Ben Shaw said last night. "Essentially we used it for advice," he said in a brief statement.

Seven councillors and a lawyer met behind closed doors for more than an hour, with Cr Julie Triffett absent due to illness. The public is not permitted to attend closed meetings and their purpose can only be disclosed if the council votes to do so.

The council will meet again this Thursday for a community forum and the monthly council meeting.

Thursday, September 19, 2019: Community Forum at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool, Gordon River Rd, Bushy Park, 5.30pm. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019: Council Meeting at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool, Gordon River Rd, Bushy Park, 6pm. Download agenda documents here.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Tuesday frost warning

Bureau of Meteorology


Frost Warning
for the North West Coast, Central North, North East, Midlands, East Coast, Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts

Issued at 8:47pm  on Monday 16 September 2019.

Please be aware 
Temperatures at ground level can be many degrees lower than those recorded by standard weather stations, especially in calm conditions with clear skies.

Severe frosts with temperatures down to -3 degrees which can cause significant crop damage are forecast for Tuesday morning in parts of the Central North, Midlands and East Coast forecast districts

Frosts with temperatures down to -1 degrees are forecast for Tuesday morning in parts of the North West Coast, North East, Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts

No further warnings will be issued for this event.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Warning to sheep graziers

Bureau of Meteorology

Warning to Sheep Graziers
for the Midlands, East Coast, Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts

Issued at 4:23pm on Sunday 15 September 2019.

Sheep graziers are warned that cold temperatures, showers and southwesterly winds are expected during Monday. Areas likely to be affected include the South East forecast district and parts of the Midlands, East Coast and Upper Derwent Valley forecast districts. There is a risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions.

The next warning will be issued by 11pm Sunday.

Derwent Valley power outage

TASNETWORKS is investigating the loss of power supply to nearly 1000 customers in the Derwent Valley this morning.

As of 11am, electricity supply was out at Glenfern, Hayes, Moogara, Mt Lloyd, Plenty, Uxbridge and parts of New Norfolk.

TasNetworks reports there are 925 customers without power and recommends they check the TasNetworks website at 12.30 for an update. See

There are two power pole incidents in the Derwent Valley this morning, with a pole fire at Ouse and what is believed to be a collision with a pole on Peppermint Hill at New Norfolk.

UPDATE: The operators of the New Norfolk tip site at Peppermint Hill have announced that the tip is closed due to fallen power lines.

12.15PM UPDATE: Power restored to all but 135 customers at New Norfolk. Check the TasNetworks website for updates:

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Have your say in recreation survey

THIS weekend is the last chance to take part in an online survey to help the Derwent Valley Council make decisions about recreational facilities in the municipality.

The council has engaged Melbourne-based @Leisure Planners to prepare a "Recreation, Play and Open Space Strategy" to set the direction it will follow in relation to recreation and open space for the next 10 years.

Mayor Ben Shaw says the strategy will provide direction in relation to specific issues such as the development of play spaces and open space across the council area, opportunities to increase participation and wellbeing for residents, and determine open space contributions in new residential developments.

"This strategy will guide council for the next 10 years and we are really pleased to be offering the community a say on how our future open spaces will look and what facilities they value the most," Cr Shaw said.

"It will help us to look at our parks, reserves and open spaces and determine the best fit for them, see where we need to spend money on infrastructure and what we need to do to provide the services we all expect."

The council is seeking input from residents, clubs, community groups, and users of public open space to help direct this strategy. Residents can visit the "Current Projects" page at for more information, leave a comment or complete an online survey. They can also visit the Derwent Valley Council Recreation Play and Open Space Strategy Facebook page to make a comment.

Click here to complete the survey, which closes tomorrow (Sunday).

Friday, September 13, 2019

Council responsibilities reshuffled

Cr Natasha Woods attending her first council
meeting in July. She was sworn-in privately
a week earlier.
THE Derwent Valley Council has done a reshuffle of its councillor responsibilities following the recent resignation of Anne Salt and the election of Natasha Woods to take her place.

Councillors also resolved to review the purpose and terms of reference of its various Special Committees by the end of the 2019/20 financial year in line with the recommendations of the council's Strategic Plan.

In a written report to last month's council meeting, governance and information co-ordinator Amanda McCall said Cr Salt's resignation had made it necessary to reappoint representatives of the council as delegates to Special Committees, Community Committees, Joint Authorities and Statutory Bodies. This was last done following the 2018 council election.

Ms McCall also noted that outdated terms-of-reference and a lack of clarity for volunteers on Special Committees exposed the council to unnecessary risk.

Councillor Julie Triffett remains the councillor with the heaviest workload, increasing from 10 committees to 13. There was no change to mayor Ben Shaw's responsibilities, with him retaining the same seven portfolios he was allocated last November. Cr Paul Belcher added the Friends of Frescati, taking his own tally to four committees.

Cr Rachel Power stepped down from all three of her committees (Friends of Willow Court, Friends of Frescati and the Maydena Community Association) and took on three new ones. Deputy mayor Jessica Cosgrove retained the three committee roles she was assigned last November.

Cr Luke Browning retained his two committees and newcomer Cr Natasha Woods took on two, while Cr Martyn Evans now has only one responsibility, the Derwent Catchment Project.


Cr Julie Triffett: Access Advisory Committee, Boyer Oval Management Committee, Environmental Management Committee, Historical Information Centre, New Norfolk Swimming Pool Committee, Tidy Towns Committee, Tynwald Park Development Committee, Southern Waste Strategy Authority, Australia Day Committee, Community Grants Committee, Derwent Valley Council Audit Panel, Derwent Valley Visitor Information Centre, and the Maydena Community Association, plus two proxy roles.

Cr Ben Shaw: Economic Development and Growth Special Committee, Molesworth Recreation Reserve, Local Government Association of Tasmania, Southern Tasmanian Council Authority, TasWater, Australia Day Committee and the Community Grants Committee, plus six proxy roles.

Cr Paul Belcher: Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool, Friends of Frescati, Community Grants Committee and the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival.

Cr Jessica Cosgrove: Southern Tasmanian Council Authority, Australia Day Committee and the Derwent Valley Emergency Planning Committee, plus five proxy roles.

Cr Rachel Power: Economic Development and Growth Special Committee, New Norfolk Business Alliance and the Derwent Catchment Project, plus six proxy roles.

Cr Luke Browning: Community Grants Committee and the Derwent Valley Council Audit Panel, plus three proxy roles.

Cr Natasha Woods: Derwent Valley Youth Future Action Team (D’FAT) and the Friends of Willow Court Special Committee.

Cr Martyn Evans: Derwent Estuary Program, plus four proxy roles.

*List subject to confirmation at the September council meeting.

New facilities for Lake Dobson campers

The new facilities at Mt Field's Government Huts.
VISITOR facilities have been given a boost in the alpine section of the Derwent Valley's Mt Field National Park.

Liberal Lyons MHA John Tucker said new amenities at the popular "Government Huts" would enhance the experience of visitors, bushwalkers and skiers staying overnight.

Mr Tucker said the new facilities had been locally designed and built to sensitively match the traditional hut profiles of the adjacent historic buildings.

The upgrade includes new toilets with disability access, in a new building designed to mirror the weathered look of the adjacent huts, and recladding has been done using hand-split palings, in keeping with the original build and to maintain the heritage feel of the site.

The Parks and Wildlife Service says the Government Huts, situated just off the Lake Dobson Rd at the 1000m elevation, were built in the 1940s for road workers. They were later moved to their present location near Lake Dobson and have been used by school groups and walking clubs for more than 50 years.

The nine-minute council meeting

Cr Rachel Power, centre, discussing her proposal last night.
AN agenda of almost 40 pages, plus nearly 150 pages in attachments, was dealt with in just under nine minutes at last night's special meeting of the Derwent Valley Council.

Held for the sole purpose of determining the council's position on items to be discussed at the Local Government Association of Tasmania today, the meeting saw councillors approve the whole agenda in bulk without any discussion of its various reports.

At the suggestion of Cr Rachel Power, seconded by Cr Martyn Evans, they also voted to allow the mayor or his representative to change the council's vote at the LGAT.

Cr Paul Belcher was the only member to debate Cr Power's proposal that the mayor be given this delegated authority. "What you're saying Cr Power is that if we support some motions at a council meeting, the mayor can actually go [to the LGAT] and vote against the motions."

Cr Power said that was the case, "if that's as he feels is best for the valley, but we still get the discussion so that he understands our feelings. And it also negates the need for the amount of staff that we have in the room right now and special meetings."

Adding that many other councils already gave their mayors this authority, Cr Power said additional information was sometimes received at LGAT meetings that might change a council's predetermined position. "So it's just the same as how we make decisions here. We come into a meeting with no preconceived idea of how to vote. We sit here and we listen to the arguments."

General manager Greg Winton, left, and deputy mayor Jessica
Cosgrove at last night's council meeting.
The motion was carried with the consent of all councillors except for Cr Paul Belcher who opposed it.

Councillors had nothing to say about the LGAT agenda items, which included Statewide Waste Management Arrangements; Local Government Act Review; 21st Century Councils; the State Government's Waste Action Plan; Councillor Survey Outcomes; Heavy Vehicles; Environmental Health Officers; Community Health and Wellbeing Project; and Professional Development, Workshops and Events.

The meeting was chaired by deputy mayor Jessica Cosgrove due to the absence of mayor Ben Shaw. No explanation was given for the mayor's absence but it was said he would be representing the council at today's LGAT meeting in Launceston.

The council will meet again for two council meetings and a community forum next week.

Monday, September 16, 2019:  Special Closed Council Meeting at the Courthouse, Circle St, New Norfolk, 5.30pm. Closed to the public. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019: Community Forum at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool, Gordon River Rd, Bushy Park, 5.30pm.

Thursday, September 19, 2019: Council Meeting at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool, Gordon River Rd, Bushy Park, 6pm. Download agenda documents here (from Friday evening).

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Save the date: Light the Night

Click image to enlarge.

Three council meetings and a community forum

THREE council meetings and a community forum will be held between today and Thursday next week, meaning a busy time for members and staff of the Derwent Valley Council.

First up is a special council meeting tonight at 6pm, to deal with the agenda for tomorrow's general meeting of the Local Government Association of Tasmania. Among the items up for discussion are a report on statewide waste management arrangements; the current review of the Local Government Act; the State Government's Waste Action Plan; and the ongoing difficulty of councils in attracting and retaining appropriately qualified environmental health officers.

A report from LGAT chief executive Katrena Stephenson expresses disappointment at the poor participation of councillors in the most recent Elected Members Census. The sixth such survey, it was held from late last year until early this year, with all councillors invited to take part. "Disappointingly the 2019 survey had the lowest response rate of any Elected Member Census," Ms Stephenson writes.

On Monday evening next week, Derwent Valley councillors will meet for a Special Closed Meeting, the purpose of which has not been disclosed. This meeting is closed to the public.

Councillors will meet again next Thursday, September 19, for a 5.30pm community forum at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool, followed by the monthly council meeting at the same venue at 6pm. A council spokesman says participation in the community forum will now be open to all residents of the municipality, rather than just residents of the local area which was the case in the past.

Since the council meeting held at Lachlan earlier this year - where mayor Ben Shaw repeatedly said the opportunity to ask questions was for Lachlan residents only - the council developed a statement to be read at the start of future community forums held outside of New Norfolk. Following a decision of the current council, community forums are no longer held in New Norfolk.

Statement to read at beginning of Community Forums held outside of New Norfolk
These community forums are an opportunity for the communities outside of New Norfolk to have time where they can access council and ask questions or raise issues they may have in their area. As there are likely to be people not from this area here tonight, the forum is not exclusively for the residents of , however priority will be given to them first. Once all residents of have raised anything they wish to, the forum will be open to anyone else if they have anything for discussion. 


Thursday, September 12, 2019: Special Council Meeting, to be held at the Courthouse, Circle St, New Norfolk, 6pm. Open to the public. Download agenda documents here.

Monday, September 16, 2019:  Special Closed Council Meeting, to be held at the Courthouse, Circle St, New Norfolk, 5.30pm. Closed to the public. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019: Community Forum, to be held at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool, Gordon River Rd, Bushy Park, 5.30pm.

Thursday, September 19, 2019: Council Meeting, to be held at the Bushy Park War Memorial Swimming Pool, Gordon River Rd, Bushy Park, 6pm. Download agenda documents here (from Friday evening).

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Updated severe weather warning

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

Severe Weather Warning


For people in Upper Derwent Valley, South East, East Coast and parts of Western, North East, Central Plateau and Midlands Forecast Districts.

Issued at 9:32 pm Wednesday, 11 September 2019.
Plan Image

Weather Situation: Strong and gusty northwesterly winds will continue overnight ahead of a cold front to cross the state on Thursday morning.

DAMAGING NORTHWESTERLY WINDS, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts of 90 to 100 km/h are
possible. Wind gusts on elevated terrain may reach 100 to 110 km/h.
Winds will remain strong and gusty overnight in parts of the south and east of Tasmania, with gusts peaking early on Thursday morning.
Winds are expected to ease below warning thresholds later on Thursday morning.
Locations which may be affected include St Helens, Swansea, Bicheno, New Norfolk, Hobart, Geeveston and Dover.
In the last 6 hours Hartz Mountains, Mt Wellington, Scotts Peak and Maatsuyker Island have all reported gusts in excess of 100km/h.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Supervise children closely.
* Check that family and neighbours are aware of warnings.
* Manage pets and livestock.
* Secure outdoor items including furniture and play equipment.
* Be prepared in case of power outages and report any outages to TasNetworks on 132 004.
* Beware of damaged trees and power lines and take care when driving.
* Listen to the ABC radio or check for further advice.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132500.

The next Severe Weather Warning will be issued by 5am Thursday.

Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau's website at or call 1300 659 210. The Bureau and State Emergency Service would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.