Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper


Closures on Emu Bay Road

Business, NewsJoanne Eisemann

By Hayley Manning

THE ANZ, a well established bank on Deloraine’s bustling Emu Bay Road has closed and a popular retail shop is set to follow suit.

The Reject Shop will close its doors on 5th July 2019. A spokesperson from the Reject Shop Head Office (Vic) issued the following brief statement. ‘After taking lots of factors into consideration we have decided to close the store. Staff will be redeployed to other stores.’

ANZ Deloraine branch closed at short notice on 24th April, after many decades of service.

Guy Barnett, MP, has gathered a petition to be tabled in the House of Assembly, aiming to draw attention to the effect the sudden closure has had on residents and small businesses throughout the Meander Valley.

ANZ General Manager (Vic/Tas), Michael Wake, said ANZ is disappointed that leasing circumstances beyond their control led to the Deloraine branch closure.

‘We were recently notified of changes to our leasing arrangement and have now reached an impasse which will see us discontinue our lease. We are working with customers and staff to ensure we can make this difficult transition as smooth as possible,’ Mr Wake said.

Online banking saves a bank the most money per transaction, followed by use of an ATM. Face to face customer service within a branch is the most expensive transaction for a bank.

In 2017, the four major banks spent a combined 4.2 billion dollars on online and mobile banking technology; giving an insight into the future direction of banking.

Mr Wake acknowledged the inconvenience rural branch closure would cause to a rural community.

‘We understand our regional customers are often adversely affected by branch closures and we apologise for the inconvenience we know this will cause some of our customers,’ he said.

Pop in to the pop-up at the Westbury Willows

BusinessJoanne Eisemann
Sally Spencer of ‘The Willows’ with some of the beautiful antique glassware on display and for sale at their pop-up antique shop in their home in Westbury   Photo | Mike Moores

Sally Spencer of ‘The Willows’ with some of the beautiful antique glassware on display and for sale at their pop-up antique shop in their home in Westbury

Photo | Mike Moores

April 2019 | Wai Lin Coultas

WESTBURY HAS a few surprises for antique lovers, so over the next few months, the Gazette will shine a light on some of the undiscovered treasures. Rick Prevost and Sally Spencer’s personable antiques and collectables have been collected over a lifetime, its broad spectrum appealing to a wide variety of tastes.

The antique business is a pop-up sited in the historic Georgian property ‘The Willows’, bought two years ago by Sally’s daughter Fiona, Bracknell born-and-bred. Currently based in Melbourne, Fiona, husband and family are waiting for permits and building approval for the much-needed restoration. During the wait, Sally and Rick are the building’s caretakers.

Realising the building’s historical significance in Westbury, Rick and Sally encourage people browsing their shop to explore, happy to meet the huge range of visitors who show an interest in its history. “Having the antique store has become incidental to that,” shares Sally. “Like the community in Westbury, we want to ensure the history of the town is kept and looked after.”

Hence, they are taking great pains to ensure the “Willows” is restored to former glory of 1837. Over years to come, they plan on not only furnishing it with 1830s to 1850s antiques, but to keep updating with better finds. In the end, Fiona and family will be custodians of a home that best preserves the history of Westbury and Tasmania.

Rick has only ever collected quality antiques in good condition, restoring them if needed, paying particular attention to the finish to avoiding the pitfall of “over polishing to an inch of its life.” Rick’s furniture hails from the colonial period right through to the modern. Cedar, Huon Pine, Mahogany – built all over Australia, and acquired from local and Hobart auctions – Rick was drawn to either its history, material or builder’s signature. “Preferably a Tasmanian builder,” adds Rick. From “brown” or “rusty” furniture, jewellery, china, ceramics and glassware of all eras, including chalices done for Prince Charles and Diana Spencer’s wedding, ‘The Willows’ is filled with eclectic period items that would still enhance a modern home.

Rick’s interest in history extends to the military, hence a propeller from a World War II training aircraft is on offer. Metal tools, rabbit traps, handmade convict bolts and hinges –a pair of convict leg irons - rare in Tasmania as the rare stuff “all goes to the museums and collectors … in Sydney.” There is even a John Glover painting of an English lake and castle – 1806, before his time in colonial Tasmania.

Customers come look at the house and go away with a piece of it. Westbury customers recount long lost memories relating to the history of the ‘The Willows’. They may have lived there once or have family who did. Interested in Rick and Sally’s pop-up store? Better pop by before spring, when building restorations are likely to start.

Cannot find that specific antique you are looking for? Prepared to wait? Let auction experts Rick and Sally find it for you. The Westbury Willows popup can be found at 115 Meander Valley Road , Westbury. Sally Spencer can be contacted on 0408 570 830 and Rick Prevost on 0408 135 510.

The apple of Corey’s eye

BusinessJoanne Eisemann
Deloraine local Corey Baker relaxes at Red Brick Road Ciderworks in Deloraine.   Photo | Mike Moores

Deloraine local Corey Baker relaxes at Red Brick Road Ciderworks in Deloraine.

Photo | Mike Moores

Feburary 2019 | Karl Gammler

A NEW business has opened up in Deloraine that will appeal to those who enjoy a tipple. Red Brick Road Ciderworks and Hells Gate Gin have opened a combination cider- and gin-making facility and cellar door situated at the former Bodyworks at 30 East Parade, overlooking the Meander River.

The business has already proven popular with locals and tourists alike, with plenty of parking and regular visits from food vans being a highlight on certain weekends. Corey Baker and his partner Karina Dambergs are no strangers to satisfying people’s curiosity about all things cidery.

At their sister business, the Ciderhouse in Launceston, customers have been experiencing an amazing range of Tasmanian craft products, local food and local beverages such as cider, mead, wine, beer, and whisky. But the time has come to move their base of operations to Deloraine where the couple reside with their young daughter, Beatrix. Their approach is simple, real cider made from real fruit by real people.

Apples and pears are sourced from fourth-generation Tasmanian growers, using traditional Tassie apples such as Geeveston Fanny and Orange Pippin where possible. All cider is fermented and processed on site under strict guidelines with no added sugar, water, concentrate, flavours or colours. The ciders are unrefined, unfiltered and unpasteurised, all carbonated by natural secondary fermentation. Red Brick Road’s core range includes Dry Hopped Cider, Sparkling Cider, Scrumpy, Cider Rosé and Perry. But cider isn’t the only beverage being made. The new Hells Gate Gin is proving so popular that a larger distiller is being made to satisfy demand. And for something different, there is local craft beer available on tap and a selection of Tassie whiskies and wines.

Opening hours are not set in stone. Summer is busy, with the whole bar and serving operation being taken to festivals such as The Taste of Tasmania and Mona Foma. However, when the main bar is absent from Deloraine, their customised converted minivan is a sight to see and can still satisfy your thirst. The cellar door is open on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 12.00-6.00pm and on Friday, 12.00-8.00pm. At other times, if the cellar door is open, just drop in to say ‘G’day’.

‘Alkaloids’ expand palliative possibilities

BusinessJoanne Eisemann

Feburary 2019 | Sharon Webb

A TASMANIAN Alkaloids employee has confirmed the company is growing cannabis for medical use on its site at Westbury. The company’s director of agricultural research Les Baxter told Deloraine Rotary Club’s January meeting that the plants are grown indoors under Australia’s strict regulations with tight security.

He told the Rotarians 26 Australian companies are licensed to produce and cultivate cannabis in indoor facilities only, along with 20 manufacturing licenses. “In Tasmania at least four companies are cultivating and producing cannabis,” Mr Baxter said. “It’s harder to get a cannabis license than to manufacture opiates.

All staff are monitored; they can have no criminal record.” In 2016 Australia’s Parliament unanimously passed legislation permitting the production of cannabis for medicinal purposes, focussing on its use for childhood epilepsy, nausea in cancer and HIV patients and palliative care.

The Australian system is the most heavily regulated in the world, with both the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Office of Drug Control in charge. Three separate licenses are needed to grow, manufacture and research the substance and gaining them is a long process.

Mr Baxter said medicinal cannabis could also be used for pain management, particularly for multiple schlerosis and neuropathic pain. “The advantages are in using it to decrease nausea, increase appetite, manage chronic pain and to manage muscle spasms,” he said. “Its possible side effects are memory loss and schizophrenia.”

Commercial production of medicinal cannabis, closely related to the hop plant, is from the flowers of high yielding bushy plants about 60cm high. It grows from seeds or cuttings, cuttings being the preferred method of Australian producers.

Over 8-10 week cycles the plants, which Mr Baxter describes as “one of the world’s easiest plants to grow”, are cultivated in 16-18 hour days at 24C. They have a final 12 hours of darkness before the unopened flower buds are harvested, dried, trimmed and cured.

Tasmanian Alkaloids extracts oil from the flowers and puts it into capsules. Currently Australian companies can export only product, not flower buds; the product can only be used for four substances within pharmaceutical products.

“For Australian companies the potential for making money is in the international market, especially in complementary health products,” Mr Baxter said. “The current Australian market is only around 2000 people - and they must be buying their supplies overseas because Australia isn’t producing enough yet.”

Mr Baxter made it clear in his address to the Rotary Club that he was speaking from his own viewpoint and not on behalf of Tasmanian Alkaloids.

Success is sweet for Deloraine aged care students

BusinessJoanne Eisemann
Deloraine Trade Centre’s successful aged care students. Back: TasTAFE teacher Anne James, Gaye Donohue, Elizabeth Sherriff, Simone Claridge, Ann Barber, Rosanne Barrett. Front: Aleisha Bott, Gracey McGee.

Deloraine Trade Centre’s successful aged care students. Back: TasTAFE teacher Anne James, Gaye Donohue, Elizabeth Sherriff, Simone Claridge, Ann Barber, Rosanne Barrett. Front: Aleisha Bott, Gracey McGee.

January 2019 | Sharon Webb

EIGHT ADULT students qualifying at the Deloraine High School Trade Training Centre are looking forward to employment in the aged care sector in 2019. The centre’s co-ordinator, Berice van der Aa, said the class will return to complete final units in February before completing a four week work placement, followed by graduating with a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community).

“Some students from this group have been successful in gaining employment while training while others are looking for positions; aged care work is a growth area,” Mrs Van Der Aa said. “They will work as carers in a variety of settings including in-home, respite care and in residential facilities and the great thing is they will all make a difference to someone’s life.”

Deloraine’s Trade Training Centre, based at the high school site, was boosted last year by the addition of a new building, where the Individual Support course is now located off East Church St. The new building creates a bright, welcoming multipurpose learning space for adults from Deloraine and wider Meander Valley region and for Year 11 and 12 vocational education students.

Ms Van der Aa said a Certificate II course in Kitchen Operations will be offered to Year 11/ 12 and adult students from the beginning of 2019 followed by Certificate II in Hospitality, depending on enrolments. “The automotive studies workshop will be upgraded to standard for delivery of Certificate I and II in Automotive which will be an option for Year 11/12 students in 2019. “Certificate II Agriculture is also offered,” she said.

Other big wins in 2018 included:

• The centre’s first students achieving a Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE);

• Five current high school students are employed on Australian School Based Apprenticeships where they participate in paid work for one or two days per week under a formal agreement, while they work towards a vocational qualification as well as their TCE;

• Students supported at school to work on individual interests and qualifications including screen and media and business courses;

• A growth in Year 11 enrolments for 2019.

Places are still available in the 2019 Individual Support course, which runs every Monday and Friday during school terms. TasTAFE trainers will hold an Individual Support information session early in March at the Trade Training Centre.

*Individuals, businesses or organisations interested in full certificate or skill set training should contact Mrs Van Der Aa. Phone 0407 936 391 or email Classes can be arranged for evenings or weekends to meet industry and business needs.

Photo | supplied

Be calmer with a llama

BusinessJoanne Eisemann

Ever fancied going for a walk with a Llama? A new Christmas Hills business allows you to do just that. Llama Farma are oƒffering a guided walk with a gentle llama friend through Tasmanian bushland. They have short walk options starting at $39.00, or longer hikes for the more adventurous. For more info, visit

Photo | Mike Moores

llama farma.jpg

New Meander holiday units

BusinessJoanne Eisemann

MEANDER VALLEY council has approved an application for visitor accommodation in Meander. Containing a Colourbond studio, five units, an amenities building, a common room and space for eight RVs and caravan parking, Meander Country Cabins accommodation is to be located on the corner of Main Rd and Barbers Rd. The land is owned by Luke Mitchell and Donnaven Craven.

Conditions on the development include existing accesses onto Barbers Road being upgraded and sealed, the eastern access off Barbers Road being signposted as entry only/ no exit and the carriage way south of the accommodation units being signed one way. Both accesses onto Barbers Road are to be signed indicating a shared carriageway for pedestrians and vehicles and a speed limit of 10km/h.

Computing Foundations @ DOAC

BusinessJoanne Eisemann

LEARNING ABOUT computers can be a daunting task for those who have grown up using people and books as their primary method of gathering information.

“A few years ago I was telling people that it was okay if they didn’t want to learn about computers, but I don’t tell them that anymore.”, says Computing Foundations tutor Joanne Eisemann.

“To stay empowered in our society I think it is vital for everyone to learn something about the new technologies. This is a big learning curve that we are all on. “At Deloraine Online, our focus is on helping each other out with that,” adds Joanne.

Computing Foundations is a 12 week course, 2 hours per week (with some homework). The course covers computer operating systems, word processing, spreadsheets, internet and email. It is suitable for those who know a little bit about computers but don’t yet feel confident, as well as people who feel confident with what they know but would like to learn a bit more.

The aim of the course is to improve participants’ confidence in using their computer and will be paced according to the students’ (usually 3 or 4 in a class) skill level. The next course starts at the Deloraine Online Centre in early February.

Please call Joanne at Deloraine Online 6362 3537 on Tuesdays or Wednesdays to book your place.

Community Bank comes to the rescue

BusinessJoanne Eisemann

A TOTAL of $152,601.80 was committed to 10 local projects in the Deloraine and Districts Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank second community grants round for 2018.

The funds will support dedicated community groups to realise their dreams.

“We feel so supported,” says Sharman Lewis, grants offi†cer from the small but devoted group of people working to restore the fabric of the heritage listed Parkham Church.

The deconsecrated church and hall property at Parkham was purchased in 2016 by Parkham Community Inc to be used as a community centre. The external fabric is in poor condition and needs urgent intervention to repoint the stone foundations, replace leaking guttering and sections of rotting timber before being repainted.

“There are starlings nesting in the walls,” comments Sharman.

Parkham Community Inc. received a $10,000 grant from the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch that enables the group to apply for a further $90,000 from the Tasmanian Community Fund who require that 10% of funds needed for projects be raised from another source.

The old church was built in 1902 by community members on donated land with donated local timber and funds raised by the community largely by growing potatoes. The inner fabric of the church is still in good condition and Parkham Community Inc members are keen to see the beautiful old building restored thereby helping them with fundraising into the future and keeping their heritage alive.

Another restoration project that will go ahead thanks to a community grant from the bank is the refurbishment of Pearns Steam World flagship engine the 1910 8HP Foden traction engine.

A regular attraction at Agfest, St Patrick’s Day festivals, Westbury and Deloraine Shows, without repair, the engine will become a static display at the museum.

As a high-pressure vessel, boilers must meet strict criteria and the Foden no longer meets certification standards.

This type of work can only be carried out by specialist heritage repair people and will cost up to $40,000 for the professional component of the repairs. “The $20,000 grant provided by the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank will go a long way towards breaking the back of the fundraising needed to repair the Foden,” says treasurer of the Pearns Steam World Committee Ruth Paterson,” adding “It’s a big job for our small committee to raise funds. We can’t thank them enough.”

Simon Rootes, Manager of the Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank says he enjoys leading a team that are working together to support local community projects. ”As a team we feel so much pride when we see the work we put in throughout the year turn into such great community outcomes. Not only are we providing an excellent banking service to our community each day, we are then able to give back to the community that support our branch. It’s a great organisation to be a part of, knowing that we are really making a difference to our community is what really drives our team.”

The Deloraine & Districts Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank has now returned close to $1.5 million to the Meander Valley community through grants, dividends, sponsorship and donations.

Recipients for the Community Grant Round 2 were:

• Deloraine Agricultural & Pastoral Society (Deloraine Show) - $50,000 - new kitchen/dining pavilion and amenities.

• Deloraine Baptist Church - $5,500 - Hall heating and replacement floor

• Deloraine Football Club - $7092.80 - tables

• Deloraine House - $9,960 - Upgrade to windows and removal of chimney

• Kentish Regional Clinic Inc (CORES - Meander Valley) - $1,900 - Meander Valley Community Response to Eliminating Suicide (one day prevention workshops)

• Parkham Community Inc. - $3,500 - Water Security for Parkham Community Centre

• Parkham Community Inc. - $10,000 - Restoring the Heart of the Community (Church restoration)

• Pearn’s Steam World - $20,000 - The Crown (restoration of historic machinery)

• Rotary Club of Deloraine - $7,000 - Rotary Function Centre Improvements

• Rotary Club of Westbury - $12,649 - Food Van Upgrade

• Western Tiers Film Society - $25,000 - Little Theatre Sound System Upgrade

Simon Rootes, Manager of Deloraine & Districts Community Bank Branch, discusses repairs to the Parkham Church with Sharman Lewis, Parkham Community Inc. Photo by Mike Moores

Simon Rootes, Manager of Deloraine & Districts Community Bank Branch, discusses repairs to the Parkham Church with Sharman Lewis, Parkham Community Inc. Photo by Mike Moores

Pearns Steam World Foden 1910 8HP traction engine delights crowds at local events. Photo by Mike Moores

Pearns Steam World Foden 1910 8HP traction engine delights crowds at local events. Photo by Mike Moores

Littleproud grants offering

Business, RuralJoanne Eisemann

ROUND 2 of Smart Farms Small Grants program is open for landholders and community groups.

Grants of between $5,000 and $200,000 are available to assist farmers and groups to adapt to change, innovate and become more sustainable.

“These grants support new projects to improve Aussie soil, biodiversity and vegetation. They will also help support water security and promote climate-smart farming,” Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said.

“I know there’s exceptional ideas out there, and these grants can make them a reality.”

Almost $5 million in funding was awarded to 77 projects under Round 1 and more than $9 million is available for Round 2.

This round closes on 11th January. To apply, go to

Rafting the rapids

Business, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Lucy Karafilis is one of the first to take on the rapids with new adventure tourism business, Meander Wilderness Experience.

Lucy Karafilis is one of the first to take on the rapids with new adventure tourism business, Meander Wilderness Experience.

November 2018 | Hayley Manning

A MEANDER resident has just launched an innovative river sled business and he couldn’t be happier! Meander Wilderness Experience owner, Daniel Wickham, moved to Meander with his family seven years ago.

He had been working at the Education Department for the past six and a half years but wanted to return to the small business world in a bid to show his children that there is another way of earning an income, besides working for someone else. “I have always just loved being a business owner. I have fleshed out so many potential ideas from a caravan park to a chicken farm but there were half a million things to do and a lot of money required,” he said.

Dan’s previous small business experience helped him get through the seven months of planning and many obstacles that fell his way. “I met so many amazing people and had the best fun ever.” Dan has conducted several test runs with friends, family and professional river guides, including his friend and mentor Nathan Welch, (who has paddled 6,500 km’s down the Amazon River), to ensure safety and provide a framework for the level of experience his guides should have.

After a test run, Dan received positive feedback from Nathan who said: “I think you have got something here,” and the other guides who were amazed at the “vibe on the river.” And Dan couldn’t agree more. “This is a beautiful part of the world that people would not ordinarily see.”

Photo | Mike Moores

Welcome to Green Door gastronomy

BusinessJoanne Eisemann
Nick and Hayley Brazendale have recently opened the ‘Green Door’ café restaurant and apothecary in Westbury.

Nick and Hayley Brazendale have recently opened the ‘Green Door’ café restaurant and apothecary in Westbury.

November 2018 | David Claridge

A NEW Westbury business has taken off, wowing locals and visitors alike with an Irish theme, offering a new diversified level of café and restaurant experience. Aptly named the Green Door, the café, restaurant and apothecary has impressed with their desire to use local stock and make products in-house. Café owners, Nick and Hayley Brazendale, have been amazed by the positive feedback they’ve received since they opened just over a month ago.

At the Green Door we make everything in-house and use local, spray free, organic produce

“We bought the building about six months ago. After doing a lot of research about Westbury we found that it has a long Irish history, most people in the 18th and even 19th century were even talking in gaelic.” Hayley said.

“Our restaurant was built by an Irish couple in the 1840’s, we wanted to make our business relevant and about Westbury. “At the Green Door we make everything in-house and use local, spray free, organic produce. “My mother, Julie, is a Patisserie Chef, she makes all the cakes and desserts. Eventually they want to grow their own produce for the kitchen and have applied for a liquor licence.

Local music artists have been coming in to perform and weddings and parties are already filling their diary. They also host cookery classes, artisan perfume making, art classes and, on the 4th December, a Christmas wreath making class. The Green Door has an active Facebook page which already has 600 likes as well as many five-star ratings and wonderful reviews.

Photo | Mike Moores

Recruiting for 2019

BusinessJoanne Eisemann

RIDLEY CORPORATION’S new extrusion plant located in Westbury, is advancing on schedule with the main structure now beginning to take shape. Ground services, bulk earth and civil works have all been completed, with equipment deliveries from local and overseas suppliers now underway. Further construction and equipment installation will take place over the remainder of the year, with commissioning expected in the first half of 2019.

Ridley will be hiring locally based operators, maintenance, warehouse and adminstration staff, with roles to be advertised shortly.

The Tasmanian Government supplied $2million in grant funds to support the project, which will also require approximately 250 workers during the construction period. Ridley Corporation CEO Tim Hart commented

“We are delighted with the progress of the build and it is fantastic to see this state-of-the-art facility taking shape.” We are looking forward to commissioning and supplying our customers with quality nutrition solutions, made using the latest technology.”

The new facility will manufacture and supply feed primarily to the Salmonid industry in Australia and New Zealand, as well as other aquaculture and extruded feed users on the mainland. The new facility, strategically located at Westbury, will allow Ridley to continue to grow with customers, and facilitate a consistent and efficient supply chain for the long term sustainable production of aquaculture products.

Fishy business!

BusinessJoanne Eisemann
Andrew Cox of Cranka Lures holding a Black Bream caught in the Lune River, southern Tasmania with a Cranka crab lure

Andrew Cox of Cranka Lures holding a Black Bream caught in the Lune River, southern Tasmania with a Cranka crab lure

SEPTEMBER 2018 | Cody Handley

A MEANDER Valley-based business has quietly been breaking new ground in the tackle and fishing industry over the last decade. Meander Valley Gazette spoke to founder and managing director, Steven Steer, and company director and investor, Andrew Cox, of Cranka Pty Ltd. Cranka have been operating since 2009 and have made a name for themselves in the industry with their unique lure, the Cranka Crab. Steven, an electrician by trade, has had a long background as an angler, forming a love of fishing and a habit of tinkering with existing tackle to improve it from a very young age. He has participated in fishing tournaments and appeared on fishing shows including Robson Green’s. Years in the tackle industry had taught him that respect had to be earned before he could attempt to market something as novel as the Cranka Crab. As such, Cranka spent their initial years developing other lures designed to look and swim like real baitfish to make a name for themselves. Once they had become an established brand, Cranka turned their attention to the development of what would become their signature lure. Having a background in trout and bream competitions, Steven knew that using live crabs as bait worked extremely well for catching bream, and during his early research for the crab lure he dissected a bream to find its stomach contained multiple chewed up crabs. Using real crabs as models, Cranka experimented with soft plastics but could not get their crab design to work. Eventually they used harder plastic and developed a lure that always landed on its feet and imitated the movements of live crabs, complete with extremely realistic and species- specific paintwork. The Cranka Crab launched in 2012 and received the award for best new hard lure. It has since won more tournaments than any other lure. Cranka are currently in the process of introducing a larger, single hooked crab to their range designed to catch bigger fish. Unlike the original crab, this lure is modular, meaning that parts can be swapped out or replaced and used with a variety of differently weighted sinkers. Today, Cranka are gearing up to begin manufacturing their product domestically, after some quality control issues with their Chinese manufacturer. “We have had interest from over thirty countries, and have just received US distribution approval. That’s a market potential of about twelve times the size of the Australian market,” Steven said. “We’re getting close to being well placed for global distribution.” Cranka operate primarily through their online store and as a wholesaler to local tackle shops. Steven and Andrew said they were eventually looking to employ locals to sort and assemble their products. To see Cranka’s range of lures, visit their website at

Photo | Steven Steer

Revving up for Craft Fair

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment



THE NEW Tasmanian Craft Fair Director, Lesley Dare, opens the throttle on this year’s Fair with new exhibitions that offer something for everyone.

From working displays involving master artisans in stone and wood carving from Cambodia, to rediscovering the story of Hydro wood. Plus there will be masterclasses from top Tasmanian fine timber artisans and displays of their magnificent crafts.

You can learn how to fly fish with top Tasmanian Fly Fishers, try a new craft or join in the conversation on creating a ‘Beyond Blue Farmer’. Along with parades of wearable art and costumes from the local dramatic society, you can watch glass blowers in action.

This year’s Craft Fair, from the 2nd to 5th November, offers a great opportunity for the entire family to experience Australia’s largest working Craft Fair, organised by the Rotary Club of Deloraine.

Photo | John Dare

Praise for Hazelbrae dining

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018 | Wai Lin Coultas

FINE FOOD, wine and hospitality are in Nathan and Lauren Johnston’s blood.

Former Stillwater head chef, Nathan has been whipping up four course set dinners at Hazelbrae House in Hagley since October last year.

Inspiration from local produce is at the heart of Nathan’s Italian-influenced dinners, drawing from his years working with Gordon Ramsay and Angela Hartnett at Michelin-starred Murano and at Texture with Agnar Sverrisson in London. On the first and third Friday each month, dinners befitting the seasons are served in a refurbished 1890’s shearing shed set against the backdrop of the Western Tiers.

Rustic linen-covered tables provide a warm and friendly style of service drawing on Lauren Johnston’s experience at Murano, managing events at Hamilton Court on Park Lane and Madame Tussauds in London, and at Launceston’s Natural History Museum.

At TasTAFE Drysdale, Lauren teaches and manages hospitality service for the Great Chefs Series, where acclaimed chefs such as Tetsuya Wakuda, Alain Passard, Dominique Crenn and Guilliume Brahimi are invited to mentor students. Nathan also teaches in the Great Chefs Series.

The first courses for the June dinners at Hazelbrae were a light ricotta al Forno with a subtle yet distinctive hazelnut flavour, beautifully accompanied by savoury yet gently dressed Yorktown leaves and a warming ‘Brodino’ chicken broth with risoni and Grana Padano, heartily welcomed on a chilly evening.

Risoni with Spring Bay mussels in a lemon and white wine-laced tomato sugo was second. Feedback that it was a tad lemony was taken most seriously. The next time we dined there the risoni had just the right hint of lemon, perfected with an equally fitting note of spiced sausage.

The mains were faultless. Scottsdale pork belly with crispy crackling and melt-in-your- mouth Cape Grim beef brisket with hints of fennel demonstrated that expensive cuts are not needed to work culinary magic.

Accompanying sides included celeriac to die for, baked or roasted. The simplicity of shallots roasted in garlic and thyme was only overshadowed by the gutsy flavours of grilled Brussel sprouts with confit shallots and capers.

Pastry Chef, Karen Johnston, capped it off with a deconstructed lemon tart and hazelnut icecream, crunchy salted roast hazelnuts under a citrus tang of soft ‘creamed custard’ paired with feathery shards of crispy baked buttered filo.

On the second occasion, Nathan’s mum demonstrated her intuitive feel and practice for baking with icecream and a hazelnut brownie, delivering an added layer of light spongy sweetness gently toning down the nuts’ saltiness.

With Nathan’s forte for delicious vegetables, there are also vegetarian options for the dinners. First courses were handmade fettucine laced with lemon, parsley and Grana Padano and mushroom risotto. Toasted cauliflower steaks with mushrooms and spiced hazelnut crumb were replacement mains.

Dinners at Hazelbrae House are $55.00 per head, with wine pairings an additional $30.00.

Hazelbrae House is also open for lunch and cake daily at 127 Hagley Station Lane in Hagley. Weekend brunches, weddings, private events, offsite catering and hazelnut farm tours offer plenty of opportunity to savour the welcoming service and wickedly delicious food.

Drumreagh: people’s choice

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018

DELORAINE B&B Drumreagh has topped the pops for this quarter’s Tasmanian Tourism Awards People’s Choice Poll.

They were voted the best overall rated Tourism operator in the North over the second quarter, April to June, based on a minimum of 25 customer reviews about their business across 175 online travel review sites during that period.

They will go on to become a finalist in the 2018 Tasmanian Tourism Awards People’s Choice Category to be announced at the Tasmanian Tourism Awards Gala in November.

Owned and operated by David and Glenys Sheppard, Drumreagh is located on River Rd, just outside of Deloraine.

Commenting on their win Glenys said, “I was gobsmacked when I heard. I had no idea such a competition existed or why people would vote for us.” From speaking with her further, it becomes obvious why Drumreagh is a favourite. Visitors are treated to fresh baked muffins when they arrive, families with children are invited to help feed the farm animals that live on the property, and breakfast is bacon and home-grown free range eggs or continental with a selection of jams. All this, located on a picturesque property complete with 160-year-old trees.

Also included in the top 10 people’s choice for the Northern region were Meander Valley tourist attractions Trowunna Wildlife Park and the Mole Creek Caves.

A wealth of rustic riches

Arts and Reviews, BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

JULY 2018 | Lorraine Clarke

RHETT PANIZZA is a man on a mission. He wants to put his rustic industrial and farmhouse furniture in your house. It is not the kind you will find at local chain stores, but that’s OK, because he is catering to individuals who will fall in love with special items that can’t be found, or even imagined, anywhere else.

“Our furniture is not going to appeal to everyone, but gives people another option from buying mass-produced stu‚ff,” says Rhett. “We work on the imperfection rule. It’s a bit wrinkly, but it still works.”

The impressive collection is showcased on the four roomy floors of MANIA in Deloraine’s main street, sharing space with artisanal items of all descriptions. This is furniture richly hued with age, that has the integrity not just of timber, or even of wood, but of … tree. Its imperfections are celebrated. Its anachronous inconveniences have been tweaked to suit modern practicality and décor without compromising original character.

Ugly paint is stripped off‚, but maybe not completely. Sometimes a residue of its former life is retained as a link with authenticity, a glimmer of its original purpose. A well-used table, utilitarian lino patched onto its top above incongruously elegant 19th century legs, has been burnished into a homely warmth that invites hard wear as the centrepiece of a family kitchen.

A barn door, constructed from ships’ packing cases that ferried essential supplies on the long journey from the Old Country more than a century ago, served a lifetime of rural service until reborn as a lengthy trestle table supported by rugged Tassie Oak legs, perfect for the largest family gathering.

Castor wheels and capacious drawers below the work surface gave a new lease on life to an old cabinetmaker’s bench, and the original vise has been retained at one end for those difficult situations in an old or new kitchen.

An 1850 Georgian peg table with stretcher base, a wooden work bench with convenient hinged seats, a 19th century English pine table proudly bearing its scars of meat cleaver cuts and burn marks from heavy cast iron cookware – all exude warmth and hint at stories of their past.

A hardware store spare parts cabinet with pigeonholes would be the ideal home for a large spice collection. A bank of post office boxes with key-locked metal doors has been glammed up with blackwood sides, waiting to begin new life as a wine rack.

The lid of a long, narrow high-backed hallway seat hides plenty of storage space.

Rhett’s pieces blend quirkiness with function, evoking past eras while dovetailing into modern lifestyles.

Exteriors of an old red pine school locker and a Baltic pine wardrobe have both been restored, with interiors reworked as kitchen pantries.

Office furniture was once all made of wood, metal and glass, and the silky oak solicitor’s glass front cabinet with its A4 drawers is a lovely blend of fine timber and practicality for any purpose you choose.

Short of storage space for all your home-grown veg? A baker’s dough-bin of English walnut with tapered legs is just the thing. Few know that a posser and dolly tub is a rotund 19th century wooden washing machine, but you can buy one from Rhett!

What was not-so-long-ago the stu‚ff of everyday life, is now regrettably rare. “Very little comes from Tasmania,” said Rhett. “It has all been shopped out. I have to go to the mainland now and doorknock to find unusual pieces.”

His bespoke Rustique furniture is well-supported by local and interstate buyers, and he ships anywhere in the country.

View all these and many more at MANIA on Emu Bay Road, 7 days a week, or contact Rhett on 0439 818 728 or email

Photo | Mike Moores

Harvesting the sun

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

JULY 2018 | David Claridge

FOR GENERATIONS farms have provided paddocks for cattle to feed on, now the paddocks can be utilised in a different way.

Wet and windy weather didn’t deter the hundred or so visitors to a Sun Farming Open Day at Bracknell in June.

The McLauchlans’ property recently had a 99kW solar array constructed which was on display to promote using farmland for ‘sun farming’ by Xenergy.

Property owner, Andrew McLauchlan is confident about the long term positives of the project.

“We’ll be able to control our energy costs in an environment where rising energy prices seem to be a consistent part of farming life, and once the system is paid off we’ll have an income stream that will assist with school fees for our two boys.” he said.

Visitors came from across the state to see the set up and hear about how they too could become involved.

From Rural Bank, Dean Lalor discussed the solar system modelling showing that the system’s income generation capability made funding of the asset a cash flow positive investment from day one in most cases.

Mark Barnett from Xenergy, who installed the solar display, shared with visitors how every site is different and so are everyone’s circumstances and requirements.

“We apply a great deal of thoughtful planning and expertise to ensure the customers return on the investment and expectations are assured,” he said.

“The current network regulations are seriously holding back on-farm investment in Sun Farming,

“For a farmer to not be permitted to utilise the energy they generate at one meter on their farm across all their other meters is akin to buying a tractor and only being able to use it in one paddock.”

Xenergy is a Launceston-based Solar Power Company that provides a variety of solar power related services to the agricultural, commercial and residential markets.

Solar power ‘plants’ are increasing in popularity across the world, and China is now investing in floating plants over bodies of water to provide more environmentally sound ways of generating power.

Photo | supplied

Council to the aid of small business

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

July 2018 | Wendy Laing

ON TUESDAY evening the 29th May 2018, Business Tasmania, supported by the Meander Valley Council, ran a small business forum at the Empire Hotel in Deloraine.

Small business owners from Westbury, Deloraine and Mole Creek attended the forum.

Enterprise Centres Tasmania business advisor, Mr Daryl Connelly began the proceedings with a Power- Council to the aid of small business Point presentation which outlined free, confidential, unbiased programs that are available, with the objective of providing guidance and mentoring information to assist new and growing businesses.

For further information you can contact Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026, email: or visit the website at

Daryl Connelly is also the Executive Officer for Switch Tasmania, a not for profit organisation that offers five hours of free coaching sessions on specific goals such as problem-solving, business advice on structuring your company, and the achievement of specific goals.

Switch Tasmania’s motto is ‘Changing our community, one business at a time’ and can be contacted for more details by emailing daryl@ or visit their website www.

The Business Engagement Officer for the Meander Valley Council, Mr Alan Blackmore, can also be contacted for information about the Business Tasmania programs. His phone number is 6393 5365 or email:

The theme throughout the forum was ‘Don’t wait until you have a problem before contacting a free business advisor for guidance’.