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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.

Reserves overrun

THE Lindisfarne Two Blues showed that they were committed to the task at hand and played to their system and game plan to completely overrun a struggling New Norfolk outfit to claim the 2021 SFL Reserves Premiership Cup.

The Two Blues ran out 66-point victors in a convincing display of finals football at North Hobart Oval on Saturday.

The Two Blues would not allow the Eagles a look in over four quarters as they applied relentless pressure at every contest along with some fierce tackling which forced the Eagles to turn the footy over on many occasions.

The Eagles looked to be switched on in the opening 15 minutes of the term, but their only goal came early with the dashing Rowan Thomason passing to Tyson Eiszele who in-turn found key forward Clint Curtain who kicked truly.

The Two Blues hit back quickly finding big forward Oliver Rand on the lead on two occasions, but he could only register minor scores. Lindisfarne pressed forward once again finding Jayden Harris who opened the Two Blues account for their first major.

The midfield battle at this stage had Eagles Andrew Minchin, Torne Tangata and Jack Hills go head-to-head with Andrew Clark, Jarrod Fisher and Dylan Zantuck while Two Blues ruck man Thomas Currie was up against Eagle Corey Ransley.

The Two Blues slammed through another quick goal from only 10 metres out due to an Eagle handballing error followed by another major from the hard running Jacob Kent which gave the Two Blues a 15-point lead at quarter time. They were looking more dangerous when entering their forward fifty.

Quarter time scores were Lindisfarne 3.3 (21) to New Norfolk 1.0 (6).

Lindisfarne continued to dominate the contest in the second term with goals to Jarrod Fisher and Jayden Harris for his second which gave the blues a 25-point break.

Moments later the Two Blues transferred the footy from a kick in from full back for a coast-to-coast goal to the dangerous Jacob Kent.

At this stage the signs were not good for the Eagles.

The Eagles were forced to move Rohan Heron from the forward line to centre half back to try and stop the Two Blues adding to their score line.

The experienced Andrew Clark slotted through another major for the Two Blues to see them take a commanding 39-point lead into the main break.

Half time scores were Lindisfarne 7.5 (47) to New Norfolk 1.2 (8).

The Eagles made several positional changes after half time and gained some control with the footy in the early stages of the third term but could not break through the Two Blues backline which was well led by Ryan Edmondson.

Big Eagle ruck man Michael Murray was moved to the half forward line. Blair Wardlaw went onto the ball and Kyle Walker into the ruck, but nothing was working for the Eagles on a day they would prefer to forget.

The Two Blues continued to dominate with Dylan Zantuck, Daniel Reimers and Toby Jackson having a major influence throughout the game.

When Jack Anning and Jacob Kent booted another two majors the Two Blues had both hands on the cup at three quarter time leading by 58 points.

Three quarter time scores Lindisfarne 10.8 (68) to New Norfolk 1.4 (10).

In the last term both sides were going through the motions as the result was inevitable.

Lindisfarne kicked the only goal of the term to be big winners by 66 points on the most important day of the season and prove they were the best side in the competition.

For the Eagles, no one tried harder than Torne Tangata who had a great season.

Rohan Heron certainly put the brakes on Lindisfarne going on to an even bigger winning margin.

Corey Ransley battled hard all day in the ruck and around the ground.

Jack Hills and Blair Wardlaw were busy all day.

Kyle Walker played a fantastic second half and Rowan Thomason backed himself with the footy in hand.

Even though things did not go to plan for the Eagles on the day, they can hold their heads high after a strong showing for the season defeating all sides underneath them on the ladder and performing well against Dodges Ferry and Huonville in the lead up finals.

New Norfolk assistant coach Bradley Chaplin addressed the players after the contest and said that the result was disappointing, but the club and supporters should be proud of what the squad had achieved and made the point that with another level of commitment and fitness they could go the next step in season 2022.

They were simply beaten by a better team. Let’s see what they can bring next season.

That’s footy. See you all next year.

Report by Wayne Walker.

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.

Labor backs rail revival

THE Derwent Valley Rail could be operating again as soon as early next year after the Government confirmed it would table a corridor notice soon.

The corridor notice would enable the Derwent Valley Railway to use a section of the track.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said she supported the Derwent Valley Rail getting access to the line as soon as possible.

“Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to ask the Government how negotiations regarding access to the railway line were going,” Ms White said.
“It was revealed that the corridor notice for the first section of rail access is being prepared and will be tabled in Parliament later this year.”

Ms White said it was vital Derwent Valley Rail gained access to the line ensuring it could operate and generate revenue as well as offering a top-class visitor experience.

“The Government provided important funding to help with the cost of insurance for operators across the state and this is welcome, but access to tracks is even more important.
“I look forward to the Derwent Valley benefitting from everything tourist and heritage rail can bring.”

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson welcomed the Opposition’s support for the Government’s solution for opening up the track.

“Earlier this year, following discussions with heritage rail organisations, including the Derwent Valley Railway, I committed the Government to $600,000 over seven years to offset the cost of public liability insurance necessary to operate on the non-operational sections of the Tasmanian rail network,’’ Mr Ferguson said.
“After close cooperation between my department and the hard working team at Derwent Valley Railway, the official corridor notice is now being prepared to allow access to a short section of the Derwent Valley Line around the old New Norfolk Station.
“I note that the Opposition has indicated it will support this in both Houses of Parliament when I table it later this year.”
“In 2018, the Government also committed $25,000 to the Derwent Valley Railway to assist them in planning.
“The Derwent Valley Railway has identified a staged approach to re-establishing services.”
“Future extensions can be facilitated through making additional sections of the line available through the strategic corridors legislative process.”

Successful year for junior soccer

THE Junior Trophy Day 2021 was a great success at the weekend.

Congratulations to all the kids who seemed to be the overwhelming winners in the kids vs adults games.

What a great season this has been for the juniors.

It follows a very difficult couple of years for this club, with just two people trying to keep the club afloat, which meant the club was unable to field junior teams last year.

Thankfully this year we have a full strength committee to rebuild and get things running again. We fielded four teams this year, not much but it’s a start – and what a superb four teams they are.

All players have improved out of sight over the season, it’s been a very special time for us to watch the change.

Thank you to the player and parents for sharing the joy of this beautiful game and getting players to their games on time each week, we hope you have enjoyed yourselves.

Thank you to our wonderful coaches – Paul Cairns for Under 6; Sean Feil, Kayla Bentley-Kobie and Sean Hay for Under 7 Black; April Watt for Under 7 Red; and Charlie Downie for Under 10.

It’s a demanding job but also so rewarding.

Report by Janine White

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.

Hub boosts job search

DERWENT Valley and Central Highland job seekers and local employers seeking job candidates will soon be able to access the South Central Jobs Tasmania Hub at Brighton.

Last month, $10.6 million was earmarked for four new hubs, based on the successful Sorell South East Hub model. The new hubs will be at Brighton, Huonville, St Helens and Burnie.

A Glenorchy hub was officially opened on Monday.

The funding will support regional employment initiatives already in place and provide a boost for local job creation and placement.

The Brighton-based Jobs Hub will cover the Central Highlands, Derwent Valley, Southern Midlands and Brighton municipal areas where the councils have joined together to form the sub-regional group.

Chair of the sub-regional group and Brighton Council General Manager James Dryburgh said the Jobs Hub would build on the success of the group’s current workforce development project.

“The State Budget funding is recognition of the commitment and success to date of our four councils working together to identify and develop employment opportunities in the region,” Mr Dryburgh said.
“Given the region’s socio-economic profile, there is a significant potential workforce in the region that, because of social and educational disadvantage, has been unable to take advantage of growing employment opportunities.
“As well, employers in existing and emerging industries have often found it difficult to find suitably trained and qualified local employees.
“The four councils are working proactively to lift employment opportunities for people in their municipalities while providing potential employers with suitably trained, employment-ready employees.
“The Jobs Hub will enhance the sub-region’s workforce development project and support the connection between education and training organisations, job seekers, employment providers, the three tiers of government and employers.”

Mr Dryburgh said the workforce development project had enjoyed important initial success and the confirmation of funding and establishment of the Jobs Hub would provide a vital boost.

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.