Deputy Mayor’s bid to fly Aboriginal flag

THE Derwent Valley Council should undertake consultation with the local Aboriginal community and broader members of the region to develop a recognition strategy, Deputy Mayor Jessica Cosgrove has proposed.

In addition, Ms Cosgrove wants the indigenous flag to be flown alongside the national and state flags outside Council Chambers.

A motion to develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Recognition Strategy over the next 12 months will be discussed at this week’s Council meeting.

“Following an overwhelming number of requests and conversations I have personally had with constituents, and recent communications to Council during public question time, it is evident that many members of the Derwent Valley Community would value the Aboriginal flag being permanently flown alongside the Australian flag,’’ Ms Cosgrove said.

“At present, the Australian flag is the sole flag flown on the building at the top of the Derwent Valley Council Chambers.

“I suggest the Council installs three flag poles to permanently fly the Australian flag, state flag, and Aboriginal flag on the lawns of the Derwent Valley Council Chambers.”

Ms Cosgrove also said: “To commemorate the installation of the Aboriginal flag it is appropriate to have a culturally appropriate gathering.

“Ms Waterfield, Aboriginal Education Officer at Ptunarra Child and Family Centre in New Norfolk has kindly offered to conduct a smoking ceremony which will be a very profound and meaningful ceremony.”

She said the Council had so far not formally acknowledged dates and events of importance to the Aboriginal community including NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Week, and Harmony Day.

Dam row cools

NEGOTIATIONS between Hydro Tasmania and Derwent Valley farmers over timing and compensation surrounding the lowering of Meadowbank Lake have continued this week, with Hydro increasing their previous offer of compensation, as well as delaying the projected works by a year.

Hydro had planned to lower the level of Meadowbank Lake by two metres over a 10-week period in February 2022 while maintenance work on the Meadowbank Dam crest gates is performed, followed by a two-week period where the dam in dropped a further four metres to test the gates, before being repeated a second time in February 2023.

Farmers who irrigate from the Meadowbank Lake water supply had met with Hydro several times across the last year to discuss negotiating appropriate compensation.

Meetings were also held between irrigators and the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment over the year, who had agreed to mediate the negotiations between the two parties, though they have distanced themselves from resolving the dispute, stating it is “a Hydro matter”.

In the latest development, Hydro has raised their offer to compensate 50 per cent of the expense’s irrigators would have incurred to make the necessary modifications to their pumping equipment, and to delay the start of construction until February 2023.

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association CEO John McKew said the offer was far closer to the expectations of the irrigators in the region, though the offer was yet to be accepted.

“I can’t speak on behalf of the irrigators in the region, but the offer from Hydro is certainly heading in the right direction,” Mr McKew said.

“Delaying the start of the construction was always going to have to happen, it’s far too late to start now.”

Hydro Tasmania was contacted for a response.

Vax veto shuts clinic

RESIDENTS of the Central Highlands could be made to travel more than 100kms to visit a doctor or pharmacist after the Central Highlands General Practice in Ouse announced it will close next month.

The shock move will place an additional load on patients, as well as clinics in the Derwent Valley which are already at patient capacity.

Earlier this month, the State Government announced it would make vaccinations mandatory for all health care workers as of October 31.

However it is understood staff at the Ouse clinic have rejected the vaccine, leaving the clinic unable to operate.

Central Highland General Practice practice manager Susan Swart said efforts were being made to have the practice reopen as soon as possible.
“The clinic will close on October 31 because we will not be able to meet the requirements of the mandate for all health care workers,” Ms Swart said.
“We’ve already started our recruitment process, but it’s not something that will just fall in to place, the clinic may be closed for a month or two, it depends on the response.”
“We are working together with council and recruitment agencies to find a solution and we are making alternative options available to our patients if it is needed, though it may not be the best option.”

Central Highlands Mayor Luanne Triffett said that Government mandate and personal vaccine preferences have left the region devastated. “This leaves the community in a devastating position.
“There are 1200 patients that attend the practice,” Ms Triffett said.
“The pharmacy licence is also held there, so where do the locals go now?
“Where do they fill a script?
“We have an aging population, many community members do not have transport or cannot travel and the Derwent Valley doctors aren’t able to accept new patients.
“It has left Central Highlands patients devastated, with nowhere to go.”

Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw said he was concerned for the additional pressure it could put on already understaffed practices in New Norfolk.
“We are already under the pump in New Norfolk, it’s a real concern for our community,” Mr Shaw said.
“Our surgery increased the number of doctors from four to eleven last year, but we’ve only been able to retain seven of them.
“We don’t have enough doctors in the Derwent Valley, let alone when patients from the Central Highlands don’t have a doctor to go to in their area.”

Mr Shaw has said they were exploring the options available to them, which included lobbying the State Government to reintroduce rural health grants to attract health care workers to regional areas.

In a statement on the Derwent Valley Medical Centre Facebook Page, Dr Lester Peppingo said despite doing their best to see as many patients as they could “it does feel like the odds are stacked against us.”
“DVMC’s books have been closed to new patients for almost a year and unfortunately that will continue to be the case.”
“We cannot adequately care for more patients and aim to maintain excellent health care to as many as we can,” Dr Peppingo said.

Department steps back from dam row

THE Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has refused to be involved in a row between Hydro Tasmania and irrigators who use water from Meadowbank Lake.

Hydro plans to lower the level of Lake Meadowbank by two metres over a 10-week period in February 2022 while maintenance work on the dam crest gates is done, followed by a two-week period where the dam is dropped a further four metres to test the gates.

This process will be repeated in early 2023 on a second gate.

After a meeting at Hamilton last week, farmers called for assistance from DPIPWE to cover anticipated costs of relocating irrigation infrastructure.

However, DPIPWE reinforced their position of distance on negotiations, preferring to continue in their capacity as mediator between Hydro and the producers.

“This is an operational matter for Hydro Tasmania which manages the Meadowbank water resource,” a government spokesperson said.
“The Tasmanian Government has been informed that dam maintenance must be undertaken to ensure ongoing Hydro Tasmania activities and in order to avoid potentially serious safety issues.”

The response also references the previous meetings between the affected irrigators and Minister Guy Barnett in early August and insisted it is taking the matter very seriously, with the Minister supporting further negotiations and arranging DPIPWE water management experts to explore resolution options.

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association CEO John McKew said the association, irrigators and affected stakeholders were waiting on a response from Hydro and DPIPWE regarding developments on the offer made during last week’s meeting, and progess needed to be made quickly.

“We had been told to expect a response from Hydro either late last week or early this week, and if we haven’t got anything in the coming days, we will be back on the phones,” he said.

DPIPWE said they were advised that discussions were ongoing.

Riders in the pink for charity

THE Southern Tasmanian Quarter Horse Association held their Pink “B” Show in Pontville over the weekend, with proceeds going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The feature event saw competitors and their steeds kitted out in pink before competing in specialised courses.

Horses and riders took to the arena in their pink attire in the afternoon for their main event, their costumes ranging from fairy wings to frilly dresses.

Awards were given to riders for best dressed, as well as best performance.

President Robyn White said breast cancer awareness was a cause close to the hearts of almost everyone at the show, herself included, and the help for the event came from well beyond the club members.

“Breast cancer has affected a lot of us personally, whether it’s a family member or a close friend, it’s something everyone here is passionate about,” Ms White said.
“We’ve had an arena rake donated to us which half of the proceeds for that will got to the breast cancer association, plus all the money from the classes entered.”

The fundraiser raised a total of $2010.

On with the show as date is set in stone

THE Hamilton Agricultural Show Society has locked in dates for next year’s show, with hope everything stays on course after the 2021 cancellation.

President of the Hamilton Agricultural Show Society Jack Beattie said: “We are as certain as anybody can be in the Covid world.

“We are set for March 5, and we are keen to get it back and running again.
“We are excited to be back on again, to extend the long history of the show for the benefit of not just the local community, but for people coming in from Hobart and other urban areas.
“We get to show them what we get up to in the country and show what a career in farming can look like, whether in dairy, sheep, aquaculture, there’s a lot going on.”

The Hamilton Show Society got together to refresh the iconic hillside sign late last month with a new coat of white paint, all but confirming their proposed date, weather and pandemic permitting.

Mr Beattie said while Covid restrictions will be a barrier in the organisation of the show, as it has been for so many others in their position, the smaller size of the show will certainly make it more manageable.

“We will be limited to 5000 attendees at the moment, but that is more than we would normally get anyway, so we shouldn’t have to change too much of the show from previous years.”

Many agricultural shows have been cancelled over the past eighteen months, however confirmation the Royal Hobart Show will go ahead may signal a change in fortune for shows in Tasmania.

Cider from land of Plenty

TRANSFERRING their knowledge from the winemaking industry over to Tasmania’s “best fruit”, Plenty Cider are bringing their enthusiasm for the industry to the Derwent Valley.

Adam and Grace D’Arcy have been quietly growing Plenty Cider since it was showcased at Taste of Tasmania and the Hamilton Show in 2019.

Grace is born and bred in the Derwent Valley, her family farm in Plenty being where the cidery is located, while Adam made his way down from Adelaide a few years ago.

Coming with experience across Australia as a contract cider maker as well as his time at Willie Smith’s as a production manager, Adam began the Plenty Cider journey experimenting with his own style in his shed on the family farm.

“When I came to Tasmania and saw how awesome it was, I saw an opportunity to lead a growing category in Tasmania, where the best fruit was available,” Mr D’Arcy said.

“We’ve had a European cider trip to inspire us to where we wanted to head and what ciders we wanted to make,” Mr D’Arcy said.

While they grow apples at their family farm, Plenty Cider take the majority of their produce from Reid Fruits’ orchards across Glenora Road.

“The most important thing for us, whether you’re a traditionalist, or in to the new-world ciders is that you’re using Australian fruit, we’re really trying to focus on using fruit from the Derwent Valley.”

“We’re proud to be here in the Derwent Valley, the wine region has always been top notch in this area and now there’s new brewery’s, new distillery opening, I think this area has been crying out for more things like this for a long time, and now we’re here, the local support we’ve had has been fantastic.”

Eagles’ season hit hard by injuries

THE 2021 SFL season ended for the New Norfolk Eagles following an 81-point loss to a more powerful opponent in the Dodges Ferry Sharks.

It was a disappointing end to the season, however there were many positives in a season that was decimated by injury.

Senior coach Josh Clifford addressed the players after the last game and simply stated that his side was not good enough against the top sides this season.

He advised that he would be standing down as coach, but his love for the club would see him keep playing.

Josh is a valued and experienced member of the squad and has played in several winning senior grand finals. He has coached the seniors for the last three seasons achieving finals appearances in each season.

He has been a great mentor for the young players coming through the system. Reflecting on the season the Eagles failed to string wins together consistently.

They could not gain momentum, winning one week and losing the next.

They played some great footy at various stages against the top sides but could not perform consistently for the full four quarters. Inconsistency and injuries to key players were a major factor in the 2021 season.

We lost Jack Stevenson, Bryan Chaplin, Tim Butterworth, Caden Wilson, Tyson Eiszele with season ending injuries. Injuries at unfortunate times to Josh Hills, Jack Crossin, Brock Triffett and Blair Wardlaw really stretched our depth.

On a positive note, the boys from the Valley did make the finals and the coaching panel introduced several exciting young players to the Senior side over the year.

The development of our younger players has been great to see.

We have seen significant improvement from Will Banks, Tyron Bailey, Brock Triffett, Jack Stevenson (injured), Braden and Bailey Chaplin, Jack Hills, and Rowan Thomason this season, which augers well for the future.

We have also seen several Colts players step up to assist the Seniors and Reserves which is also a pleasing sign. Captain Jacob Wigg returned after a long-term injury midway through the season and worked his way back into form. On-baller Jamie Sokolski had a blinder of a season along with Jye Bearman and Josh Farrow who were consistent contributors throughout the year.

Veterans Josh Clifford, Rohan Heron, Benny Lovell, and Blair Wardlaw continue to lead the group and have been great players and stalwarts for the club.

Newcomers Jack Crossin, Tyler Ford, Corey Jetson, and Tim Butterworth (retired) all contributed. We hope to see them all at the club next season along with other Senior players such as Nathan Eiszele, Jacob Daley, Jordan Banks-Smith, Rhys Heald, Ashley Burgess, Josh Hills, and Jake Bearman.

Coach Josh Clifford and Assistant Coach Robbie Iles would be pleased with the good performances the boys have produced this season and we congratulate and thank them for their hard work this season.

Colts

The Colts finished the season in fifth position on the SFL ladder with six wins and eight losses.

The wins were impressive and the losses full of merit as they showed glimpses of good football against much stronger opposition.

Several players were required to also play for the Reserves.

These boys performed well and gained valuable experience.

It has been great to see the improvement these boys have made this season.

At the beginning of the season, we were unsure if we would be able to field a team.

With a lot of hard work from Coach Paul Clark and assistant Anthony Bean they gradually got enough boys together to get the season started.

With the rotation of some of the under 16.5 boys from the Junior Club through the team they improved that much that they played finals.

This was not considered at the start of the season.

Coach Paul Clark and assistant coach Anthony Bean would be pleased with the progress and improvement shown by the young side this season.

Using of some under age players this season has provided them with valuable experience for the future.

This young group of players has the potential to improve significantly next season and coach Paul Clark would be looking forward to taking these boys to the next level and to prepare them for Senior football in the not-too-distant future.

Women’s

Under first-season coach Ben Shaw, the women started training in November 2020 and had 30 different faces roll through over this period.

The coaching staff concentrated on the basics, while also adding some experience with Carolyn Mart, Steph Claridge and Jaymee Lee Mansfield joining the club from North Hobart.

Former under 17 premiership players Sophie Farrow and Tahylar Tangata also joined the team this season.

The women finished the season in fourth place on the SFL Division 3 ladder, winning four games and losing eight games.

In a season of firsts, they won their first ever game and made their first ever finals appearance.

This season was a significant step in their development. It was great to see the improvement the women have shown, and finals were a just reward for the effort they have put in since they began training in November last year.

Strong performers for the season included Sophie Farrow, Tayhlar Tangata, Danielle Clifford, Kaitlin Rainbird, Carolyn Mart, Mia Temple, Jorja Franklin, Jasmin Skelly and Laura Wigg.

Reserves

The Reserves finished the home and away season in third position on the SFL ladder behind Lindisfarne and Huonville.

They won 11 games and lost four games for the season.

They have now won their qualifying final against Dodges Ferry and will compete with Huonville for the right to move into this year’s Grand Final.

It has been a great year for first season playing coach Bryan Chaplin (injured) and assistant coach Bradley Chaplin.

They would be extremely pleased with the performance of the boys this season, particularly as the reserves were required to supply players to the senior side regularly this season due to the high number of injuries.

Strong performers this season included Torne Tangata, Clinton Curtain, Andrew Minchin, Jack Hills, Jordan Eiszele, Jake Foster, Nathan Ford, Michael Murray, Corey Ransley, Luke Browning, Jaidyn Fisher-Cooley, Brett Hodge, and Tyler Purdon.

The New Norfolk District Football Club thanks Bryan and Bradley for their great work with this group this season and all the players for their dedication

Report by Chris Lovell

Water war looms

DERWENT Valley farmers who rely on Meadowbank for irrigation face three months of severe water restrictions.

Hydro plans to lower the level of Lake Meadowbank by two metres over 10 weeks in February next year for maintenance on the dam’s crest gates.

This will be followed by a two-week period where the dam level is dropped a further four metres for tests.

The process will be repeated in early 2023 on a second gate.

As a result, irrigators in the region will be unable to access water through their current means.

Hydro has already confirmed it would meet the $300,000 cost of modifying infrastructure that supplies water to stock and domestic users, a legislated requirement, but at a meeting in Hamilton last week between irrigators and the energy utility, negotiations were yet to reach an amicable conclusion.

Hydro has offered $10,000 to compensate each irrigator for the cost of modifying irrigation systems, however it is expected that amount will only be sufficient for a third of affected irrigators, the remainder expect costs to be upwards of $40,000.

Prior to last week’s meeting, irrigators tabled an offer where they would pay 25 per cent of the costs of new infrastructure, estimated to total about $300,000, with Hydro paying the remaining 75 per cent of costs, about $900,000.

Hydro’s offer was to compensate either $10,000, or contribute 20 per cent of the total expense to the irrigator’s modifications, whichever was more viable to the irrigator.

TFGA CEO John McKew said negotiations needed to move forward quickly to meet their deadlines.

“For the impact this has on this community, this issue is fundamentally important, there is a moral and ethical obligation on Hydro to find a solution to this issue and get on with it,” Mr McKew said.

“The 20 per cent offer from Hydro today just is not good enough, it was nowhere near the mark, irrigators offered to cover 25 per cent cost and Hydro hasn’t even matched that.”

Hamilton dairy farmer Dave Jones said negotiations were cordial, but echoed the need for speed, with deadlines approaching fast.

“I think today went well, as with all meetings we’ve had with Hydro and they have come back with another offer, but they need to find another 55 per cent, whether that’s from the Government or Hydro,’’ Mr Jones said.
“They’re delusional to think this work can be done by February, if they hadn’t mucked around for eight months, we might have had a change, but now, we’ve got zero.
“Hopefully they come back with a bit more cash and then maybe we can go forward.”

Hydro Head of Civil Assets Andrew Hickman said discussions with the community were not yet complete.

“This maintenance must be completed during drier and warmer months to ensure the safety of the communities downstream,” he said.
“We recognise this will have an impact on the community and we always take steps to minimise these impacts,” Mr Hickman said.
“We intend to continue to work constructively with stakeholders and find a way forward that delivers certainty for all.”

Primary Industries and Water and Energy Minister Guy Barnett was called on by irrigators to “put his big-boy pants on” and help resolve an issue that fell squarely in his departments.

“They can find a million so people can watch footy, they helped out the East Coast when they needed it yet here, they claim that they can’t find the money and just expect farmers to stump up and go away,” Mr Jones said.

Mr Barnett’s office was contacted for comment.

Animal magic at Henden

Last week, The Cottage, a day support program ran by Li-Ve Tasmania, visited Henden Ryse in Magra for a day interacting, feeding and playing with some of the Valley’s friendliest farm animals.

Henden Ryse, which is ran by Kim Wilson and her son Henry Wilson-Haffenden, offers day tours to small special needs groups, encouraging an interactive and purposeful experience in a safe environment.

The programs ran by Henden Farm are catered to the group or individual, and include time with the farm’s ponies, which encourages problem solving, patience, empathy, motor skills, breathing and communication, or general farm activities like feeding and caring for the animals.

The programs, which have been running for two years now, was born out of the need for Kim and Henry, who the farm was originally tailored for, to share the experiences they have on their farm to others who could benefit from it as much as they have.

Henry has a condition known as Vanishing White Matter Disease, and though his condition keeps him in his mobilised wheelchair, it doesn’t keep him from getting amongst the dirt with his mother, feeding and raising the animals, when he’s not doing doughnuts, according to his mother.

The visitors on the day were all part of The Cottage, a support program ran by Li-Ve Tasmania, specifically for people over the age of 50.

All the on-farm visitors are New Norfolk locals and regulars to Henden Ryse through The Cottage, and alongside their carer’s, have formed a strong attachment to the animals, knowing who likes what being scratched and where.

For Kim and Henry, they have their eyes on potentially growing Henden Ryse to welcome in rehabilitation programs, but with so much of the work being reliant on volunteers, they are floating the idea of an open day for volunteers to help increase the capacity of the farm.

You can contact Henden Ryse at hendenryse.com.au, and Li-Ve Tasmania can be contacted at 6227 5400.