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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Remembering Michael Excell

ANOTHER connection with the Derwent Valley's past was severed last month with the passing of Michael Excell at the age of 81.

Born on July 15, 1938, he was a son of Sally and Allan Excell who had a well-known bakery in Burnett St, New Norfolk.

He attended primary school in New Norfolk before becoming a boarder at The Friends' School in Hobart, where he was once suspended for a week for using his bed as a trampoline.

Michael contracted polio at the age of nine and lost a year of his schooling, spending much of that time in bed. After finishing school he went to work in the family business, which included driving the bread van.

"When it was time to get his driver’s license the policeman said that he had already seen him driving around for the last two years, and thought he already had a license," grandson Matthew James said when delivering Michael's eulogy at the New Norfolk Bowls Club on March 19.

Michael as a boy.
With his licence in hand without the trouble of a driving test, Michael went on to drive trucks on the West Coast. He had his own truck at one stage, before going to work George Johnson. Returning to the valley in 1961, he began working with Ayers Coaches and this is where he met his wife-to-be.

Michael married Irene Joan Menzie in August 1962 and moved into their newly-built home at Lawitta. "This is still their home today, and has very much been a central point for both the Menzie and Excell families as the location of many Christmases and family dinners," Matthew said. "Nan has always been the love of Pop’s life. Married for almost 60 years, he well and truly chose a partner that he would love and cherish forever."

The couple's daughter Donna Maree  was born in July 1963, and 11 months later came son Raymond John. “There’s a tale that a very young Raymond once ran inside to tell his mother: 'Dad’s broken all your flowers down'. What he didn’t say was that Dad’s just fallen off the roof!" Matthew said.

In February 1964 Michael started working at Australian Newsprint Mills. Boyer, with various tasks in the pulp mill and grinder room. He moved to the pump station at Lawitta in June 1978 until he took early retirement two weeks before his 55th birthday, in late June 1993. While working at ANM he had the Golden Fleece petrol agency delivering fuel to farms and logging companies.

Michael with his children
Raymond and Donna.
Other jobs for Michael included driving for Bernie Ross and Alan Hanson, and being a farmhand at Tribolet's dairy at Magra. After working on other people's farms, Michael decided to buy 75 acres at Lachlan in the early 1970s, which he named Don–Ray after his children. "Many hours were spent picking up rocks and replacing fences. Michael ran cattle and turned a lot of overgrown unusable land into workable pasture. The farm was later sold in 1978," Matthew said.

In earlier years, Michael's sporting life consisted of cricket, rowing and badminton. Later in life he found interest in fly fishing and lawn bowls. "Lawn bowls was a sport he loved, although I don’t know what he enjoyed more, the bowls or hanging out with his mates.

"The New Norfolk Bowls Club was a very special place for him and that’s why it was his request that this service be here. He really loved this place. He would bring me here as a kid all the time, in fact I remember pouring beers for some of you when I was something like eight years old.

"He was rostered on for 'Sunday school' as they called it, which was volunteer bar duty. I got behind the bar once, and found it heaps of fun, so did it every week when I was here in the school holidays. "Pop and his mates thought it was a great laugh - the pint-pouring eight-year-old - although questionable now, at the time nobody batted an eyelid."

Michael with grandson Matt.
Michael won numerous bowls club championships, was a Southern Tasmania Bowls Association Delegate, a national umpire, and travelled to NSW annually for the Peet-Kay series. "He spent time as a board member and was club president in 1980-82 and again in 1994-96. He is a life member of this club and I thank the New Norfolk Bowls Club and its members past and present for giving so much purpose and enrichment to his life."

Matthew recalled a day spent painting a wall at the bowls club when he was about nine, with Michael insisting that the job be finished. Not feeling the best when he got home, Dr Sweet was sent for, and Michael was soon being rushed to the Royal Hobart Hospital by ambulance. "He’d had a heart attack, and finished painting the bloody wall," Matthew said. "He had triple bypass surgery shortly after."

Matthew described his grandfather as a man who loved helping people, often going out of his way to visit and provide company to those that were unwell and sometimes unable to leave the house. "He was a compassionate man that was at his happiest when he would see his family succeed.

"Pop was an absolute larrikin. While a naturally confident person, he also had no shame and was always the first person to take the mickey out of himself. Although not a big joke teller, he did love making people smile and feel good about themselves. He was genuinely a good bloke."

Joan and Michael Excell and family.
Michael Excell died at New Norfolk on March 12. He is survived by his wife Joan, their children Donna and Raymond, grandchildren Sydney and Matthew, and their families.

The funeral service at the New Norfolk Bowls Club was conducted by the Reverend Celia Hooker.

New general manager on the council's agenda

A screenshot from this month's online council meeting.
THE appointment of a new general manager is one of three agenda items proposed for a special meeting of the Derwent Valley Council this Thursday night. The meeting will be the second to be held in an online format under the provisions of the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020.

On the agenda for the public part of the meeting are a recommendation to approve the construction of a large shed at 40 Atkins Rd, Granton, as well as a staff proposal to increase the number of development applications to be determined without referral to a council meeting.

The closed part of the meeting will receive a confidential report on the subject of the appointment of a general manager. Applications for the vacant position closed earlier this month.

Mayor Ben Shaw told the New Norfolk News that the necessary arrangements for the online meetings had been set up internally using Microsoft Teams, a product which is described as a "communication and collaboration platform" used for workplace conversations, video meetings and file storage.

Council communications officer Daniel Cheetham said the cost of the online meetings was covered by the council's subscription to Microsoft Office 365.

While other councils using Microsoft Teams or Zoom as the platform for their online meetings have enabled live online viewing by the public, the Derwent Valley Council has not. Instead, it published a video on YouTube several days later.

Posting on Facebook at the time of the monthly council meeting, a spokesman said it was not possible to offer a live broadcast. "Live streaming would only work if all of our councillors were in the same room. Social distancing doesn't allow that to happen, so they'll be video conferencing in from different locations, and we'll record everything to make sure we have a true and accurate record of what is discussed which we'll make available on our website as soon as possible."

Several posts by community members challenged this assertion, noting that members of the public were using their mobile phones for video meetings, and the Glenorchy City Council had streamed its meeting via Facebook. The council spokesman said the matter would be looked into.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

SES shows support for suicide awareness

Daniel Barry, left, presents the SES donation to Matt Hill of the
Derwent Valley Suicide Prevention Group.
MONEY raised for suicide awareness in the Derwent Valley has been presented to the intended recipient following the cancellation of a fundraising activity associated with the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival.

The Derwent Valley State Emergency Service last week presented the Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group with a donation of funds raised by its members.

This money was raised for the awareness group's annual fundraising event at the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group public officer and treasurer Matt Hill said an annual fundraiser had been held at the Derwent Valley Autumn Festival since 2018 in partnership with the Derwent Valley Stand-Up Paddleboard School.

"This fundraiser involves key organisations and individuals participating in a stand-up paddleboard session," Mr Hill said.  "It is known that physical activity has a positive impact on mental health and that unfortunately suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age," he said.

Mr Hill said the Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group was extremely grateful for the generous donation of more than $400 from members of the Derwent Valley SES. The donation was presented by Derwent Valley SES unit member Daniel Barry, who would have been the group's volunteer in the stand-up paddleboard event. Mr Barry also sold the most chocolates and socks among unit members, contributing to the overall total of $463.

The Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group was developed following a public workshop by LifeLine's StandBy response service during May 2016. This community response group to suicide was developed to give early and ongoing support for families, friends and others deeply saddened by the loss of someone to suicide.

To contact the Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group call Matt Hill on 0459 096 003 or email For urgent crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Monday severe weather warning

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

Severe Weather Warning


For people in South East and parts of Western and Upper Derwent Valley Forecast Districts.
Issued at 10:06 am Sunday, 26 April 2020.

Weather Situation: A strong westerly airstream flows across Tasmania early Monday morning as a trough of low pressure passes to the south.
DAMAGING WINDS, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts around 100 km/h are possible across southern parts of Tasmania very early Monday morning. The strongest gusts are more likely about elevated areas.
Winds are expected to ease by around 8 am Monday morning
Locations which may be affected include Hobart, Geeveston, Dover and Huonville.
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 5pm Sunday.
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.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Lions Club news: Supporting Tidy Towns

Tidy Towns Committee members Ian Lacey, left, and Phil
Bingley, front, with Lions Club members Ricky Jackson, Viv
Cardwell and Fiona Cardwell.
THE Lions Club supports the valuable work of the New Norfolk Tidy Towns Committee for whom graffiti removal is a strong focus. A donation of graffiti removal equipment including a spray gun and a generator, from the Lions Club is proving to be a great success.

“Small pieces of graffiti are treated with graffiti removal spray or are painted over," Tidy Towns Committee member Ian Lacey said. "However, the removal of large tags was previously time consuming especially on the perimeter walls of Willow Court as they need specific treatment and a great deal of care,” Mr Lacey said.

Mr Lacey is enthusiastic about the new equipment, which he says can cut down the time it takes to remove a large tag at Willow Court by two-thirds. "It has a gentle action and is used in conjunction with large paint brushes," he said. "Those walls are painted in the traditional way using three coats of lime wash. This process can only be done in cooler weather - not warmer than 18 degrees."

The Tidy Towns Committee has been removing graffiti around New Norfolk for 13 years. “We remove about 500 pieces of graffiti per year from under bridges, at Willow Court, on public buildings and also from private property when requested,” he said.

The committee's policy is that graffiti is best prevented by removing any examples as soon as possible. If you see any graffiti, let the Derwent Valley Council know and the Tidy Towns team will remove it. Call 6261 8500, email, or use the SnapSendSolve mobile app.

LEFT: Michael Tenhave using the graffiti removal equipment at Willow Court.

Derwent Valley servicemen and women remembered

Dale Britten and Geoff Hack.
UPDATED: FALLEN soldiers, sailors and aviators of the Derwent Valley have been remembered at the New Norfolk Cenotaph this morning and in homes around the district.

With Anzac Day services cancelled due to social distancing restrictions in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the hundreds who would usually have attended Dawn Services at New Norfolk, Maydena and Gretna instead stayed home and stood at their front door or gate to honour those who have served Australia.

Bushy, Park, Hamilton and New Norfolk would also have traditionally held 11am services, including the well-attended Anzac Day parade in High St.

This morning, New Norfolk RSL Sub-Branch president Geoff Hack was at the local Cenotaph to lay a wreath, observe a minute's silence and listen to a recording of the Last Post.

Independently, fellow Vietnam War veteran Dale Britten arrived to pay his respects on the day when he would normally act as parade marshal for the 5.45am march from the RSL Club to the Cenotaph, and then again for the High St parade and service at 11am.

The scene at the New Norfolk Cenotaph at 6am.
Three others joined them at the memorial and one or two others watched from the sidelines, and all dispersed soon after. From the Cenotaph, the Last Post and the National Anthem could be heard playing in homes nearby. In the hour that followed, several other people stopped at the Cenotaph to place tributes.

The Reverend Celia Hooker of St Matthew's Anglican Church gave the annual Anzac Day address at 6am, broadcast on local radio station Tyga FM and published on the New Norfolk News.

By 11am, the time when public services are traditionally held at New Norfolk, Bushy Park and Hamilton, additional wreaths had been placed on the New Norfolk Cenotaph, including a tribute from the Lions Club of New Norfolk.

RSL secretary Brian Glover and Derwent Valley mayor
Ben Shaw paying their respects at 11am.
New Norfolk RSL secretary Brian Glover and Derwent Valley mayor Ben Shaw arrived to lay wreaths on the memorial. Joined by former RSL president Stephen Ball, they recited The Ode and observed a minute's silence.

About 10 people watched these events from a distance, including local florist Malissa Dowling who laid wreaths on behalf of her customers. Around the town, some people chose to again stand at their front door or gate to pay their respects while remaining at home as requested by the state and federal governments.

Observing a minute's silence at the Cenotaph.

Dale Britten and Geoff Hack.

A home in displaying its own Anzac Day tribute.

Patrick Mulvaney "lighting up the dawn" from home.

Stephen Ball, left, saluting the New Norfolk Cenotaph. 

The scene at the local war memorial after 11am.

Florist Malissa Dowling approaches the Cenotaph with a customer's wreath.

The memorial memorial after the placement of floral tributes at 11am.

New Norfolk Anzac Day Address 2020

The Reverend Celia Hooker speaking at
last year's New Norfolk Anzac Day service.
By the Reverend Celia Hooker
St Matthew's Anglican Church

ANZAC Day 2020 – a day to honour all men and women who  have participated in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations around the world – but on Anzac Day we are particularly focused and remembering the young men who fought at Gallipoli 105 years ago and the nurses who cared for them.

From 1916 this day was officially known as Anzac Day and as I said this is a day to remember and honour those who have – and are still – defending our country. When people reflect on the ANZACs they think of the infamous landing at Gallipoli on the 25th of April, 1915, and it is appropriate to remember that this battle stands out as defining the spirit of our nation.

I need not remind you that the ANZACs fought with perseverance and courage in the face of despair and sadly failure.  After four months of training in Egypt the ANZAC troops left for Gallipoli and at dawn they landed on the beach known now as Anzac Cove.

The landing was nightmarish as the beach was at the bottom of a steep slope, meaning that the men had a tough and dangerous struggle to climb up the beach while the much-organised Turks rained shell and gunfire down onto them from above.

The ANZAC fighting man was born at that moment. They fixed their eyes on what had to be done and they began to climb the steep slopes clawing at the tussocks to steady themselves – little did they know the horror that was enfolding. I read in a Mercury supplement that it was a graveyard, a hell hole, a wild unforgiving landscape of mayhem that no one who survived could ever have envisaged.

Little did they know of the huge part they were to play in the history of Australia – little did they know that they would become our national heroes The men stayed 8 months in Gallipoli, but in this short time they had 25000 casualties including 8700 deaths. We have read so often that it was their courage, the mateship and their determination that bonded them during this time.

Last year's Anzac Day dawn service at New Norfolk.
Sadly we are not meeting as a community today, rather as individuals, many standing at dawn at the bottom of their driveways, maybe with a candle, maybe just with thoughts and memories.

We realise that there will be people throughout Australia and New Zealand that will be doing the same, heads bowed low, maybe shedding a tear – a tear for all men and women who have selflessly served in conflicts over so many years; these men and women will not be forgotten.

There are family members that have lost their loved ones and they have stood proudly over the years, and know that Australia is grateful for the bravery and sacrifice that has been made for their country. There are many who returned from battles who have continued to fight the demons of war, not all were understood, and not all were able to survive the mental traumas – this is a horrible legacy and I pray that their families remain proud of what they sacrificed for our country, maybe not on the battle field but in their torment.

Because the landing  at Gallipoli was at dawn, it is a symbolic time for us to rise and see the light of the new day, which helps us to remember the dawning of a new generation, but we look back at the bravery and endurance which has helped shape our country.  We know that we are not just talking about history, but we are honouring those who continue to serve with the same spirit.

Sacrificial love has been shown to us over the years by so many. As long as we are Australians I believe this will continue. In the New Testament we read in the gospel according to Matthew: “You have heard it said 'love your neighbour and hate your enemy', but  I tell you to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.”

I understand that it is hard to pray for those who act and think differently, but only good can come from prayer. Let us think and act with sincere love and respect. Let this begin here in our own homes, in our own towns, in our own country.

Floral tributes on the New Norfolk Cenotaph on Anzac Day 2019.
As I said, this year is a different year, it is a time when there are many people isolated and some who are lonely, as we reflect it helps us to acknowledge the loneliness that was experienced as young men and women spent time in the trenches, or working in distant hospitals, in a distant country away from family and friends, some were so young.

As we have recently celebrated Easter we know that Jesus also laid down His life for us, a sacrificial death so that we could live with a hope. We also know that there were times He may have felt alone. The night before He was put on the cross He prayed in a garden and His mates were tired and slept …  He was alone.  He was alone praying and knowing that He faced conflict.

When He faced his accusers He was alone, His mates were elsewhere, His loved ones were at a distance. He was alone. Yet He knew that God was with Him, He knew that death could not hold Him. As he died on the cross, He prayed for others.

Let us pray:

God of love and liberty,
We bring thanks today for the peace and security that we enjoy.
We remember those who in time of war faithfully served our country.
We pray for their families,
And for ourselves whose freedom was won at such a cost.
Make us a people zealous for peace, and hasten the day when nation will not fight nation.
This we pray in the name of the one who gave his life for the sake of the world:
Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

The Lord’s Prayer:

Friday, April 24, 2020

$200 million upgrade starts at Bryn Estyn

The Bryn Estyn water treatment plant at New Norfolk. 
WORK on Tasmania’s largest water treatment plant upgrade has begun at Bryn Estyn just outside New Norfolk, with the aim of ensuring water quality and supply for future generations.

TasWater Capital Delivery Office alliance program manager Ian Penman said the project was going ahead without delay, using all the measures necessary to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic. “The upgrade of the Bryn Estyn Water Treatment Plant is a crucial part of ensuring we can continue to give our customers safe and reliable water to drink for decades to come,” Mr Penman said.

“We have had water supply challenges in the past, including the need to slow down production to deal with the algae residue in the warmer months, and below average rainfall which contributed to recent water restrictions,” he said.

“The plant upgrade plays an important role in ensuring we can increase water supply and storage, and improve water quality, especially in the hotter months when demand increases.” This upgrade is the largest single infrastructure project undertaken in TasWater’s history, with an expected investment of up to $200 million over the next three years.

“Importantly, at a time when many Tasmanians and local businesses are struggling, it will provide employment for many local contractors who will be involved in the construction,” he said. “The upgrade of this plant means we will have water security into the future, even if we continue to experience dry summers and the continued population growth expected in southern Tasmania."

The Bryn Estyn Water Treatment Plant is the primary water supply for Hobart and surrounding areas. The original plant was commissioned in 1963 and expanded in 1972. A further upgrade was completed in 1992 and the latest work has been designed to enable future upgrades occur by adding additional modules to accommodate expansion of the plant, allowing for future population and supply growth.

Mr Penman said TasWater remained committed to safely implementing its capital works program during this pandemic, providing much needed stimulus to the state’s economy and employment market. The upgrade is expected to be completed in 2023.

Anzac Day in the Derwent Valley

The New Norfolk Cenotaph.
TRADITIONAL Anzac Day events have been cancelled throughout Australia and New Zealand due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there are many ways to observe this national day at home tomorrow (Saturday).

Locally, the New Norfolk Anzac Day Address will be given by the Reverend Celia Hooker at 6am, broadcast on Tyga FM and published on the New Norfolk News website simultaneously. The radio broadcast will start at 6.01am following one minute's silence.

Also at 6am, people throughout Australia and New Zealand are encouraged to stand at their front door or gate for a moment of reflection that has been dubbed "driveways at dawn".

RSL national president Greg Melick said the idea was to unite the country in a period of reflection conducted at home on a mass scale. He said all RSL state and territory branches were proud to support and encourage Australians to join together in spirit to honour the dedication, commitment and sacrifice of the Anzacs and all who have served since.

"Right now, the qualities evoked by our Anzac spirit - ingenuity, humour, endurance, courage and mateship - become more important than ever," Mr Melick said. "This Anzac Day, we have a unique opportunity to light up the dawn with our Anzac spirit andshow our servicepeople, past and present, that we will always remember what they have done for this nation."

Virtual candle, The Ode, The Last Post

Associated with the Driveways at Dawn/Light up the Dawn movement is The Poppy Pledge, promoted by Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie, which encourages people to make an online pledge to stand at their driveway at dawn on Anzac Day. As of last night, more than 29,000 people had taken the pledge, including dozens throughout the Derwent Valley at homes in New Norfolk, Granton, Dromedary, Molesworth, Malbina, Sorell Creek, Lachlan, Lawitta, Magra, Black Hills, Mt Lloyd, Glenfern, Gretna and Westerway.

  • 5am: Anzac Stories (ABC-TV, iview). Program looking at the origins of Anzac Day and some of the personal stories of servicemen and women, including those who helped in the recent bushfires.
  • 5.30am: Live broadcast of the National Memorial Service from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, (ABC-TV, iview, Radio and online): This includes, from around 6am, The Last Post and a minute of silence, where you can pay your respect at the same time as your local community.      
  • 11.30am: RSL Tasmania commemorative service (ABC Radio);
  • 6.55pm: Governor-General David Hurley's Anzac Day message (ABC-TV and Radio)


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

New Norfolk making paper for Australasia

THE Boyer Mill is presently the only manufacturer of newsprint in Australasia following the suspending of production in New Zealand due to the coronavirus pandemic. Newsprint is the specialist paper designed for high-speed newspaper printing presses.

Owner Norske Skog has halted paper production at its Tasman mill in New Zealand due to strict national lockdown restrictions there. The company's production of wood pellets in New Zealand has been deemed essential for domestic, industrial and public heating.

"We are currently rearranging our supply chain in the entire Australasian region to reflect the situation," the company said in a statement.

With the closure and sale of Norske Skog's Albury mill late last year, and the temporary closure in New Zealand, the Boyer mill at New Norfolk is temporarily the only manufacturer of newsprint for newspapers in the Australasian region. It is understood both of Boyer's machines are producing newsprint at present. One machine is generally used for the production of high-quality coated paper.

Norske Skog's Boyer mill.
"Norske Skog has and will closely monitor the development of the coronavirus, and corresponding effects on our supply chains and markets," chief executive Sven Ombudstvedt said. "Norske Skog will adjust operational activity to market response.

“Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety for our employees. The challenge in the long run will be to secure both in- and out-bound logistics of raw materials and finished goods," Mr Ombudstvedt said. "However, we are confident that we will meet customer needs and expectations also in this situation. We will continue to communicate closely with suppliers, customers, other stakeholders and the financial market."

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Free delivery for Anzac Day flowers

Floral tributes on the New Norfolk Cenotaph on Anzac Day
last year.
PEOPLE wanting to have a floral tribute placed on the New Norfolk Cenotaph for Anzac Day are being offered free delivery by local florist Willows Flowers.

With Anzac Day parades and services cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, alternative ways of observing the day have been proposed, including online memorials and a recommendation for Australians and New Zealanders to stand outside their homes at 6am on Anzac Day this Saturday.

Local florist Malissa has operated Willows Flowers New Norfolk at Shop 8, Circle St, since late last year and previously worked at another flower shop in High St until its closure last year. A former defence force member, she is keen to help people who are sad about Anzac Day gatherings being cancelled.

Malissa said Anzac Day was important to her for several reasons: for the memory of those who gave their lives for their country, for her son who currently serves, and for her own service. "I too am very sad this very important day has been squashed by this pandemic," she said.

"If you are wanting to still pay your respects with a wreath or some flowers please do it," she said. "I am offering - within reasonable distance - free delivery of your flowers and to pay your respects on your behalf,  without you having to leave your home.

"I don't want us to give up on those who never gave up on us. Let's still love and respect them but this year in a different way. Just call the store and place your order and leave the rest to me, it's my honour, and I want to thank everyone who has supported me in my new venture," Malissa said.

Orders for Anzac Day floral tributes close on Thursday. For more information or to place an order, visit Willows Flowers New Norfolk at Shop 8, Circle St (opposite the council chambers) or call 0457 082 869.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Burglaries dominated March police reports

BURGLARY and theft dominated the March crime report provided by Tasmania Police to the New Norfolk Neighbourhood Watch.

Thieves forced their way into multiple buildings at Fairview Primary School overnight on March 3. A window was broken in the incident.

Personal items were stolen from a vehicle in Charles St, New Norfolk, on March 5.

In High St outside the New Norfolk Hotel on March 9, thieves smashed a car window and stole a mobile phone, keys and papers.

A kitchen window was forced open at a property in Andrews St, New Norfolk on March 13 and two glasses and an Xbox were stolen.

Two chainsaws were stolen on March 11, when a garage roller door was forced open at a Lyell Why property at Ouse.

In Sharland Ave, New Norfolk, on March 17, thieves entered a property through an open kitchen window and stole towels, a clock and a backpack.

A chainsaw and tiller were stolen from a shed at the New Norfolk Golf Club between March 20-23.

A light bar was stolen from a vehicle in Quarry St, New Norfolk, on March 25. On the same day, in Circle St, a vehicle was entered and numerous items stolen.

On March 27 a vehicle in Henry Cres was broken into and the thief stole cash, a Bluetooth speaker and toilet rolls.

On March 29, fire completely destroyed a caravan in Pelham Rd, New Norfolk.

Police are eager to hear from any member of the public who may have witnessed any of the above incidents or who have observed any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood. If you have reported a crime that is not included in this list please contact Tasmania Police on 131 444.

For more information about New Norfolk Neighbourhood Watch visit its website or Facebook. To anonymously report crime or suspicious behaviour in your area, call 1800 330 000 or To contact police in an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).

Lions Club news: Meet Howard Gant

Howard and Lucinda Gant.
AS our Lions Club fundraising activities and meetings have been put on hold until we are through the Covid-19 pandemic, our articles in the next weeks and months will feature our members. We start with Howard Gant: community volunteer, educator and storyteller.

Howard first joined Lions Australia when he was living in Killarney in Queensland. “The president of the Killarney Lions Club invited me to join and everybody made me feel welcome so I stayed for 23 years," Howard said. "I am proud of how we helped people, for instance, after personal misfortune, and older people in the community. We built things for the town and ran community events. It was about bringing people together.”

A stand-out memory from those times for Howard is ringing fellow Lion, Rod Berry, from Killarney. “You’d be greeted by his gruff voice: 'Shut up ya mongrel!' [but] no-one took offence as we knew it was only Rod giving a tune-up to Oscar, his corgi, who was going off again when the phone rang.”

Howard and his wife Lucinda moved to the Derwent Valley in recent times and he has been a member of the Lions Club of New Norfolk for two years. Both are committed to making a contribution to the environment and community. As well as serving on Lions Club sausage sizzles, selling raffle tickets and other Lions projects, he also volunteers with literacy program 26Ten, and the Derwent Valley Tidy Towns Committee.

Howard holding the box of entries while Nicole Lawrence of
the Guardian Pharmacy draws last year's Father's Day raffle.
Volunteering especially with the Lions Club has benefits both for Howard and others. “I get to meet and understand a huge range of other people that I wouldn’t know if I wasn’t a Lion and I get to have fun while helping others,” he said.

In the future, Howard would like to return to practical building projects. “It’s a common lament of recent times but we don’t do building projects like we used to and I’m interested in that – that’s what got me hooked.

"Cooking and raffling things brings in the money and is spent to good effect and so this is enjoyable enough but I miss the sense of achievement in finishing the build,” Howard said.

Lions. We Serve (more than sausages).

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Warning to sheep graziers

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

Issued at 2.56pm on Thursday 16 April 2020.

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

The next warning will be issued by 11pm Thursday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Local youths donate swags for the homeless

MEMBERS of the Derwent Valley's peak youth organisation are supporting today's national Youth Homelessness Matters Day with donations to aid young people in need.

In support of Youth Homelessness Matters Day (YHMD), the Derwent Valley Youth Future Action Team (D’FAT) will donate six swags to the The Salvation Army's Street2Home program. The group has also donated six sleeping bags to the same cause.

“YHMD is an annual project of the National Youth Coalition for Housing which aims to raise awareness and public discussion regarding youth homelessness so that sustainable and innovative solutions can be developed," D'FAT facilitator Matt Hill said.

“One quarter of all Tasmanians experiencing homelessness are young people aged 12 to 24. D’FAT has participated in YHMD since 2013 and is again supporting this worthwhile cause during 2020,” Mr Hill said.

D'FAT member Jasmine Riseley with one of
the swags being donated to the Salvos, and,
inset, Amy McDonald showing one of the
sleeping bags also being donated.
D’FAT chairman Nic Kaiser said D’FAT was pleased to support YHMD during 2020 through the donation of six high-quality Dune Tracker Swags to Street2Home program of The Salvation Army that helps people in crisis.

“The swags were purchased from funds raised from D’FAT activities and projects,” Mr Kaiser said. D’FAT has also donated six sleeping bags. Since 2012 The Salvation Army has employed a support worker to help the growing number of homeless people in the Greater Hobart area. Street2Home locates the ever-increasing number of people in an accommodation crisis, assesses their needs, and link them with support services," he said.

"Street2Home helps people who would not otherwise use mainstream services – or may have been barred from them – for reasons including undiagnosed/unmedicated mental health issues, problematic substance use, and physical or intellectual disabilities," Mr Hill said.

Mr Hill participated in "Sleep Out With the Salvos" in 2018 and 2019 to help raise funds for the Street2Home program. "Support from Sleepers and sponsors alike are vital for S2H to continue in Southern Tasmania," Mr Hill said.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

High St mall back on council agenda

The section of High St used for the Saturday market is to be
offered for use as a mall.
EXPRESSIONS of interest will be sought by the Derwent Valley Council for the use of part of New Norfolk's High St as a mall.

Councillors last month agreed with a proposal from acting general manager Brian Barrett to test the market for activities between Burnett and Charles streets, for economic and social benefits, although one councillor said businesses in the area should be consulted first.

In a written report, Mr Barrett said the council was separately considering the future of the market held in that location every Saturday and he had noted that the 2017 council decision that authorised the market had the "broader intent" of establishing a temporary mall.

"Council does have an option to again test the market by way of EOI to identify if there are parties interested in activating the temporary mall in High St for any purpose and at any time," Mr Barrett said in his report.

He proposed that councillors receive and note his report; authorise the start of an Expression of Interest process for the use of High St between Burnett and Charles streets as a mall on any day; and to receive a further report on the responses received from the EOI process.

Brian Barrett.
Moving the motion, Councillor Martyn Evans said it was great to see that the council wanted to consider continuing to close High St as a mall.

Cr Belcher said a proposal to use High St a mall had been presented to the council in 2017 by Cr Evans as mayor of the time. "It was knocked back and we proceeded to have a market in High St which has worked quite well but I don't know if the acting general manager has done any work with the business community in the area because that's who it affects the most," Cr Belcher said.

He said the council was now talking about closing part of the street as a mall but it did not appear to have consulted with businesses in the affected area. Mayor Ben Shaw said the purpose of the motion, which was seconded by Cr Luke Browning, was to test councillor support for the continuation of the part-closure of the street.

"It was kind of discussed at a workshop to see if there's actually any interest in us actually continuing to close it down for any reason," Cr Shaw said. "So why not go and see if there are some interests out there? The next stage I believe ... is, if there's any [ideas] that the councillors would like to consider, that's when you do the community consultation with the businesses before you make a decision to go to the next EOI."

Cr Belcher said he would prefer that the council sought feedback from the High St business community "before we even talk about what we do about a mall or whatever. They will be the most effected, and if it is closed off for a mall and there's no market, there could be nobody there," he said.

"I just think it should have been brought up with the business owners first. A simple letter [saying] 'this is coming to council and we want your input and what do you think?'. I think this would have been better if it had come to the businesses first and then we could have had their feedback about what they would like."

Cr Natasha Woods said it might be possible to "reactivate" High St with multi-faceted ideas such as street festivals, weekly markets, arts and music events, and long-table food events, noting that such acivities could bring visitors to the town.

Cr Martyn Evans.
Closing the debate, Cr Evans said it would be necessary to clearly communicate the intent of the motion. The business owners might come together and have different thoughts so I think that's that's a good opportunity for them as well," he said.

Deputy mayor Jessica Cosgrove as operator of the Saturday market declared a potential pecuniary interest in the item and left the room while it was discussed. Councillors Julie Triffett and Luke Browning did not speak and Cr Frank Pearce was absent.

Later in the same meeting, councillors failed to deal with a report on the future of the High St Market for the second month in a row. The February meeting was left with insufficient numbers to deal with the agenda item after Cr Cosgrove declared a pecuniary interest in the agenda item, and at the March meeting it lapsed for want of a seconder. Cr Paul Belcher had sought to defer consideration of the report until he Expressions of Interest process was complete, but was advised the mayor and acting general manager to simply let the matter lay on the table.

"There is a consideration ... to maybe just lay it on the table and not move and second it, and then it just comes back as part of something later, out of the EOI, if you want, but you can move to defer it," Cr Shaw told Cr Belcher. "But if you defer it you need to discuss at another point and bring something back again. If it lays on the table, it sort of goes," he said.

In his report to the February and March meetings the acting general manager was seeking approval to start an independent EOI process for the operation of the High St market, with Cr Cosgrove's licence expiring on November 2.  Mr Barrett had recommended that the EOI process for the market be conducted transparently and independently of the council, to give alternative operators an opportunity to put forward their business proposals, adding that this approach had been discussed with the then director of local government to ensure it meets probity requirements. The decision to seek Expressions of Interest in operating a mall makes no reference to an independent process. 

Monday, April 13, 2020

Accountant becomes latest acting general manager

Bill Richardson.
THE chief financial officer of the Derwent Valley Council has become the municipality's latest acting general manager.

Mr Bill Richardson, who joined the council last year, is understood to have been temporarily appointed to the senior managerial role in the middle of last week when Sydney-based Brian Barrett decided to stand down.

One of Mr Richardson's first tasks was to certify the agenda documents for the monthly council meeting to be held this Thursday. He noted that the meeting would be held by "telephone or other electronic means" in accordance with the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020.

"An electronic recording of the meeting will be available for viewing by members of the public as far as reasonably practicable contemporaneously at [the] council's website," Mr Richardson said in his Notice of Meeting. "Where not reasonably practicable an electronic recording of the meeting will be  made available on [the] council's website for viewing the following day."

Mr Richardson - who usually sits below executive managers Richard Blackwell (infrastructure and development services) and Amanda McCall (acting - corporate and community services) in the council's chain of command - becomes the council's fifth acting general manager in less than a year:
  • July 2019: Daniel Smee, seconded from the Kingborough Council when general manager Greg Winton stepped aside during an investigation into a bird-cull at Tynwald Park; 
  • September-November 2019: Margaret Johns, seconded from the Hobart City Council when Mr Winton went on leave;
  • November 2019: Richard Blackwell, DVC executive manager, took over from Ms Johns when she returned to HCC and Mr Winton remained on leave;
  • November 2019-April 2020: Brian Barrett, of Blackadder Associates, took over from Mr Blackwell as Mr Winton's leave continued, and remained when the council started the process of replacing Mr Winton.

The Local Government Act gives the mayor of a council the authority to appoint an acting general manager when the general manager is absent or unable to perform the functions of their role.

Tasmania's favourite juice comes home

AFTER a troubled decade in multi-national ownership, Tasmania's favourite fruit juice syrups are now in the hands of a Derwent Valley family.

The Clark family of Westerway last week announced that it had been granted the original recipe for Tasmanian-made blackcurrant and raspberry syrups and would be marketing these under the Westerway Farms brand.

"We have launched our own Westerway Farms range of traditional Tasmanian blackcurrant and raspberry syrups to take the place of Cascade syrups [which] are no longer made," Richard Clark said. "When the original line was discontinued, Coca Cola generously gave us the original recipe, so this drop is as close as we could get to that uniquely refreshing taste we know you all love."

"Tasmanians have been drinking traditional blackcurrant juice since 1886 when Cascade Brewery began making syrups from locally-grown fruit. It’s a local tradition but Tasmanians have found it increasingly harder to find," he said.

Located in long-established fruit growing country in the Derwent Valley, Westerway Berry Farm has been growing blackcurrants for Cascade Ultra-C for more than 30 years. Now, with the assistance of Amatil and Juicy Isle, the farm has launched its own brand.

Coca Cola Amatil Group managing director Alison Watkins said she had been approached by the Clark family to consider returning the brand to Tasmania in the event the Cascade product was discontinued. “This was a unique request, but we were experiencing declining sales and challenges with the supply chain for this product, so the team worked with the Clark family to transition production and sales of a very similar product to Westerway Farms,” Ms Watkins said. “I am delighted that Tasmanians will still be able to buy their favourite syrups which are now being produced locally.”

Mr Clark said Coca Cola Amatil - owner of the Cascade juices brand - had been very supportive during the transition. “They have been fantastic, helping us with the traditional recipe, label design and putting us in contact with customers and retailers whose shelves needed to be restocked with Tasmanian fruit syrups,” he said. “And just as amazing was Juicy Isle’s willingness and speed to make and then distribute our new product.”

Generations of Tasmanians have enjoyed blackcurrant juice
made from fruit grown in the Derwent Valley.
“Our family has been growing fruit for 30 years and we are well-known locally as the suppliers to Cascade Ultra-C and Raspberry syrups and have been proud to be part of the syrups' history. We have received countless requests and questions from passionate Tasmanian consumers over many years and we are now delighted to confirm where they can find their favourite syrups.”

The Westerway Farms syrups will be produced by Juicy Isle, which has had a long association with Westerway Farms, having sourced its produce for use in many of its own fruit juices and drinks. “We were excited by the prospect of working directly with the Clark family to ensure the traditional style syrups remain available to Tasmanian consumers and proud that they will be made here in our Cambridge facility," spokesman Paul Mealor said. "It’s great to see Tasmanian business supporting each other and supporting Tasmanian consumers and retailers.”

Mr Clark said Westerway Farms blackcurrant and raspberry syrups contained 45% and 31% Tasmanian fruit respectively. He said this was the highest fruit content of any blackcurrant syrup on shelf, while the raspberry syrup was the only product of its kind to use real fruit as competitors used artificial colours and flavours.

The new brand has the traditional look of Cascade syrups from 10 years ago and will initially be sold locally in IGA stores. Westerway Farms is working with other retailers in Tasmania to offer the products, and has plans to sell on the mainland soon. Mr Clark suggests that customers who cannot find the new syrups on the shelves of their favourite shop should ask them to contact Juicy Isle to organise a supply. The Westerway Farm syrups are also available nationally via the Dan Murphys website, for $5.75 a bottle or $46 for a case of eight bottles.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Free buses until May 31

FREE bus travel throughout Tasmania has been extended until the end of May to allow passengers more time to register for cashless payments.

Infrastructure and Transport minister Michael Ferguson said the current arrangements for cashless buses and a bus fare amnesty had been extended to Sunday, May 31.

These arrangements were due to expire yesterday, April 10. "To minimise person-to-person contact, all bus services across the state will remain cashless," Mr Ferguson said. "The fare amnesty is to provide time for passengers to access a smartcard and non-cash credit top up arrangements (where available), or other options for cashless payment.

"Passengers without a smartcard should apply for one from their bus operator where available during this period. Free travel during this period is not an invitation to undertake additional travel – passengers should restrict themselves to essential journeys. Everyone is reminded that they must not use public transport if they are supposed to be in isolation or are unwell," he said.

The fare amnesty applies throughout Tasmania including Metro services and O'Driscoll Coaches' Derwent Valley Link. Students catching school bus services will also be able to travel for free until May 31.

O'Driscoll Coaches advises that further enhancements to Derwent Valley Link’s ticketing system will be made in the coming weeks to enable access to smartcards for those passengers without a smartphone or access to a computer. Click here for more information.

Lions Club news: supporting the Clown Doctors

ANOTHER of the Tasmanian charities that the New Norfolk Lions Club supports is the Clown Doctors.

Imagine being a sick or injured child in hospital – It isn’t great. You are surrounded by unfamiliar people, smells and medical equipment. You are away from family, friends and the comfort of your home – subjected to poking, prodding, tests and painful treatments.

Clown Doctors are able to take some of this away and make hospital an OK place to be! Clown Doctors are "medical" clowns – highly trained, professional performers who spread doses of fun and laughter throughout the hospital.

They work in partnership with medical professionals to divert children during painful procedures; calm and distract in emergency; encourage and assist during occupational therapy and physiotherapy; and improve the quality of life of some of the most vulnerable members of our community  sick and injured kids.

Funds raised in Tasmania support Clown Doctors at the Royal Hobart Hospital, the North-West Regional Hospital and Launceston General Hospital to lighten the hospital environment, helping parents, family members, hospital staff and most importantly – the patients.

If you would like to support the clown doctors, you don’t need to wait until you see them clowning around and collecting funds at the side of the road, you can donate through The Humour Foundation - Clown Doctor website.

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus situation, The Humour Foundation has suspended its traditional Clown Doctor visits but remains committed to doing all it can to stay connected with everyone; seeking to create and deliver new ways of working including innovative approaches currently being trialled.

Lions Australia. We serve (more than sausages).

All local clubs and organisations are welcome to share their news. Email

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Second round of community grants awarded

FUNDING of just over $14,000 was shared among eight applicants in the second round of the Derwent Valley Council's community grants program for the 2019-20 financial year.

In a report to last month's council meeting, community development officer Bec Tudor said more money had been available than was originally expected, due to a first-round grant not being expended. "In Round 1, New Norfolk Neighbourhood Watch were conditionally approved for a grant of $3025 on the grounds that further funding was acquired. As this condition was not able to be met, those funds remained in the funding pool for Round 2, bringing the total available amount to $14,109," Ms Tudor said.

The councillors present at the March council meeting unanimously supported Ms Tudor's recommendation that the following grants be approved:

  • New Norfolk High School: $999 for a digital sewing machine and overlocker
  • New Norfolk Fire Brigade: $519 for a smoke machine
  • Derwent Valley Horse Riders Association: $1689 to resurface the club's arena
  • Fund Reclink Australia: $1000 for sporting equipment
  • New Norfolk Neighbourhood Watch: $2290 for IT equipment
  • Lachlan Craft Circle: $620 to run a residential design workshop for members
  • Epona Horse Archers: $4492 for equipment and site work
  • Derwent Valley Concert Band: $2500 for a synthesizer.

Moving the motion, Cr Natasha Woods congratulated the applicants on the standard of their submissions. "The applications met the mark really well," she said. Mayor Ben Shaw was the only other councillor to speak, noting that every applicant had received funding. "Some of them didn't get fully funded, but we managed to give pretty much every group that applied something that can actually get them an actionable item or a piece of equipment, which was really good to be able to do," Cr Shaw said.

Councillors also accepted Ms Tudor's recommendation that the Community Grants Policy approved in December 2018, be reviewed. "Further clarity around the policy will be required prior to the next  financial year," she said in her written report to the council meeting. "The importance of clarity for the evaluation process will allow all applicants a clear direction when applying. As public funds are used to for community grants it is important to note that these are required to be acquitted in accordance with standard accounting practices."

Ms Tudor said more than $241,616 had been  allocated under the current community grants program  since 1997-98.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Council offering free 'flu vaccinations

BOOKINGS are closing soon for the Derwent Valley Council's free influenza vaccinations under its annual vaccination program. The council is offering free 'flu vaccinations for:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
  • People aged 65 years and over
  • People aged six months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications
  • Children from six months to less than five years.

The vaccinations will be given on April 22. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, physical distancing measures will be in place. Bookings are essential and must be made by April 10. For bookings and further information contact the council’s immunisation co-ordinator on 6261 8530.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Warning to sheep graziers

Warning to Sheep Graziers
for the Furneaux Islands, North West Coast, Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts

Issued at 3.35pm on Sunday 5 April 2020.

Sheep graziers are warned that cold temperatures, showers and strong westerly winds are expected during Sunday. Areas likely to be affected include the Furneaux Islands forecast district and parts of the North West Coast, Upper Derwent Valley and South East 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.

Changes to access to Justices of the Peace

PHYSICAL distancing requirements for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 mean that a number of the Derwent Valley's Justices of the Peace - and many others throughout the state - are no longer undertaking their duties.

With many JPs being older members of the community, and working from home, the Department of Justice says it supports the decision of any Justice deciding not to perform their role at present.

"The Department of Justice supports the decision of any Justice to take this course of action, given that a number of Justices are older members of the community and may be susceptible to an increased risk of contracting the virus," a spokesman said. "Justices have limited premises from which they can provide services and in those circumstances, it is not considered appropriate for members of the public to visit Justices at their residences."

A list on the Department of Justice website shows which JPs are continuing to provide services. Click here for the latest update to the list.

BUSHY PARK: Glenn Gittus
ELLENDALE: Micky Quinn and Dawn Tomlin
GRANTON: Shaun Dobson, Tomas Clarke
GRETNA: Iris Fenton
MOLESWORTH: Ngaire Glover
GRANTON: Shaun Patrick Dobson
NEW NORFOLK: Terry Burdon, Colleen Cranefield, Barbara Davis, Debbie Hutchinson, Pat Graham

The document signing centres voluntarily staffed by JPs at the Glenorchy and Kingborough council offices and the Hobart and Rosny branches of Service Tasmania are temporarily closed.

Given the current restrictions on movement, the Department of Justice asks anyone needing a JP to first consider whether the matter is essential, and to consider waiting until the situation improves. "In the event that a Justice is urgently required, it is recommended that you phone Justices in your area to ask whether they are willing to deal with your matter."

The Department also recommends checking to see whether a JP is in fact required, as many of the duties of a Justice can also be undertaken by a Commissioner for Declarations who can witness signatures to documents, certify a true copy of an original document, and take statutory declarations.

Commissioners for Declarations include:
  • accountants;
  • bank, building society or credit union officers with five or more continuous years of service;
  • medical practitioners, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, optometrists;
  • permanent Federal, State or Local Government employees with 5 or more continuous years of service;
  • police officers and legal practitioners;
  • full-time teachers.
Click here for more details about Commissioners for Declarations and here for the full list of people designated Commissioners for Declarations because of their profession or because of an appointment they hold.

Arrangements are being put in place to allow for electronic witnessing/certifying/taking of statutory declarations.