Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper


Over 50 species of birds

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

By Tara Ulbrich

YOU ARE standing in an excellent place for bird watching. So promises one of the interpretive boards on the Liffey River Reserve.

Read on and you’ll be invited to sit down and seek out varieties of the more than 50 species that have been recorded in the area. This one-hour walk, or two depending on how long you sit, offers bird watching and much more.

As a loop track you will have to make two creek crossings. Therefore, recent observation of rainfall is a must. At first the walking is easy along Pages Creek with its own plumage of rich fernery but then some light climbing is involved.

Every five minutes or so you’ll want to pause. The landscape radically changes and although you might think that your senses are tuned into the scenery, transitions can be missed. A boardwalk across grassland suddenly turns into a rocky path with thicket of musk daisy-bush.

In 1990 Bob Brown donated this 105 acres to the then fledgling organisation Bush Heritage Australia. Now its volunteers manage the site, protecting the place for the fauna and flora, but also for our appreciation. This location of myrtle beech rainforest and dry and wet eucalypt forest is part of a collection of national treasures.

The Liffey River Reserve walk is easily accessed from the lower car-park of the more frequently visited Liffey Falls. Enjoy this track for its opportunity to read about the birdlife, the forest and the rock formations or enjoy it for the chance to sit in a pristine, ornithological utopia.

 Fairy Wren spotted at the Liffey Falls Reserve Walk. Photo by Jade Hallam

Fairy Wren spotted at the Liffey Falls Reserve Walk. Photo by Jade Hallam

Cambodian carving

Community, Arts and Reviews, FeatureJoanne Eisemann

By Sharon Webb

COOL TEMPERATURES during the Tasmanian Craft Fair were a new experience for four visiting Cambodian artists and sculptors demonstrating their skills at the Deloraine event this year.

Accustomed to the 30C-plus temperatures of their homes in Siem Reap in Cambodia’s north, the artists rugged up with scarves and jackets to combat cold November winds.

Their manager, installation artist Svay Sareth, said the four were having an outstanding trip to Tasmania; stone sculptors Rath Phun and Chab Khchao had never been out of Cambodia before he said.

“We are staying in a stone cottage in Dunorlan and loving it,” he said.

“It was arranged for us by the Deloraine Rotarians; we have never stayed in such a place before.

“We are interested to see the support for young artists in Australia; in our country to be an artist is to take a risk.”

Svay, whose large installation art was not being exhibited at the fair but can be seen in Hong Kong, South Korea, Berlin and New York, spoke for the two stone sculptors who have workshops at Artisans D’Angkor in Siem Reap.

There, tourists can see Rath and Chab and other craftspeople at work, using their ancient skills to make replica sculptures to rejuvenate the 9th – 15th century Angkor temple complex on a 162 hectare just outside Siem Reap – temples only uncovered from the jungles in recent decades and which are now Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction.

The fourth Cambodian, Nguon Savann Melea, is communications director at Artisans D’Angkor and showed fair-goers stunning silk scarves and handbags made from fabrics created at Cambodian silkworm farms and their attached weaving mills.

Svay described bringing large slabs of stone to Tasmania, used by Rath and Chab to sculpt an elephant and an ancient Khmer king during the craft fair.

But he also spoke to Rotarians in particular about the precarious political situation in Cambodia and the impact of China on the world economy.

These subjects are embedded in Svay’s contemporary art, some of which has been collected by the National Gallery in Melbourne. Having grown up in a refugee camp in Cambodia during the 1970s and 1980s, a time of the notorious communist government of Pol Pot, the themes of war and resistance are always present in his work.

Announced Contemporary Asian Artist of the Year in 2016, Svay’s message is ultimately positive: “Artists have the possibility of power to change things for the new generation,” he said

 Visiting Cambodian artists displayed their unique talents at the Deloraine Craft Fair this year. Photo by Mike Moores

Visiting Cambodian artists displayed their unique talents at the Deloraine Craft Fair this year. Photo by Mike Moores

Rowing for refugees

News, FeatureJoanne Eisemann

By Sharon Webb

AROUND 20 Meander Valley residents took to the water last month to add their voices to other Australians fighting to get child refugees off‰ Nauru.

Battling a stiff‰ wind on Deloraine’s Meander River in their canoes, kayaks and rowboats, they joined 1000 people in Sydney’s Hyde Park who listened to rock idol Jimmy Barnes, around 500 people in Melbourne and 6000 petitioning Australian doctors to demonstrate their strong objections to keeping children on Nauru.

Local organiser Pip Stanley said on the day: “There are still 80 kids on Nauru and they are having to go through the courts to get to Australia.

“The government is saying all will be off‰ by Christmas but we believe there’s no reason they can’t come now.”

According to Guardian Australia, the Federal Government is spending around $300,000 a year fighting legal cases aimed at getting refugees off‰ Nauru, including “a large number of children, among whom there is a worsening mental health crisis and several cases of resignation syndrome – a rare and potentially fatal condition that is considered a reaction to extreme trauma.”

As Deloraine’s own boat people demonstrated their prowess on the water, complete with wobbly rowing and at least one unexpected dip, Reedy Marsh resident and former Meander Primary School principal Graham Pennicott maintained the Australian Government had created “a humanitarian crisis” on Nauru.

Deloraine resident Andy Dunn coxed an inexperienced rowing crew while Mark Kitteridge said he’d just wanted to turn up and make his voice heard on the issue.

Locals Margaret Tabor and John Phelps sported canoe signs saying “Try being humane” and “Sorry?” with John commenting: “My theory is that the Australian PM in 10 years’ time will be saying sorry to these refugees.

 Margaret Tabor and John Phelps added their voices to a protest for refugees held on the Meander River.  Photo by Mike Moores

Margaret Tabor and John Phelps added their voices to a protest for refugees held on the Meander River.

Photo by Mike Moores

Kerry’s king of the crop

Events, Rural, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 Kerry the rooster ruƒffled a few feathers when he was awarded Best Bird In Show for the second year running at the Deloraine Show. Being firmly at the top of the pecking order, Kerry the Rhode Island Red, certainly has something to crow about. While the prize money may seem like chickenfeed, the award is the top perch when it comes to prestige. Kerry is pictured here with his proud owner, Tony Sherri‹. Photo by Mike Moores

Kerry the rooster ruƒffled a few feathers when he was awarded Best Bird In Show for the second year running at the Deloraine Show. Being firmly at the top of the pecking order, Kerry the Rhode Island Red, certainly has something to crow about. While the prize money may seem like chickenfeed, the award is the top perch when it comes to prestige. Kerry is pictured here with his proud owner, Tony Sherri‹. Photo by Mike Moores

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

A beautiful secret chasm

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 ‘A mantle of green spreads on seemingly every surface’, along the Bastion Cascades walk.

‘A mantle of green spreads on seemingly every surface’, along the Bastion Cascades walk.

November 2018 | Tara Ulbrich

IT’S A SECRET chasm with falls that both plummet and step down vertical cliffs. Plant life reaches high and the creek bed is sliced by vertical trunks, uprooted and wedged by rock. A mantle of green spreads on seemingly every surface and overarching this spectacle are massive, curved rock ledges, reducing the scale of a walker’s presence to minuscule.

People speak about preserving isolation and locking away access to sensitive areas. I want to remind them that humanity is not a blight on nature. We belong to nature. We are part of the web. The sensitivity also belongs to us. My companions and I sit at the base of these falls, sipping a thermos of hot tea, taking photos, shifting between silent awe and sharing spotted details.

A luminescent purple fungus, a twisted tree fern curls around a cheese-wood trunk, birdsong calls to us from high above. We simultaneously experience a sense of humility and the importance of doing no harm. Our responsibility is to exchange the sensory pleasure of passing through this forest with the obligation to leave no trace. Stepping on the carpet fall of pepper scented sassafras I imagine the white flowers continuing to drop, covering our footprints.

Bastion Cascades is a comfortable four-hour return. Although mostly walking in rainforest across a southeast face, good shoes are required and be prepared for some scrambling up wet rock. The route is found on a barely marked sidetrack off of the Meander Falls Road. I am going to trust you to do your own research to find the track and trust you to respect the place while you’re there.

Photo | Jade Hallam

A brewer’s list for Christmas

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

November 2018 | Karl Gammler

NOW IS a good time to start thinking about having some quality beer ready for Christmas – two weeks in the FV (fermenting vessel) and a minimum of two weeks in the bottle. Bottle-conditioned kit beer does improve with time.

Between 6 weeks and 3 months it’s generally at its best. Here are some tips to help improve a basic kit (extract) beer:

1. Keep a diary/journal – This is the most important thing you can do. I never had consistent results until I started writing things down.

2. Only use quality ingredients/fermentables. Use a recognised brand of extract and try to use at least half light dried malt in your mix.

3. Temperature control. Most ale yeasts won’t develop unwanted flavours and esters when fermented between 18°C–22°C. Aim for 20°C.

4. Seek out a quality yeast. Use more than 1 packet if only using supplied kit yeast.

5. Increase fermentation time – Allow 2 weeks for your yeast to fully ferment out and clean up after itself when fermenting at lower temperatures. Be patient – really good beer takes time – your hydrometer will tell you when it is ready to bottle or keg.

6. Be clean. Unfortunately, there is no way around this step. Cleaning and sanitising will become second nature, but there are some things you can do to minimise labour time.

7. Gain knowledge, seek advice, ask questions, read books, watch videos. I have been brewing for over 15 years and I am still learning every day The most common mistake with budding beginner brewers is to just use sugar when mixing and then ferment at warm temperatures and bottle after 1 week.

There’s no shame in it, we’ve all done it. After all, this is how the instructions told us to do it. (In Germany, it’s actually illegal to put any sugar in beer.) This method will give you something drinkable, but chances are, it will also have that cidery, home-brewed twang.

This method most benefits the makers of the extract, as you will be buying one tin a week instead of one a fortnight. If you need more than one batch every two weeks, get a second fermenter.

One batch and it will have paid for itself, by not buying store-bought commercial beer. Light dried malt or liquid malt extract will improve your beer enormously, along with a longer ferment at lower temperatures and by using adequate quality yeast. Some dextrose is fine depending on the tin and the style of beer you are brewing.

Some dependable ratios are: 800gLDM/300Dex for ales, half and half for lighter styles. Cut your final volume down a bit as well, between 19 – 22 litres. Experiment! Half the fun is creating your own recipes. But don’t forget to write things down! It’s too easy to make that one spectacular batch and then forget your exact ingredients and technique when you try to repeat the recipe.

For help with all your brewing needs, try Andy at Brew By You, 120 Invermay Road. Little John’s Brewing and Fast Homebrew (both on YouTube) also give in-depth advice and tips.

Recipe for Boag’s XXX Ale (red) clone:

Ingredients: 1 tin of Black Rock Draught,

500g LDM, 500g dextrose.

Method: Mix to 22 litres with a good quality ale yeast (Fermentis US 05 will be sufficient). Let it go for 2 weeks at 20°C. This kit does turn out quite a bit darker than the original XXX but it tastes surprisingly similar. If you choose to increase the malt ratio or use Light Liquid Malt it becomes closer to Boag’s Wizards Smith’s Ale. Good brewing!

Photo | Image Supplied

From scalpels to fire irons

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 Meander Vallley man Karl has a long history in working with metal.

Meander Vallley man Karl has a long history in working with metal.

November 2018 | Haley Manning

STANDING IN his long leather apron and stirring a red-hot forge, Karl the Blacksmith shares some memorable snippets from his working life. Despite always having the desire to be a blacksmith, Karl says he began his working career as an apprentice surgical instrument maker at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The study requirements during the five year course were akin to that of a medical degree. “We had to learn Latin terminology, anatomy, bones, physiology and biomechanics. It almost drove me nuts.” On completion of his apprenticeship, Karl was confronted by unforeseen challenges when he entered the workforce.

“It was instilled in me as an apprentice: it didn’t matter how long I took on the job, it had to be perfect for the operating theatre. Perfect. It [the instrument] couldn’t fail under any circumstances. So, of course, the foreman would be onto me with a stopwatch saying: ‘You’ve been two hours on that…what are we going to charge the customer?’ I couldn’t adapt to that.”

Karl says the market dropped off in Australia when everything became mass-produced and disposable. However, Karl notes that Delacrox-Chevalier in France have remained dedicated to the design and manufacture of surgical instruments, although they are often still disposable items.

“Surgeons can order a specialised instrument made from magnificent stainless steel and it will be used once then thrown in the bin, because it is cheaper to throw it away than sterilise it in the autoclave” he said. “It is an unbelievable waste.” Karl picked up a decent pay and learnt some animated aspects of the Italian language working as a bricklayer’s labourer for many years, until he finally took up the ancient art of blacksmithing; a trade that has long been shrouded in mystery due to some of the earliest known folklore tales based on the devil and hellfire.

But it wasn’t all bad news for the blacksmith. Their masterful production of weapons and tools of torture were a guarantee of protection during the Spanish Inquisition. According to Rural Youth Events Manager, Selena Flanagan, Karl the Blacksmith was a crowd favourite at the Agfest Heritage Display for 25 years. “Karl showcased traditional blacksmithing with skills that are both futuristic and creative,” Ms Flanagan said.

Unfortunately, he was forced to retire from Agfest last year due to a knee injury that prevented him transporting his workstation and all the other heavy equipment required for the three days on site. But he says he managed to avoid any major harm to himself over the years, unlike a fellow blacksmith he met at Agfest whose thumbs were “as flat as frogs.” “Don’t think too hard Stevenson…you’ll hurt yourself.”

Karl says he often reflects on the words of wisdom imparted by his grade four teacher. “The essence of Zen Buddhism is to drop the functioning mind entirely, so when I’m working on the anvil, it is automatic – you don’t need the functioning mind and in that respect it’s very therapeutic.”

Photo | Hayley Manning

Vision for venison

Rural, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 Michal Frydrych (L) cooks venison with world famous chef Alex Atala. Photo by: Chris Crerar

Michal Frydrych (L) cooks venison with world famous chef Alex Atala. Photo by: Chris Crerar

November 2018 | Lorraine Clarke

THE HUMBLE district of Mole Creek was recently visited by a world-class foodie. Alex Atala is a Brazilian with 70,000 Facebook followers, an ex-punk rocker and DJ turned world-class chef and restaurateur. He owns the São Paolo restaurants, D.O.M., Dalva e Dito and Açougue Central, where he fuses fine dining with wild and wonderful native ingredients from the Amazon basin.

He didn’t set out to be one of the world’s top 10 Chefs, but his restaurant has 2 Michelin stars, and was voted 4th in the world in 2012. Atala has his own TV show and writes cookbooks. He came to Tasmania with his sous-chef Brendan this month in a tour organised by Tourism Northern Tasmania, seeking to taste local produce in its natural environment.

“Hats off to whoever organised the tour and brought Alex Atala here,” said Springfield Deer Farm owner Michal Frydrych, who believes our future lies in getting international exposure for Meander Valley’s superb foods. Michal cooked for and with Atala in the rustic setting of Springfield Deer Farm. He barbecued his own free-range organic venison, cooked a local kangaroo mini-roast and spiced up King Island wallaby with native pepper berries.

Michal also used Stephens’ Honey, and preserves made by Deloraine’s Amble Inn, because his vision is not only about Springfield, but embraces regional foods. Michal, who has won two prestigious delicious Produce Awards, was somewhat daunted at cooking in the presence of such an illustrious epicure. He confessed that he had never roasted kangaroo this way before, but Alex put him at ease by saying,

“Michal, let me help!” Alex is keenly interested in all local products, and willing to use anything. “Personally, I’m an olive oil, garlic and lemon man,” said Michal. “I want people to taste the venison.” Alex immediately requested some Springfield venison to take to the $250 per head Chromy’s Dinner where he was guest chef that night. Michal also took venison to TAFE where Alex was doing a cooking demonstration.

“Local chefs are scared of venison,” said Michal. “They don’t know what to do with it. We need to change people’s mental approach. It’s about educating the chefs. Showing them where free range venison is produced, how it is prepared.”

Michal is delighted to arrange a one-on-one farm visit for professional chefs wishing to learn how to prepare venison. “People are preaching paddock-to-plate, but very few understand it.” They come to Springfield Deer Farm and see the fallow deer herd free-ranging on the side of a mountain overlooking Mole Creek, where they have the best life before being harvested in their prime, under stress-free conditions, on-site at Michal’s licensed abattoir.

Springfield Venison is sold at the monthly Deloraine and Mole Creek Markets, and farm gate sales by arrangement. Froggie’s Bakery makes venison pies, Westbury’s Gourmet Butcher and Casalinga in Launceston produce venison smallgoods. Deloraine Deli and the Empire Hotel feature venison on their menus.

Michal recently returned from his sell-out stall at Flavours of Tasmania held in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra, where he was among many other Tasmanian food producers showcasing our superb gourmet fare ranging from bottled water through beers, wines and spirits, seafood, chocolates, smallgoods, dairy, condiments and, of course, venison.

Senator Eric Abetz has organised this annual event for over 15 years and developed it into the go-to social event in Canberra, an unmatched promotional opportunity for Tasmanian producers. This year it was attended by over 500 international ambassadors, business and community leaders and parliamentarians.

“Hardly anyone in Canberra knew where Meander Valley is,” said Michal, who has a fervour for putting Mole Creek on the tourist and foodie map. He is impressed that our parliamentarians are doing so much to promote our area as a source of the finest quality organic produce.

Photo | Chris Crerar

On track for another Frost

Sport, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 At just 16 years old, Westbury young gun Tate Frost is holding his own on the national circuit.

At just 16 years old, Westbury young gun Tate Frost is holding his own on the national circuit.

November 2018 | Danny Ross

I’M SURE most readers will know what a go-kart is and there are probably a few who would be able to describe what a sprintcar looks like. But I wonder how many would know that Westbury is home to possibly one of the brightest go-kart and sprintcar talents the country has ever seen?

With around 300 starts under his belt and some 60 odd trophies on the shelf, Tate Frost has had podium finishes against some of the best karters in the nation, if not the world, and is fast becoming the next car racing sensation in Australia. And he is just 16 years of age.

With a pedigree of car racers in his blood (his father Anthony and grandfather David were both racers in their own right), Tate is on track to surpass his forefathers’ successes and become one of the best this country has seen. Tate started go-karting when he was 9 years old and had his first competition win a year later at Smithton. He now races throughout Tasmania and is a frequent competitor on many of the mainland tracks.

Already he has picked up three Tasmanian Championship title wins and in 2016 Tate was awarded the “Tasmanian Karter of the Year” trophy after an outstanding season winning 24 races from 24 starts in his class. In August of this year, Tate competed in the 5th Round of the Australian Championship in Victoria and, after being placed in two heats, eventually finished 5th in a field of 36 in the Final. It should be noted that this field contained both national and overseas competitors including past champions.

Just last year, Tate started to race in sprintcar events and has already managed a podium finish in Hobart. The team is quietly confident the new season will bring Tate his first sprintcar win. Apart from exceptional skill and talent, Tate’s success is in no small way due to the dedication of his racing team and especially the determined and resolute support from his family. When asked about his plans for the immediate future, Tate says he’ll be looking to become a mechanic when he leaves school at St Patrick’s College in Launceston.

Presently Tate and his racing team are very busy fitting out the new transport vehicle for the team and cars. The huge articulated truck doesn’t just hold two cars; there are partitions and shelves everywhere for spare parts, extra frames and sets of wheels and tyres. And, up front is a small lounge area complete with couches, TV, fridge and microwave for the crew. The van even has a pop-up rooftop, which provides the crew with the perfect vantage point for viewing the races. As far as his future in racing goes, Tate says,

“Hopefully I’ll get to race in America.” Atop Tate’s wish list is to race in the NASCAR series. As he says, “It’s a big dream but we’ll be right to get there.” His father Anthony says, “My plan is that within five years he’ll be racing in America.” And his mother Deb adds confidently, “I don’t think there is any doubt that Tate will succeed in his racing future.”

And, with such a dedicated team at his side and such solid family backing, there is no reason to believe he won’t achieve his ultimate goal to compete on the NASCAR circuit. Further information on go-karting and sprintcar racing can be found on Facebook at AFR Anthony Frost Racing. You will also be able to keep up-to-date with Tate’s progress and see pictures of the new transporter.

Photo | Mike Moores

Fairy tales for fido

News, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 After a few sniffs and a wag of his tail, Bowza, a 6-year-old ‘pound hound’, settled on the mat next to his new friend Alyssa.

After a few sniffs and a wag of his tail, Bowza, a 6-year-old ‘pound hound’, settled on the mat next to his new friend Alyssa.

October 2018 | Marguerite McNeil

JUST A couple of years older than her new pal, the Deloraine Primary grade 2 student smiled and then picked up a book and started to read. Stroking the dog with one hand, Alssya relaxed and read out loud while Bowza fidgeted a bit before settling into his ‘story dog’ role. Enjoying the novelty of the program, Alyssa said it was good fun to practice reading with a dog.

Aimed at improving reading skills and developing fluency and confidence, the story dogs program encourages children to read aloud to entertain a dog in a relaxing and non-threatening way. Story dogs go through some intensive training before being accepted as visitors into schools where they spend time with students listening to them read. And from all accounts the outcomes of the program are to be applauded. It is said that as well as being great listeners story dogs are non-judgemental and have a calming effect that encourages children to relax and try harder when they read.

In such a setting, childrens’ focus improves, their literacy skills increase and their confidence soars. Handler Alison Scott said that it was Bowza’s first year in the program and once the vest was on he knew that he was working and coming to school. She said that as well as listening to the children reading he could tell when they were struggling with a word and would give them a nudge to help them along.

Enthused by the success of the program she has seen a vast improvement in the reading skills of many children who have taken part, with some now reading twice as many books as before in the same time frame.

Photo | Mike Moores

Timber given kiss of life

News, Events, Feature, ArtsJoanne Eisemann
 Launceston’s Simon Ancher will be demonstrating the use of hydrowood at this year’s Craft Fair.

Launceston’s Simon Ancher will be demonstrating the use of hydrowood at this year’s Craft Fair.

October 2018 | David Claridge

THERE IS an intriguing display set for the Deloraine Craft Fair this November - expertly crafted wooden furniture and other items - and it’s intriguing because the wood comes from underwater.

Hydrowood has been salvaged from below Lake Pieman from the wild west coast of Tasmania and given to the creative hands of four selected craftsmen to present and answer questions at the fair.

Around 25 years ago, Lake Pieman was dammed to generate hydro-electricity and many rare trees were submerged and forgotten. They were rediscovered in 2012 and, with some ingenuity, they were harvested, brought to the surface and used. Deloraine Craft Fair Director Lesley Dare is looking forward to showcasing Hydrowood to Craft Fair visitors.

“Hydrowood is not about cutting down trees, it’s about rediscovered trees lost at the bottom of Lake Pieman.”

“Through the ingenuity of Tasmanians, they’ve invented this system where they can retrieve the timber.

“We’re showing the whole process from harvesting to crafting at the fair. Four of the top craftspeople in Tasmania have been selected to use the wood, show what they made from it, and host master classes. Craftsman Geoff Marshall has used Hydrowood to make a variety of furniture including a light, a chair and an ottoman.

“I was at university when they were first doing studies on the wood. That is when I first learned about it” he said. “I think it’s a great story of how the wood has been rediscovered and made available for us to use. It’s an amazing product.”

Another Craftsman, Toby Muir-Wilson, is working on nine illustrated panels.

“It will take about 4-5 weeks to complete them. I’m aiming to show a variety of ways in which you can texture and colour the wood,” he said. “It’s an interesting project to be involved in.”

One of the chosen artists, Simon Ancher, has been working with Hydrowood since the beginning. He will be looking for feedback on some benches he has worked hard on.  “I love the fact that we have a second chance to make good use of an amazing resource, a precious resource that was thought to be lost.

“I feel very fortunate to have visited the operation on Lake Pieman. It’s an inspiring part of Tasmania and for me as a designer/maker I feel the connection to place and material is strong.” Huon pine, Sassafras, Eucalypt, Celery Top and Western Beech are some of the special kinds of wood that have been discovered.

A brochure describes the quality like this: “Hydrowood has a purity. No rusty nails or bolts from a previous life. Instead, untouched grain. Not salvaged timber, long dead on a musty floor but rare timber Master Builders dream of.”

Photo | Mike Moores

A fast and furious final

Sport, FeatureJoanne Eisemann
bracknell contends grand final2018cropped.jpg

October 2018

Bracknell Seniors made the finals this year and played South Launceston at Windsor Park. In the first quarter Bracknell stormed onto the field and were all over the opposition like a cheap suit.

The play was fast and aggressive not giving Launceston time to settle. South Launceston must have received a severe pep talk because the second quarter saw them come out firing on all cylinders and soon wiped out Bracknell’s lead and went on to establish a comfortable lead by the end of the quarter and were never headed.

Congratulations to Bracknell Reserves who also played South Launceston in the Grand Final and took out the premiership with a 20 point margin

Photo | Mike Moores

Red Caviar?

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 Spring is in the air and foaling is well underway at Grenville thoroughbred stud at Whitemore. Pictured is a 10 day-old foal by Lionhearted (a relative of Black Caviar) enjoying a gallop in the warm sunshine with his mum, Feisty Rose.

Spring is in the air and foaling is well underway at Grenville thoroughbred stud at Whitemore. Pictured is a 10 day-old foal by Lionhearted (a relative of Black Caviar) enjoying a gallop in the warm sunshine with his mum, Feisty Rose.

SEPTEMBER 2018 | Lorraine Clarke

THOROUGHBRED RACING projects a glamour image, and is a significant industry in Tasmania where our climate and rich pastures nurture many champions. Behind the scenes however, there is lots of hard graft, muck and mud, especially in a winter as wet as we have just endured.

Welcome spring days herald the newest generation of racehorses. Years of dreams of breeders and owners are condensed into elegant long-legged foals matching strides with their dams as they dance across the grass, warm sun on their backs and skylarks rejoicing above.

Grenville Stud’s Graeme McCulloch loves this time of year, although 24-hour foaling duty means many sleepless nights. Foals are carefully planned to arrive as soon after 1st August as possible, as this is the southern hemisphere’s official horses’ birthday. Early foals have the longest time to grow into strong two-year olds before their first racing season begins.

Several foals already grace the fields at Whitemore, and about 40 mares will foal there this season.

Two stallions stand at stud at Grenville. Group 1 winner Mawingo by Tertullian out of Montfleur collected over $1million in Germany, Singapore and Australia. His first progeny have impressed buyers at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale, with a top price of $47,500.

Zululand (Fastnet Rock, Dream Play[USA]) was a $1.5M Easter Yearling who showed brilliant 2YO speed and won the Group 2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes. Zululand replaces the stallion Lionhearted, also by Fastnet Rock and related to Black Caviar, sadly lost during his first season at stud last year, after having sired 16 foals.

Graeme trains racehorses at his property, and likes to break in a couple of yearlings at a time. He also grows crops of potatoes and poppies, as well as the hay to feed all Grenville’s future champions.


Photo | Mike Moores

Montana Falls

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 Tara Ulbrich takes a short walk to experience the falls

Tara Ulbrich takes a short walk to experience the falls

MANY MEANDER Valley walks have infrastructure that clearly defines the route. Some even provide a viewing platform at your destination.

Montana Falls has no such indulgence. Although a signpost on Leonards Road indicates Long Ridge Regional Reserve - you’re on your own from that point.

Access tracks lead in various directions. Tall eucalypts will lure you into the forest and the key to avoid getting lost is to stop if you find yourself ascending the ridge. Some tape markers will assist. They point to at least two alternative routes, each becoming increasingly steep and narrow.

My walking companion, a known pedant, refused to describe the water flow as a fall, insisting the term cascades more apt. Indeed, the falls might be most appreciated after heavy rainfall as they spill down several rock shelves. At the low point a sharp bend forces the Western Creek to veer dramatically in the direction of its name.

Although the waters have come a long way from Kooparoona Niara, across open farmland, here they’re wild again. The most ideal viewing points transition a walker from a tourist into an active participant. It is necessary to leave the path to appreciate the grandeur.

Tread lightly in your boots as you brush past the feathery clumps of tassel cord rush.

On our visit an enjoyable disagreement ensued as we tested best vantages. Here! No here. Give the falls time to show off.

Leaving the path is a controversial matter. Will degradation of the vegetation and terrain result? While Red Riding Hood is unlikely to meet a wolf, you are likely to encounter dumped rubbish. Montana Falls deserves more local pride than that.

You will only need 1 to 1½ hours for your visit and maybe you can take out more than you carried in?

Photo | Jade Hallam

A cell in Australia’s battery?

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 Lake Parangana

Lake Parangana

SEPTEMBER 2018 | Antonia Howarth-Wass

With Lake Parangana and Lake Rowallan in Meander Valley currently being sized up for pumped hydro, local renewable energy enthusiast Antonia Howarth-Wass considers the case for climate change and pumped hydro in Tasmania.

THE RUCKUS within the federal government seemed more about policy on climate and energy rather than a populist leader devoid of conservative values.

Discussions on power involves discussions about climate and climate policy. It is not just about sustainable, secure and affordable resources. The various issues require agreement with the states and they overrun political divides.

The issue of climate change is deeply rooted in science and recorded facts scrutinised by the United Nations International Protocol on Climate Change (IPCC). The global community is in agreement that governments need to bring to the table plans for reductions in greenhouse gases, notably CO2, and strategies for generation of renewable energy.

It’s a no brainer, yet in spite of the temperature increases (and corresponding decreases), the worst recorded droughts on the eastern seaboard and extreme weather conditions which cost $bns, there are still hard core politicians who think they do not have to bow to the evidence and think laterally about electricity and fuels or to consider environmental conditions for our survival. Politicians would do well to talk science, not economics as we have known it.The debates are shared by every government on Earth. And there are still 1.1 billion persons who have no electricity.

Australia is amongst the three most recalcitrant developed nations on climate change policy, some of whose politicans want to recant on the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement (Australia became a signatory in November, 2016). 196 nations agreed to keep increases in temperature to less than 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels and zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions during the second half of the 21st century. They also agreed to pursue efforts to limit temperature increases to 1.5°C which requires zero emissions sometime between 2030 and 2050, but with no timetable as incorporated into the Kyoto Protocol.

The National Electricity Market (NEM) was a mechanism for price reductions in electricity with a National Energy Guarantee (NEG) to back it up. The discussions failed due to lack of consensus within the Coalition and between states. The former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ploughed on but with no resolution. A commitment to complete abandonment of fossil fuels as adopted in Victoria over a 15 year phase out period could not be agreed because costs and reliability outweighed security or lack thereof. It talked about a national grid but did not include WA. SA went it alone with wind turbines and battery storage supplied by Elon Musk.

Tasmania, through Hydro Tasmania, has produced a document called Battery of the Nation which aims to give the state 100% renewable energy through conversion of 11 existing dams from Hydro Power to Pumped Hydro, with the addition of reservoirs where required. Water will be re-cycled through turbines, using wind power for uptake from lower to higher reservoirs. The proposal makes sense. Tasmania has water and wind in abundance, certainly in comparison to other parts of Australia. The state could power its own needs with limited cost.

But the plan goes further. With 90% of Tasmanian power supplies currently renewables, market analysts concede that facilities are massively underdeveloped. Tasmania could be a net exporter of power to the mainland with the addition of more undersea cables across Bass Strait.

As prices are market driven, to justify such investment costs of up to $1bn per cable, a larger market is required. Victoria is currently investing in solar power for 600,000 additional homes.

The key to profitability for Tasmania lies in interconnectivity. But without a national plan upon which states are agreed, it seems doubtful that such grand operations can be justified.

While Stage 1 is outlined in the report and is available for public consideration, discussions are also underway for a second Bass Link cable with assessments being made by developers and consumers.

Also known as a ‘water battery’, pumped hydro has been tried and tested successfully elsewhere.

Photo | Hydro Tasmania

John Loone, a life of service

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
 John Loone

John Loone

SEPTEMBER 2018 | Wendy Laing

 JOHN ARTHUR Loone was born on the 25th of January 1931 in Deloraine. His early years were spent in Launceston where, at school level, he represented the north in football and athletics.

He also attended the Deloraine Catholic school during his primary years and his wife, Leslie recalled that he walked home after school with Patti Pratt.

For a short time, when he was sixteen, he worked at Harris’s in Deloraine which was then was situated next to the British Hotel. From there he joined his father to start Deloraine’s first newsagency. This developed into RH Loone and Sons, and recognising the potential for growth, they moved to where the newsagency stands today. This became John Loone’s focal point for 40 years.

While still in his twenties, John and his grandfather, Roy Loone bought a Bedford bus and the school bus and charter business began. At the tender age 29 he became a Justice of the Peace and served 58 years.

It was not widely known though that he was also a Probation officer for many years.

Football played a large part in his life. John played 234 games and also coached the Deloraine Club. Over time he held the positions of President, Treasurer and Patron. His family remember a game at the Westbury football ground, where he was chased by an elderly lady hitting him with an umbrella when he attempted to stop a fight between players.

John Loone’s contribution and involvement in the community of Deloraine was a remarkable achievement. He was Treasurer of the Deloraine High School Parents and Friends for 28 years and spent 25 years as a volunteer fireman.

When Harris Menswear building caught fire he raced inside to retrieve vital documents. Seconds after he got out, the roof collapsed.

As a Member of the Legislative Council, John Loone worked hard for his electorate. Major achievements included championing the upgrades of Ashley, the Deloraine hospital and cleaning up the Deloraine riverbanks.

He tirelessly lobbied the Government for a grant to start Giant Steps. After two and a half years of planning, preparation, and help with extra funds, Giant Steps became a reality with Mr Loone becoming the first Chairman. Leslie Loone said the Legislative Council members called him a quiet achiever

John Loone passed away on the 3rd of August 2018 aged 87. He had been married to Lesley for almost 64 years and father of Rodney, Liz, Louise and Anthony. He was loved by all his friends and extended family.

Photo | Supplied

Abodes that Zed built

FeatureJoanne Eisemann

SEPTEMBER 2018 | Judith Anne Tahir

ZED MALUNAT is well known in Deloraine and Meander Valley generally. This is not surprising, seeing he has built or carried out structural work on many of our homes and properties.

As diners cross the threshold of Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm there are probably many who don’t know Zed was the builder of this beautiful restaurant, with its impressive timber rafters, huge stone fireplace, spacious ambience and lakeside view.

This building contract was a huge undertaking that took place between May 1995 and January 1996.

Built by Zed from the ground up, one of its major drawcards is the huge stone fireplace which photos show was the first feature to be erected. Over those 8 months subcontractors were called on to assist during the work as required.

Zed, formally from South Australia, has many strings to his bow and has devoted his life and livelihood to bringing his expertise and extensive knowledge to our area.

He is now in retirement, after many years, and we should all be very grateful for the great legacy that he has given to this region.”

Quamby’s Enchanted Glade

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment

AUGUST 2018 | Tara Ulbrich

THE PEAK of Quamby Bluff is an identifying silhouette on the horizon of the Meander Valley. Along the high street of Deloraine it seems as if the buildings have parted so you can see its form.

Residents of the area use ‘Quamby’ as a weather station. Snow on top? Sun shimmering off wet dolerite? Less often enjoyed is a direct contact with the mountain. For this, a trip to the Fairy Glade is recommended.

From the roadside-parking bay, it’s a mere a ten-minute stroll and a walker is already passing through chin-high bracken into tall melaleuca forest. Mist rises from still pools. Whatever the forecast, this microclimate is moody, the light, the bark, the fallen branches, the dulled effects of sound.

At first glance only the verdant moss rocks offer proof of vibrant life. But getting down at ground level opens up a delicate universe.

Soon the forest shifts into a dogwood stand so dense you might have to turn sideways to pass by. Throughout the walk huge tree-fall suggests the trespass of some giant, prehistoric creature, one that has noisily wrecked havoc. Can it only be the forces of decay and wind?

Keep following the red arrows. There is no signpost to declare you’ve arrived at the Glade. As the path builds to climbing you can turn back at whim. After around forty-five minutes of walking a scree slope is reached.

Consider taking photographic images as a report for those back on the lowlands. They might not believe all you’ve seen.

Photo | Jade Hallam

Mayor hands In His Chain

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment

AUGUST 2018 | Craig Perkins

IN OCTOBER this year, local government in Tasmania will go to the polls. I recently announced that I have decided not to re-contest.

When I was first elected to the Council nearly nine years ago, I made a commitment to myself that two terms on Council would seem to be a fair contribution, assuming I was re-elected a second time. So some months back, I started to reflect on that commitment, resulting in my decision to not continue.

It has been a huge privilege to have been an elected representative of our community for those nine years. I am even more humbled to have been your mayor for seven of those years.

I don’t feel that I have been anything other than a servant of our community, clearly never an expert, but most importantly never anything more than a community member. I would certainly encourage any member of our community to put your hand up. I would also encourage more women and younger people in our community to nominate for a role.

What have I learnt during my time on Council? The first thing is that there are so many people in our community who participate and engage in so many community activities. As an elected member, whilst we have our own personal view on matters, engaging broadly with our community enables us to make informed decisions. Secondly, I have learnt that feedback from our community, no matter how positive or negative should be listened to and respected.

I hope that I have represented you well. I hope that I have listened to you. I hope that I have earned your respect. You certainly have mine! But it’s now time for someone else.

I want to say a big thank you to the staff of Meander Valley Council. They are awesome and we are very fortunate to have such a committed bunch of employees making our little patch the wonderful place it is.

Thank you to my work colleagues at the RDA Tasmania Committee, where I have tried to balance a full-time role with my Council duties for the past nine years. They will be seeing more of me now!

And finally, a huge thank you to my wonderful partner Leith, my daughters, Georgina and Rebecca, my family and friends who have given me so much support along the way.

Hopefully between now and the end of October I will be able to say thanks to many of you before my term concludes.

2018 Local Government Election Calendar Sat 8th Sept - Notice of Election 9.00am Mon 10th September - Nominations Open 6.00pm Thurs 13th Sept - Rolls Close 12 noon Mon 24th Sept - Nominations Close 12 noon Tues 25th Sept - Announcement of Nominations 10.00am Tues 30th October - Close of Polling

Photo | Meander Valley Council