Final chapter in reading egg tale

THE day for the Derwent Valley’s most travelled egg to hatch finally arrived this week, with ptunarra Child and Family Centre the location for the big unveiling of the dweller inside the Paint The Valley REaD egg.

Having spent the last five months visiting schools, libraries and learning centres, the egg has been read, sang, talked too and played with by Derwent Valley children, parents and teachers as part of the Paint The Valley REaD initiative, which emphasises the importance of reading and singing to children from their birth.

This week, the egg was sung and read too for the final time, with the kids of ptunarra singing to the egg in an effort to will whatever lay inside the shell out into the world, and with the help of parents, teacher, Derwent MLC Craig Farrell and Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw, the egg began to crack.

After a final song made specially to coax the egg from it’s shell, the dweller was revealed to the centre as a gigantic platypus named Larila.

Larila, whose name means platypus in Palawa Kani, was happy to greet the children of ptunarra, even answering everyone’s platypus-related questions, before a final story read by Mr Farrell put the platypus to sleep.

The Paint The Valley REaD program has stretched its influence across the Derwent Valley, with the egg getting involved with children’s reading from Westerway to Molesworth and will continue to run in the Derwent Valley as many schools, learning centres and libraries continue to get behind the program.

Evidence shows that this builds the best brain networks possible in readiness for formal literacy when they start kindergarten and gives children the best possible start to life.

To follow the continuation of the program, or to get in touch with the program organisers, you can head to the Paint The Valley REaD Facebook page.

New look to guide the future

SOME of the Derwent Valleys most prominent tourism operators turned out at Willow Court last week for the unveiling of the new Derwent Valley Tourism Guide, as well as the addition of two new Derwent Valley Brand icons.

The guide, which drew funds from the Derwent Valley Council and the State Government’s Regional Tourism Projects program, will be distributed across access ports of Tasmania, such as aboard the Spirit of Tasmania and at Hobart Airport, as well as throughout tourist information centres across the state.

Featured inside are guides to businesses and attractions throughout the Derwent Valley, catering to adventure, food and beverage or historical tourism.

Alex Heroys, CEO of Destination Southern Tasmania, said despite being in the most difficult time in the tourism in the last 18 months, the Tasmanian tourism industry has been well supported by locals.

“It is a tricky time, but we have to look forward and celebrate our successes,” Mr Heroys said.
“I’d like to thank all of you who have got out and spent money and supported local business, and I’d encourage you to all keep doing so.”

Mr Heroys also commended the development of the tourism industry within the Derwent Valley itself.

“The future in the Derwent Valley is really bright, the work that has gone on in the past 10 years has stood out as an area of success, you do have the natural assets, you do have the heritage, but most importantly, you do have the people, it’s the people that deliver the experience.”

Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw, who introduced the guide to tourism stakeholders at the presentation, was also on hand to present an addition to the Derwent Valley Brand suite, representing the history of the region.

Mr Shaw said Council were told “that we had lost some of our heritage in our new branding,” but the addition of the Oast House and the Barracks logos were representative of the history of the region, something that will play a big part in the future of tourism in the Derwent Valley.

Port storms home

FROM the opening bounce, there was no doubt that the Cygnet Football Club had come to play with an eight goal first term setting up an impressive 81-point victory to stamp themselves as one of the flag favourites in season 2021.

The Eagles simply had no answers and were outclassed by the Port and could not match their hard running style of play which gave their tall key forwards Jordan Lane (five goals), Joe Direen (four goals) and small crumbing forward Jake Dance (five goals) great supply throughout the four quarters of football.

Port played the big Boyer Oval like it was their own as they continued to change lanes with great kicking efficiency to find their teammates in open spaces.

They were well led by the on-ball crew of Toby Cowen, Lachlan Watt, Rhys Jennings, and Luke Ashlin.

Giant Port forward Jordan Lane had a breakout first quarter booting three majors and was proving a handful for the Eagle backline.

James Zeitzen, Gordon Bailey, and Jake Dance were adding to the Eagles woes all booting single goals. Big Benny Lovell was looking dangerous up forward for the Eagles taking some strong overhead marks and converting for the home side’s first goal.

He followed up with a great pass to Tyler Ford who also kicked truly to give the Eagles some confidence heading into quarter time.

Quarter time scores were Port 8.3 (51) to the Eagles 3.1 (19).

Port opened the second term with a quick goal from Joe Direen followed by another from Rhys Jennings which gave the visitors a 45-point lead.

It was going to be a big challenge for the Eagles to reel in. A highlight of the quarter was 15-year-old first gamer Bailey Chaplin kicking a great goal from 40 metres out on the boundary line which was a great effort.

At this stage of the game Cygnet’s teamwork was just too good for the home side as they moved the footy from defence into attack with ease while the Eagles lacked run and accountability.

Half time scores (Port 12G 5B 71 points to the Eagles 4G 3B 27 points) Eagle Coach Josh Clifford questioned his players at the main break and demanded a greater effort in the third term.

However, Port was just too classy and continued to control the game adding another 5 goals for the term while the Eagles could only manage one through Tyler Ford.

Port was rotating their two big key forwards in Lane and Direen from centre half forward to full forward which was having a big impact on the game.

Big Eagle ruck man Ashley Burgess had to toil with Ports tall timber Will Polley in the ruck along with Direen and Lane at various stages throughout the game.

Eagle back up ruck man Tyron Bailey left the ground with an ankle injury which forced the coaching staff to move Jacob Daley into the ruck when big “Burgo” was resting.

Cygnet added another five majors for the term to go out to a 72-point lead with three quarter time scores reading (Port 17.7 (109) to the Eagles 5.7 (37).

The Eagles managed to hit the scoreboard in the last term with a great snap from the forward pocket on a tight angle from speedster Jye Bearman for a great goal.

Two majors from Josh Clifford with Ben Lovell adding another produced the home side’s best quarter.

Port kept the scoreboard ticking over with another 5 goals to run out convincing 81-point victors.

No one tried harder for the Eagles than Jamie “Sticks” Sokolski who was in everything and was always competing for the hard ball.

Blair “Torpa” Wardlaw was busy all day, Tyler Ford and Ben Lovell tried hard up forward along with Jacob Daley who played a consistent four quarters.

The Eagles must now focus on an elimination final against the Dodges Ferry Sharks on their home turf at Shark Park.

The senior squad have had an up and down season and have been unable to string wins together due to fluctuations in form and a challenging injury list, but it must be said that finals are a totally different ball game where anything can happen.

The Eagles could have a few players returning from injury which could give the side a much-needed boost for such an important game ahead.

The senior squad has plenty of experience and talent and if our boys are committed on the day, they could cause an upset and take the next step in the finals.

Report by Wayne Walker

A year in the hot seat

IT’S now been over a year since Dean Griggs took on the role of General Manager of the Derwent Valley Council.
The Derwent Valley Gazette recently caught up with Mr Griggs to reflect on his time in the Derwent Valley council so far.

“When I first came into the role, one of the best parts was how welcoming everyone was, particularly the staff,” Mr Griggs said.

“Part of what the council wanted from me was to be out and about in the community and it’s been an easy thing to do because the community has been so welcoming.”

Mr Griggs said the improvements that have been made within council, including greater staff communications, were some of the highlights of his time, but he could not look past the work on the Willow Court Precinct as one of the greatest changes.

“One of the bigger projects when I started was activating the Willow Court Precinct, getting to know the proponents and now, having this space open for both locals and people from interstate and outside the Valley to come and experience the Barracks in a different way for the first time in 20 years, it’s certainly been a highlight.”

Looking forward, Mr Griggs said council will be planning for the growth the Derwent Valley is anticipating.

“The next 12 months will be delivering on a different level, delivering on a higher standard and pursuing excellence, but we do have some challenges.”

“We have a structural deficit which we need to fix, but we have a long-term financial strategy going to council next week, which will give us a long-term way to look at our finances, so we can move ourselves to a better place financially.”

“I think some of the things that are happening in the Valley, like the growth through the new development, winning the Top Tourism Town award, people coming out to see exhibitions, to the new distilleries, new breweries, means that we have to lift, be ready for the demands that comes in terms of the expectations of us as a council.”

Valley ramps up bridge concerns

THE new soon-to-be-built Bridgewater Bridge will not have rail capacity, which has sparked dismay from a Lyons Labor MP.

Last week a Parliamentary Public Works Committee hearing was told there would be no rail built into the new bridge.

The hearing heard that the old bridge would be removed, with only the convict-built causeway staying and the new crossing would not include rail.

Lyons Labor MP Jen Butler said maintaining rail capability was crucial.

Ms Butler said maintaining rail capability was the main message she had received from the broader community.

“We all agree that the Bridgewater Bridge is beyond its use by date and that a new bridge is a good investment for Tasmania.
“By far, maintaining rail capabilities was the main input from the broader community. “To build a bridge without the rail being present is not rational or logical.
“To deny a capital city rail access to the rest of the state is shortsighted.
“Now with our main freight ports being in the north how rail will emerge in the next 20 or 30 years has to be given consideration.
“We’ve seen the growth of the Derwent Valley, Brighton, Bridgewater, Gagebrook and surrounding areas.
“There is never going to be a better time than now to invest in the future. “I was dismayed that rail transport was not part of the scope of the new Bridgewater Bridge.’’

Just last month Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw raised concerns about some of the convoluted connectors.

“The initial concept design worries our community and council as it depicts some convoluted connectors,’’ Mr Shaw said.
“We would like those addressed before any projects are awarded.”

The concerns centre around the on and off ramps to the bridge, both from the Lyell Highway and from Boyer Road.

When entering or exiting the new bridge from the Lyell Highway, commuters will be required to loop through Granton on Main Road and a new off-ramp where Black Snake Road is currently.

The loop to join or exit the bridge will add approximately 1-1.5km further than the current Lyell Highway to Bridgewater Bridge junction.

From Boyer Road, entering the bridge will require commuters to enter from Old Main Road.

“ We haver ecently expressed our concerns in writing, and I’ve met with Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson to discuss the on and off ramps and connections from the Brooker to Lyell Highways,’’ he said.

Mr Shaw suggested a shorter diversion from the bridge directly to the Lyell Highway, similar to the Glenorchy off-ramp on the Tasman Bridge in Hobart.

“We want to make sure that our community is not worse off than before the new bridge has its plans finalised.”

The new Bridgewater Bridge is one of the biggest projects in Tasmanian history.

Major construction is due to start in mid-2022 and open to traffic by the end of 2024. Two of Australia’s largest construction companies have tendered to design and build the new $576 million Bridgewater Bridge.

Bids have been received from CPB Contractors and McConnell Dowell Constructors.

Mr Ferguson said with increased size and load capacity and a higher speed limit, the new bridge would strengthen Tasmania’s National Highway and boost productivity on one of the state’s most important freight routes.

Family snags $2000 tag

THE River Derwent at Boyer proved profitable for a Brighton family after the keen fishers caught the first tagged brown trout on opening weekend.

Michael Deppeler caught the fish and won $2000.

Mr Deppeler was fishing in the River Derwent, near Boyer, with his children Lucy and Liam, when they caught the tagged fish last Sunday about 1.30pm.

He was presented with the prize by Primary Industries and Water Minister Guy Barnett at New Norfolk’s Esplanade. He plans to spend the prize on more fishing gear.

The Tasmanian Tagged Trout program is designed to stimulate the recreational trout fishery and boost tourism into regional communities.

“Fifty tagged brown trout have been released into 15 waters around Tasmania with each tag worth $2000 to the angler who returns the tagged fish to the Inland Fisheries Service,’’ Mr Barnett said.

“The Tasmanian Government doubled the potential prize pool to $100,000 and increased the number of waters to encourage people to try fishing, making it easier for anglers to try their luck and also encourage anglers to visit different waters.’’

The 15 waters and number of fish are: Arthurs Lake (5), yingina/Great Lake (5), Lake Mackintosh (5), Lake Pedder (5), Lake Burbury (5), Lake Rosebery (5), Derby’s Briseis Mine Hole (2), Bronte Lagoon (2), Craigbourne Dam (2), Curries River Reservoir (2), Huntsman Lake (2), Lake Leake (3), Lake Parangana (2), Lake Rowallan (2) and there are now only two left in the River Derwent.

For more information go to

Cheers greet festival return

THE hugely popular Derwent Valley Autumn Festival is back after being cancelled for two years running due to Covid-19.

The event will be held on Sunday, April 3, next year and will mark the 20th anniversary of the festival.

The event showcases the Valley in the best possible way and draws visitors from across the state.

Autumn in the Derwent Valley is arguably the most beautiful season and the region shines.

On Sunday the volunteers behind the festival announced its return.

“Fantastic news to brighten up this rainy, windy Sunday,’’ they announced.

“We are pleased to announce that our 20th Derwent Valley Autumn Festival will be held on Sunday, April 3, 2022.

“Due to finalising and working with Covid regulations , information for stallholders, performers, patrons, etc will be released over the coming months.

“We would like to thank everyone for your patience over the previous year, and we look forward to seeing you in April.’’

The event will be held on The Esplanade where oaks, elms, poplars and willows bring autumn colours to life.

More than 15,000 visitors attended the festival when it was last held in 2019, making it the largest event in the Derwent Valley.

The festival was first conceived in 2000 by two Derwent Valley councillors who wanted to build the community’s spirits after prolonged period of recession.

Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw welcomed the news.

“Brilliant news,” Mr Shaw said.

“Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the small group of volunteers our Autumn Festival is returning,’’ Mr Shaw said.

“Against popular belief this is not a council-run event.”

“Council supports this event financially but it’s completely run by volunteers, so they have done an amazing job to get it back on track.’’

Traditionally the free event hosts a wide range of entertainment and food stalls.

The Derwent Valley Gazette will keep readers informed and updated on the festival as it gets closer to April.

Feature Image Credit; Tourism Tasmania and Rob Bennett

Eagles book finals

THE New Norfolk Eagles took a short trip down the road last Saturday to take on the Brighton Robins in an all-important game for the club for two reasons.

They wanted to perform well in the Brendon Browning memorial game with the winner taking the inaugural Barwick/Browning shield, and to hold onto fifth position on the SFL ladder to have a crack at the finals.

After a tight first half the Eagles slowly got on top to record a good 20-point victory.

The Eagles are now two games clear on the SFL ladder from the Hobart Tigers with one home and away round to play and have earned a spot in finals.

Conditions were not ideal for football with strong gusty winds favouring the highway end of the ground to which the Eagles were kicking in the first term, although goals were difficult to bag due to a cross breeze.

The Robins were kicking against a strong breeze at the dressing room end.

The Eagles entered their forward 50 several times early in the first term registering only minor scores and hitting the post on three occasions.

Big key defender Josh Farrow launched a long ball from half back to half forward with the footy finding Ben Lovell close to goal on a tight angle who kicked truly for the visitors first major.

The Robins had minimal entries up forward working against the wind but answered through Zac Webb minutes later. Match ups at this time had big Eagle Ashley Burgess pitted against Ryan Bailey in the ruck duels and Josh Farrow had the task on Robins captain and key forward Connor Salter.

Rohan Heron picked up Robins tall Nicholas Barker and Robins back man Brad Shaw was on Eagle centre half forward Benny Lovell.

A surprise move was Jordan Banks-Smith moving from the back half to the forward line for the Eagles. The Eagles continued to push forward and found the busy Jye Bearman, who bagged his first goal from a set shot from 35 metres followed by another just minutes later with a long kick to the goal square which bounced through the big sticks.

Eagle strongman Nathan Eiszele goaled just before quarter time to see the Eagles lead by 25 points (Eagles 4.7 (31) to the Robins 1.0 (6).

The Robins needed to use the wind to their advantage in the second term by kicking the footy long into their forward line. An opening goal to forward Dean Jetson followed by another from big forward Connor Salter put the Robins back in the game.

The Robins booted four goals for the quarter with Ryan Bailey, Brady Hayden, and Joel Millhouse all instrumental in lifting the home side’s work rate in and around the stoppages.

The Eagles struggled into the wind with only two behinds.

The Eagles held onto an eight-point lead at the main break (Eagles 4.9 (33) to the Robins 4.1 (25).

The Eagles needed to boost their lead in the third term as the Robins would be coming home with a four- to five-goal breeze in the last term.

They found it hard to hit the scoreboard until the 13-minute mark with some great evasive play from livewire Jye Bearman as he weaved his way around a few opponents and goaled to give the visitors a 17-point break.

The Eagles kicked into gear as Benny Lovell passed to coach Josh Clifford for a goal followed by another from the high marking Tyler Ford which gave them a game high 32-point lead going into three quarter time. (Eagles 7.16 (58) to the Robins 4.2 (26).

The big question was “was a 32-point lead going to be enough for the Eagles” going into the last term?

The Robins knew that they had a chance with the aid of the breeze and kicked an early goal.

The Eagles steadied and controlled the footy in the first 10 minutes of the quarter until young Eagle Brayden Chaplin took a great mark and kicked a vital goal from 40 metres out against the wind.

The Robins booted another two majors late in the term, but the Eagles were home in a tough hard-fought battle in difficult conditions.

They deserved the 20-point win. Back man Rhys Heald was a rock in defence for the Eagles and stopped the Robins going forward on numerous occasions.

Jye Bearman had great impact using his pace and skills to bag three goals, Tyron Bailey was important in many crucial contests and played a great game and coach Josh Clifford led from the front and was busy all day with his hard running, tackling and pressure.

The Eagles once again had a couple of injury concerns during the game with Will Banks and Ben Lovell suffering corked thighs which had the Eagles finishing the last half with only two interchange players available.

The Eagles now face a tough challenge against Cygnet next week at the big Boyer Oval before finals action.

Report by Wayne Walker.

Sports park upgrade

WITH an upgrade of the Tynwald Park sports facility planned for the near future, sporting clubs are expecting a greater uptake in junior and senior level sports.

In the plans released by the Derwent Valley Council, the $900,000 redevelopments will see new changerooms for both males and female teams, improved coaches’ boxes and a grandstand to be added beside the existing clubrooms, which will also see an extensive makeover.

Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw said it was pleasing to see the project finally get under way as the facility upgrade, which received its federal funding almost three years ago, was neeedd for the growing town.

“It’s been a long-awaited project that our junior football and cricket clubs have been looking forward to and will bring us up to modern standards,” Mr Shaw said.

New Norfolk Junior Cricket Club president Jamie Hill said he believed this to be the biggest thing to happen to junior sport development in the Derwent Valley for 30 years.

“Junior sports continue to grow here, and we’ve outgrown our facilities, so for us to keep moving forward, we need the right facilities, and then I believe with that we can double our numbers in the next few years, especially with girls and women coming on board.”

New Norfolk Junior Football Club registrar Justin Benson, echoed the statement.

“We now have 260 players and a big growth in girl’s football, so being able to have separate changerooms is going to be magnificent going forward, as well as having a spot for teams to meet before or after games is going to be big,” he said.

Previous election commitments to Tynwald Park are also planned to be rolled out over the next twelve months, which will include on-field upgrades, as well as lights for the soccer ground.

The project is expected to be completed by 2022.

Brewery a welcome addition to Valley

THE Derwent Valley has a new local brewery, with the Welcome Swallow Brewery opening its doors to the public last weekend.

The brewery is the project of Nigel Graham, a self-confessed crazy homebrewer, and Elias Eichler, who over their 20 years of friendship grew their love for homebrewing, until in 2019 they took the jump in to a full-blown operation.

“We started entering local competitions, started winning local awards, then national awards, every home brewer has the dream of opening their own establishment, and we saw this opportunity come up,” Mr Graham said.

The project started in October 2019 when they secured their current taproom, an existing workshop on Ring Road, built for the Royal Derwent Hospital, but Covid caused the brewery opening to take a back-seat, and the business to switch up their distribution.

“Covid came in March 2019, we were in the middle of renovating the workshop and our business plan got turned on its head overnight.

“We had to shift to selling cans and takeaways, which allowed us to tread water from when we brewed our first beers here in July, up until now.”

“What we have now is what we were going for when we started, a taproom.”

Mr Graham has plans to supply the brewery with their own hops from the family farm in Lachlan, to add to the ingredients already finding their way into the beers, like raspberries.

The Welcome Swallow had their ticket and capacity allocation completely sold out over their opening weekend, and plans to hold more events, especially when their social distancing capacity increases, could see another haven for beer lovers in the Valley.

“My favourite beer is my next one,” Mr Graham said, showing the driving force behind brewing is their love for the process and product.