Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper


Community Bank comes to the rescue

Community, 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

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

Business, CommunityJoanne Eisemann

By Hayley Manning

LANDCARE TASMANIA members, family and friends were invited to an information day and social barbecue at Meander Memorial Hall in October. Native shelterbelt experts shared their tips for optimum results, and Project Coordinator of the Meander Valley Feral Cat Trapping Program, Kevin Knowles, gave an update.

Kevin, a member of the Upper Meander Catchment Landcare group, started Tasmania’s first feral cat trapping program three years ago, in an attempt to provide a more accurate account of true density numbers.

Traps are set over a square mile for two weeks, then onto the next square and so on for 12 months, before the process is repeated. Kevin estimates 10-12 cats are caught in the first round with significantly reduced numbers in the sec- ond round of trapping.

“Domestic, stray and self-sustaining feral cats are a risk to Australian wildlife, mammals and birds because they are not equipped to fight against the introduced species,” Kevin said. “Devils used to keep the numbers down by eating feral kittens, but now the cat is the apex predator.”

“Most feral cats also carry the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which is not only fatal for infected wildlife and pets, but it can also cause spontaneous abortion in sheep. One local farmer lost 500 lambs two years ago,” he added.

Kevin notes that research conducted over the last ten years provides evidence that humans infected with toxoplasmosis can suffer from tumors, mental illness and blindness. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable and may have a miscarriage.

Proposed changes to the Cat Management Act 2009 could see the protection of primary production land by allowing the landowner or a representative, to humanely destroy, trap and seize any stray or roaming cats, which should then be taken to a cat management facility.

RSPCA CEO Dr Andrew Byrne, said the proposed amendments in the new Tasmanian Cat Management Plan 2017–22 includes the compulsory desexing and microchipping of all cats, but suggested cat registration needed to be included and the fees used to subsidise costs. The delayed 2017–2022 plan will go to Parliament in September 2019.

With regards to cat management facilities, City of Launceston General Manager, Michael Stretton, said that the RSPCA will focus on its inspectorate services across Northern Tasmania, and move away from providing shelter services for dogs and cats.

“The Council has already announced Dogs Home of Tasmania as the new dog pound facility and we hope to announce the new provider for the cats in the near future,” Mr Stretton said.

 Plans are underway to change cat ownership requirements to combat the feral cat problem. Photo by Andrew Cooke, courtesy of Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre.

Plans are underway to change cat ownership requirements to combat the feral cat problem. Photo by Andrew Cooke, courtesy of Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre.

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.

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’.

High-end product at a mid-range price

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018 | Cody Handley

A SMALL Westbury business is revolutionising the way we build.

Valley Workshop is a prefabrication business that designs and constructs buildings that are quite advanced by Australian standards. Their most recent project was the hiking hut at Frenchman’s Cap, paid for in partnership by Dick Smith and Parks and Wildlife.

Make no mistake, these buildings are no ordinary, mass produced pre-fab jobs.

Every building is uniquely designed, with every component individually made to fit the whole. Materials are highly prefabricated to include insulation, cladding, windows and allowances for plumbing and electrical, all ready to go.

Take the Frenchman’s Cap hut, for example. The hut is an energy efficient, highly insulated building with its own mini hydro system to supply heating and limited power.

The hut had to be extremely versatile to cope with erratic weather conditions. During construction, the crew experienced snow on site where the day before had been 37 degrees!

Due to the location, materials were flown in by helicopter in bundles weighing no more than 800kg. The material is designed to fit together for quick construction; so much so, that the floor went down in roughly one hour!

Owner, Warren French, said the design process has to comply with two simple criteria: “is it a manageable weight?” and “will it fit on the truck?”

“The way it works is fundamentally different to traditional building and tends not to be the realm of regular, traditionally trained carpenters,” he said. “We’re almost better off with a complete novice than trying to retrain someone with preconceived ideas.” Warren said he chose to start his business in Westbury as he was a local, and deliberately sources local, Tasmanian materials. Their plywood comes from Smithton, their hardwood from George Town, with the aim of offering a high-end product at a midrange price.

The benefits of Valley Workshop’s designs are that they are much better for the environment by way of superior insulation which increases performance and comfort.

“The housing debate is all about insulation and reducing reliance on electricity. Carbon footprint awareness is starting to happen at a grassroots level but isn’t influencing the mainstream building industry yet,” said Warren.

Warren has 30 years of pre-fab experience. He seriously started researching advanced pre-fab in 2008, and won an award which included $10,000 which he used to travel overseas to learn from other countries.

“Australia is a long way behind with the way we build,” he said. “Condensation is damaging a third of all new houses as it’s not a well understood problem.”

However, Warren says the TV show Grand Designs has changed the way people think about pre-fab. “That program has been good for my business. It makes people think beyond the ordinary.”

Warren runs the business with his daughter, who handles the building operation. Warren said he is hoping to recruit a young architect but is having trouble finding someone who wants to stay local.

Valley Workshop is currently in the preliminary design phase for a house to be built in Deloraine.

Photo | Mike Moores

Adam wins world’s best Cabernet 2018

Feature, Rural, BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

June 2018 | Antonia Howarth-Wass

ADAM EGGINS, who attended Deloraine High School, and for the past 20 years been a winemaker for Taylor’s Wines in South Australia’s Clare Valley, has won the highest award for his ‘The Visionary’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014.

Awarded in Lyon, France by the Concours Internationale des Cabernet, it is selected by France’s top sommeliers from a sample of 250 wines.

This is by no means Adam’s first award but it represents something of a crowning success for Taylor’s who have accumulated international fame in recent years with Adam at the helm.

“Australian wines are recognised for their immediate freshness, generous flavours and diverse styles. It is a testament to the consistent quality of Australian wine,” says Managing Director, Mitchell Taylor of this renowned family owned winery.

“Cabernet is the heart and soul of our business and it is the very first variety we planted on the family estate back in 1969,”says Mitchell.

France is the birthplace of Cabernet Sauvignon but with a South Australian winning the title of World’s Best Cabernet 2018, it would be fair to say that Taylor’s have made it their own.

The award comes on the back of a string of accolades gained since Adam Eggins became Chief Winemaker, which includes World’s Most Awarded Winery 2017 and World’s Most Awarded Wine by the World Association of Wine Writers and Journalists for a 2013 Chardonnay.

Adam was unavailable for comment, but he is known to have returned to Tasmania for a short period and assisted Jansz Vineyards in the Tamar Valley to develop their now growing reputation for sparkling wines.

Retreat to the forest

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

June 2018

IF YOU are looking for accommodation that offers seclusion and mountain vistas, new Meander Valley business Peak Forest Retreat is offering just that.

The Retreat is located in Western Creek and is run by owners Carol and Geoffrey Kidd. There are several scenic walks on the property, including one built by Geoff which leads to a waterfall the couple named Mothers Falls in memory of their own.

“When you drive into the property which is tucked away with complete privacy you can immediately feel it is rather special,” said Carol. “I suppose the one thing that sets this new accommodation apart from others in the region is its location and the beauty of its surrounds.”

Carol and Geoff moved to the area last July after selling the family farm in Ringarooma. Geoff, a farmer all his life, did not want the burden of ageing while still on the farm and found the Retreat on the internet and was curious to inspect it.

“I wasn’t so keen but he convinced me,” Carol said. “Honestly, we both fell in love with the property at first sight.”

“We also liked the location of the Meander Valley especially … I was raised in Devonport but always had close connections to the general Meander Valley area.”

Peak Forest Retreat is found on AirBnB or email

Tailor-made Tassie timbers

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

MAY 2018 | Lorraine Clarke

TASMANIA LOSES the talents of many young people to the lure of the subtropics, but Nelson Bird went against the tide when he relocated from Woombye on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, to Elizabeth Town.

Nelson worked in construction in Queensland, specialising in building stairs. He had always loved timber, and especially appreciated the unique species we are blessed with in Tasmania. For years, he had been buying our native woods to use in his business, and when prices rose dramatically, the obvious solution was to buy a Tasmanian sawmill where he could cut his own timber.

With his parents, Rob and Helen, he searched for years for the right opportunity until 3 years ago, the Elizabeth Town sawmill was advertised on eBay. They flew down to inspect it, and fell in love with the beauty of the natural surroundings, and the potential for developing the business by milling specialty native timbers for niche markets.

Helen and Rob return north each winter, taking a load of milled Tasmanian timbers with them for sale from their Queensland property. Nelson remains in Tasmania, working the mill with his trusty offsider, Ollie the chocolate Labrador.

“I hate the winter, but this is where all the nice timber is, and I like the people down here,” he said.

He now has 3 mills – a New Zealand Mahoe Minimax, a new Wood-mizer bandsaw, and a Slabmaster from Yass Engineering in Queensland. This is an overhead router, which puts a flat surface on both sides of slabs.

Wood-Mizer recently sent their Public Relations officer Chase Warner, from Indiana, USA, to write an article on Nelson’s mill, illustrated with photos taken by our own Jade Hallam. The advantage of this bandsaw is that it minimises sawdust and maximises recovery of valuable, increasingly-rare timbers such as Huon Pine.

Nelson and Rob are committed to sustainable sawmilling. All their timbers are ethically sourced. They make good use of trees culled from farms, such as macrocarpa hedgerows that have outlived their usefulness, or trees removed from the path of travelling irrigators. They are always interested in purchasing sawlogs.

“Availability of logs is a problem. Myrtle is very hard to get,” said Nelson. “We mainly buy blackwood and stringy bark from farmland being cleared. Our Huon Pine is all fully salvaged from the West Coast.”

The Birds have recently built a kiln to dry sawn timber. A wide range is stored in their huge shed, a veritable wonderland for woodcarvers joiners, musical instrument makers, woodturners and furniture makers, whether professional or hobbyist. Figured woods, burls, fiddleback, sassafras, celery top pine, blackwood, silver wattle and numerous minor species are available to suit every purpose, from massive slabs to pen blanks. Macrocarpa, a naturally rot-resistant timber, is cut into bee box lengths for apiarists. A gallery showcases fine timber products for purchase, crafted by local woodworkers.

Nelson’s love for his business is obvious, and he intends to expand into producing custom furniture. “We just finished making a nice burl table from blackheart sassafras salvaged from farm forestry operations.”

Clients travel from as far as Hobart to purchase quality wood from what is, so far, a well-kept secret nestled in the bush high up above Elizabeth Town. Interstate tourists are delighted to find this treasure trove of unique timber. But once having seen the quality and variety of wood available, all are certain to become return customers.

The sawmill is located at 91 North Street, Elizabeth Town (call before visiting 0406 910 148);

Photo | Mike Moores

Hungry? try hemp

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

APRIL 2018 | Cody Handley

ALONG A winding stretch of country road, five minutes out the back of Deloraine, is not the sort of place you’d expect to find a high tech operation ticking along. But that is exactly what is happening at Forager Foods in Red Hills.

Forager Foods have successfully made a name for themselves, both at home and abroad, for their freeze dried fruit, vegetables and ready-made meals for backpackers. However they have just branched out into a new venture, one that has substantial market potential here in Tasmania.

Forager Foods received a small grant from the federal government for $75,000 to help build a powdering and packing line for hemp food products. Production will supply Brisbane-based company Fair Foods, who have their hemp grown and processed in Tasmania.

Forager Foods owner John Ranicar said the move was about tapping into a new market with a large potential, as well as diversifying their business which is predominantly built on freeze drying fresh fruit and vegetables.

“If anything happened to our dryers, we’d be in trouble,” Mr Ranicar said. Forager Foods new hemp powdering and packing machine will ameliorate this risk.

The machine takes the leftover “mash” from hemp plants that have had oil extracted and processes it into a 45% protein powder that can be used in foods such as smoothies or salads.

The process has a 50% production return which means, for example, 10 tonnes of raw hemp would make 5 tonnes of powder. “Due to changes to the law, there has only really been a market for hemp food products since November,” Mr Ranicar said.

Fair Foods also offer de-hulled hemp seeds which, according to Mr Ranicar, “have a subtle nutty flavour and are quite nice sprinkled on toast with honey.”

This is not the first time Forager Foods have been given a government grant, having received funding for a freeze dryer in 2015 upping their process capacity to 1 tonne a day. Today, they process roughly 10 tonnes of fresh produce per week.

“The funding gave us an opportunity that otherwise wouldn’t have been there,” Mr Ranicar said. “We could not have achieved what we have without that support and investment in our business.”

When asked about what was in store for the future, Mr Ranicar said “The focus now is on consolidation. We’ve invested a lot in equipment and we’re now looking to consolidate that investment by operating at capacity.”

Photo | Mike Moores

Council puts the bite on vendors

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

April 2018 | Sharon Webb

MEANDER VALLEY council has placed an annual fee of $163.50 on mobile food vans operating on its streets and properties.

Councillors voted for the new policy in their March meeting; the application process will be available on the council’s website shortly.

Councillor Tanya King said the policy would “provide clarity” for people with food vans.

And Cllr Bob Richardson said the policy was needed according to federal economic regulation principles requiring councils not to allow free services on their property in competition with existing businesses.

Cllr John Temple, who runs a business in Westbury, was critical of food vans which he said “cherry pick the time of day to operate and are not loyal to the local community” like local bricks-and-mortar businesses who serve the community every day of the year.

But Cllr Deb White believes food vans should be welcome in the Meander Valley: “They expand the pie rather than decreasing existing vendors’ share. The more that’s happening, the more it generates for existing businesses.”

The food van fee will be charged annually and Council will monitor food registration licences and undertake inspections.

The new policy does not apply to applications by mobile food vehicles to operate on a public street during an event where council has granted permission for a street closure to conduct that event. Council will review the policy at the end of the first year.

Rubicon Grove

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

April 2018

IMPRESSIVE NEW facilities will soon be unveiled at OneCare’s residential facility in Port Sorell, Rubicon Grove.

With construction well underway for a new 20 bed wing extension, including a community centre and a tea house, the additional 20 suites will significantly expand the facility, bringing the total number of suites up to 80.

The $5million expansion will help address the demand for aged care on the North-West Coast of Tasmania, following the provision of a licence for 20 low-care suites by the Commonwealth Government in 2015.

The new buildings will incorporate a community hub, to be utilised by local Rotary and Lions clubs, as well as the Bridge of Hope Church.

Rubicon Grove is offŽering rewarding career opportunities in nursing and personal care, a career that makes an important contribution to our community, and creates a real diŽfference in people’s lives.

OneCare welcomes applications from those interested in working in a caring professional team. Apply at

Deloraine: epicentre for Kinesiology

BusinessJoanne EisemannComment

MARCH 2018 | Lorraine Clarke

KINESIOLOGY IS one of the alternative non-invasive therapies that is sought out when chronic pain and physical maladies cannot be diagnosed by or fail to respond to traditional medicine.

Deloraine resident Philip Rafferty has been a kinesiologist for 35 years. He created Kinergetics Kinesiology in 1991, a modality which is taught in over 20 countries, having been translated into 8 languages. He introduced “Touch for Health” to Australia from the USA.

Philip recently hosted the 9th Annual International Kinergetics Workshop in Deloraine over the month of January. More than 40 people including Australians and many overseas visitors, attended to study under his guidance. The workshop was held at the Rotary Pavilion, with morning and afternoon practical and theory sessions, and meal breaks spent at local eateries.

At the workshop, participants were eager to share their stories. Sharon from Canada had consulted 20 doctors and exhausted all avenues of medical treatments for her fibromyalgia. She explained that the constant pain she experienced for 25 years was so severe that she was afraid to wake up in the mornings, and every part of her body ached. After having Kinergetics treatment she said, “It was like heaven. I don’t know life without pain.”

Selena came to the work-shop to further her studies. She is a Kinergetics practitioner in the Huon Valley, where psychologists refer patients to her for treatment of trauma.

Lianne from Singapore travelled to the workshop to find relief from a stroke initiated by arsenic poisoning from eating vegetables she had grown in contaminated soil.

Sarah, an Australian based in London, is a Special Needs teacher who first practised Kinergetics 15 years ago to help herself and her friends.

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Photo | Mike Moores