Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper


In for your chop

NewsJoanne Eisemann
L to R: Butcher Joshua Porter, Deloraine House Coordinator Sandra Thomas and Maree Matanle from Rotary Club of Deloraine.

L to R: Butcher Joshua Porter, Deloraine House Coordinator Sandra Thomas and Maree Matanle from Rotary Club of Deloraine.


Deloraine Rotary’s Rob van der Elst’s Community Services committee has donated $200.00 to Deloraine House for meat from Best’s Butchery.

Volunteers at Deloraine House cook up and freeze meals for needy and homeless locals. They were low on meat after their usual source had been reduced. The cheque was presented to the Butchery, from which Deloraine House will collect the meat.

Photo | Mike Moores

Westbury, Meander Valley’s power cut capital

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

AUGUST 2018 | David Claridge

A HIGH number of recent power outages in the Westbury area have prompted locals to speak up in the hope of finding out what is going on.

Information supplied from Tas Networks can confirm that from 2017 to 2018 there have been 33 outages, with only 16 of them planned. The outages have varied in length from three minutes to nine hours.

Talking with a spokesman from Tas Networks, this reporter has learned that the bulk of the Westbury area is supplied by a feeder from the Hadspen substation. The same feeder also supplies Whitemore and Glenore.

Tas Networks are aware of the issue, claiming that ‘The Westbury community does not currently meet their reliability standards’.

“TasNetworks recognises Westbury urban community as one of the poor performing communities and has plans to reduce the length, and hence exposure, of the feeders supplying it” the spokesman said.

“A project has been proposed to rationalise the supply to Westbury urban area, enabling the feeder a cleaner, more direct route to Westbury.

“The project will involve extending our network 5 km along the Bass Highway between Hagley Station Lane and Veterans Row at an estimated cost of $1.7 million and it is planned to be operational by June 2023.”

“Interim solutions, such as investigating if we can eliminate or minimise outages through better protection and transfer capability are currently being investigated to improve the reliability performance of the community prior to the execution of the long term solution.”

It has been shared that one Westbury resident has been refunded $80.00 by Tas Networks for an outage that lasted longer than nine hours.

Photo | Mike Moores

Old school site reborn

NewsJoanne EisemannComment


A COMMUNITY meeting was held at Mole Creek on 14th July to discuss a playground proposal for the vacant former school ground on Pioneer Drive.'

A spokesperson from the Mole Creek Primary School (opposite) said the proposed recreation area should benefit their school and the entire community. Martins Apsitis, a member of the Community Playground Working Group, says he is the driver of the design while Jenny Lloyd is a key organiser of the Group within the Progress Association, which has offered $5000 towards the project.

Martins has a vision of a connected social space that starts at Café Bozzy, winds past the public swimming pool and barbeque facilities into the existing community garden at the rear of the ground, with the playground at the core and native landscaping throughout.

The design details a visually open space built from limestone and timbers sourced from the natural surroundings to reflect Mole Creek’s backbone industries of farming, timber, mining and honey. It is hoped the community will donate old logging and farming equipment and perhaps an old boat, in addition to materials and machinery use.

“We want to create a radically different playground using the ‘phenomenal’ skills of the local volunteers…you wouldn’t get that physicality and immediate history in a city environment,” Martins said.

The proposed playground will have affordable and ‘enriching’ equipment to encourage future engagement outdoors, including a dry creek bed, grotto with slides, a beehive and a snake swing.

Martins says his design allows for many children of all ages and their parents to engage in continual play without having to wait for an available piece of equipment which can be a problem with conventional playgrounds.

“The site acknowledges local and Aboriginal histories within the environment which can be shown through materials, form and the actual making of the playground.”

Photo | Mike Moores

Rates up 4.46%

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018 | Sharon Webb

HOME OWNERS in Meander Valley on average will pay an extra $34.00 in rates this financial year, with commercial properties paying around $170.00 more.

Meander Valley councillors disputed for a month over a 2018-2019 rates rise before boosting them by almost 4.5 per cent.

Mayor Craig Perkins said the rise couldn’t be avoided, considering factors such as a loss of $278,000 in decreased Taswater dividends and increased inflation costs for core work such as road and bridge repair.

“After hearing concerns around the council table about increasing by five per cent, we found some savings to bring it down,” he said.

“I’m comfortable we’ve had a good look at the finances to make sure we’re providing a level of service at the lowest possible cost.”

At the June council meeting on 2018-19 budget estimates most councillors seemed a bit shell-shocked at the council staff recommendation to increase rates by five per cent. Since 2015 rates have risen by no more than three per cent, sometimes lower.

They deferred the rates decision to the July meeting and held a workshop to consider how to reduce the increase to around 3.5 per cent.

That goal was never achieved, but the following budget items were axed so ratepayers have only a 4.46 per cent increase:

• Westbury town common management plan: $15,000

• Westbury community facilities review: $20,000

• Deloraine pop-up community space (Flashing Chook block): $15,000

• International Women’s Day event: $10,000

• Deloraine recreation facilities feasibility study:$10,000

• Deloraine Community Complex scoreboards and shot clocks: $6000

In the July meeting, Cllr Andrew Connor put a motion, seconded by Cllr John Temple, that these cuts not be enacted. Instead, the $160,000 Myrtle Bridge north of Liffey upgrade listed in capital works should not be done.

“Things are really tight and we can cut $10,000-$20,000 here and there, but it’s just fiddling around the edges,” Cllr Connor said. “It’s a lot cut out for not much benefit.

“There’s nothing to say Myrtle Bridge is urgent; we do 10 bridges a year, all in rural areas and we’re doing them too fast. We have to tone down our investment in bridges.

“We’re doing little bridges in the middle of nowhere – it’s not where the majority of our ratepayers are.”

Cllr Connor’s suggestion was not supported and in the end councillors compromised on a 4.46 per cent increase for the sake of finding a way forward.

Cllr Rodney Synfield has recommended a future “root and branch review” of all council activities to identify efficiencies – in waste management, for example.

“Council’s rates, based ultimately on the Assessed Annual Value (rental value) of properties in the municipality, and currently set at less than 6 cents in the dollar of that AAV, is one of the lowest in the state,” he said.

“Compared to, for example, Launceston Council’s … which is in excess of 7 cents in the dollar and an even higher figure in respect of West Tamar municipality. This means Meander Valley rates in most cases are hundreds of dollars a year less than they would be in neighbouring municipalities for an equivalently valued property.

“This, however, results in less capacity for Meander Valley Council to absorb losses in income, such as from Taswater. This loss is not just for one year, amounting to well in Old school site reborn excess of 1.5 million dollars by the end of 2024/25.”


Hagley tree day

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018

ON THE 27th July, Liberal Member for Lyons, Guy Barnett joined students from Hagley Farm School to plant some native Tasmanian trees as part of Planet Ark’s annual National Schools’ Tree Day.

The National Tree Day event encourages the revegetation of the Australian landscape with native plants, and offers all Australians and in particular our children, to learn and re-connect with their local environment.

Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT), provided Hagley Farm School with 300 Bottlebrush seedlings for the planting.

Over the past 13 years STT (formerly Forestry Tasmania) has donated more than 92,000 seedlings to Tasmanian schools and community organisations to celebrate national tree day.



Pathway to uni degree

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018 | Wendy Laing

MR JAMIE Mitchell is the Community Outreach Officer with the University College in Tasmania.

The University College sits between TAFE and the University of Tasmania and is perfect for a mature age student embarking on a career change or someone already working in an industry and looking to upgrade business skills and gain formal qualifications.

Mr Mitchell was the first person in his family to attend university, entering as a mature age student at the age of 49. He is now into the first year of an Applied Business Associate Degree.

“I admit to thinking university was only for ‘rich, intelligent kids,’ which, of course, is not true,” he said.

“My role,” he went on to say, “is to challenge negative perceptions around studying University level subjects in rural and regional Tasmania. My goal is to ensure that you are fully supported in your choice of university study.”

Programs offered by the University College include university preparation, Associate Degrees and Diploma of University Studies.

The University Preparation Program is open to everyone and provides an alternative entry pathway into university. When completed, it qualifies students for general entry requirements into a university degree.

“I enjoy meeting people who think the door to university level study is closed to them. I give advice and discuss what choices and courses are available. This can help people make an informed decision on changing their future direction through continuing education.”

He will also assist rural students with options regarding online study and the hours required each term for their chosen subjects.

You can make an appointment to meet with Jamie Mitchell at Deloraine House to talk about the pathway options for tertiary study by phoning 0475 183 652 for further information.

Not happy but no option?

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018

THE GAZETTE asked Meander Valley councillors how they felt about their decision to increase rates by 4.6 per cent.

Mayor Craig Perkins

I’m comfortable that we’ve had a good look at our finances to make sure we’re providing a high level of service at the lowest possible cost. Even though our percentage increase in rates is higher than others, because MV has one of the lowest costs per ratepayer in the state, in real terms our ratepayers are still paying less

Deputy Mayor Michael Kelly

No I’m not happy with the rates increase. There was little interest from councillors to reduce the increase amount. In fact two indicated that rates should increase well above the 4.46 per cent. I changed my vote on the second vote as it was important to give council certainty so that it could meet its legal obligations and be stable.

Cllr Tanya King

I’m not entirely happy with the rise as in percentage terms it is relatively high. I am satisfied however that the council explored many options to keep the rates rise at a minimum while still maintaining service levels to ratepayers. Because council already has a tight budget and operates efficiently, it is dffii”cult to make savings. It is noteworthy that despite the rate rise, Meander Valley Council still maintains the lowest average rates in the northern region.

Cllr Rodney Synfield

Happy is not a word I would use to describe the level of rate increase agreed to. I have long held the view that with relatively low annual average adult incomes in our municipality, we need to be very careful to keep rate increases manageable and to a minimum, in consideration of our community’s capacity to pay such.

Cllr Deb White

No-one is happy to see costs go up, however I agree that a rate rise above CPI is necessary for the council to keep pace with the expenditure required to maintain our assets and infrastructure in a safe and acceptable condition.

Cllr Ian Mackenzie

Initially I was supportive of the five per cent increase proposed in June, however in review we can’t keep putting up rates. We are locked into contracts that need, in my view, to not be renewed that pay for functions of council or regional bodies that could be done in-house or are in areas that I believe councils shouldn’t necessarily be involved in.

Cllr Andrew Connor

No I am not happy; the five per cent rise recommended by council o”fficers that I supported was to maintain budget status quo in the face of ever-rising costs and reduced income from Taswater dividends. The slight reduction to a 4.46 per cent increase pushed by other councillors was achieved only by cutting services and raising charges. I initially rejected that as too low but made a pragmatic decision to approve the budget which was already a month overdue so that council could issue rates notices in a timely manner and continue to operate normally. The di—fference between 4.46 per cent and 5.00 per cent was only $2.00-$4.00 per property.

Cllr Bob Richardson and Cllr John Temple

No comments given.


Deloraine water now safe

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018 | Sharon Webb

DELORAINE RESIDENTS and businesses at 1,250 addresses boiled their drinking water for a week in July because dirty water overflowed from a holding tank into the town’s reticulated water supply.

Water is now back to normal with TasWater having reviewed its processes to ensure the problem is not repeated.

It is unknown whether anyone became ill from the water; Taswater said tests detected no E.coli, toxins or other pathogens.

But it moved quickly on 6th July to advise residents via the media about the risks of drinking the water, and to letterbox residents and businesses. The alert was lifted on 12th July.

Describing how the incident happened, Taswater incident controller for the boil water alert, Peter Januba, said when high rainfall in the first week of July caused “water in excess of acceptable turbidity limits” to leave the treatment plant, the plant automatically shut down.

“Water which did not meet specification was diverted and stored in a tank and the plant was manually restarted and normal treatment resumed,” Mr Januba said.

But the tank was too small for the dirty water and it overflowed, polluting Deloraine’s drinking water.

As a ‘precaution’ Taswater advised Deloraine people to:

  • Boil all water used for consumption and food preparation and cleaning of teeth;

  • Discard any salads prepared or food or fruit washed to be eaten uncooked in either the home or commercial premises;

  • Dispose of food and beverages including ice and prepared baby formula prepared using water from 10.00am Friday 6th July.

TasWater’s general manager of service delivery Bennie Smith announced his organization was investigating technical causes of the event, while the whole reticulation network was flushed and scoured to clear the system of any compromised water.

By 12th July non-compliant water was no longer in the system and Taswater had changed its protocols to prevent overflow occurring again.

Mr Januba said in future any out-of-specification water would be discharged directly into the storm water system, avoiding any chance of it entering the reticulation network.

He said test results confirmed Deloraine’s drinking water now meets the standards of the Tasmanian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines and the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and is therefore safe to drink.

TasWater will continue to provide ongoing monitoring and testing to demonstrate water quality meets the drinking water guidelines. It is not aware of Deloraine’s problem occurring at any other Tasmanian water treatment plant.

Beneath the Seven Sisters

NewsJoanne EisemannComment
Pat Hobman, secretary of Parish Council and Shirley Hancox retired Parish Council member, both of Westbury, view the magnificent Nellie Payne carving ‘Seven Sisters Screen’. Nellie, one of nine daughters, carved this piece in memory of her 7 deceased sisters when she was 72. Installed in 1938, the screen is one of many significant carvings by Nellie located in the Anglican Church in Westbury. The church will hold an open day on the 21st July for people wanting to view the works.

Pat Hobman, secretary of Parish Council and Shirley Hancox retired Parish Council member, both of Westbury, view the magnificent Nellie Payne carving ‘Seven Sisters Screen’. Nellie, one of nine daughters, carved this piece in memory of her 7 deceased sisters when she was 72. Installed in 1938, the screen is one of many significant carvings by Nellie located in the Anglican Church in Westbury. The church will hold an open day on the 21st July for people wanting to view the works.

July 2018 | Joanne Eisemann

PARISHIONERS FROM the Anglican Parish of Quamby are hopeful they will be able to prevent the sale of churches in their parish.

Sales of Anglican churches statewide have been proposed by the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania to fund the Sexual Abuse Redress Scheme.

The Diocese predicts that it will need $8 million to provide redress to the ‘significant number of child sexual abuse cases taking place in the 1960s, 70s and 80s’.

The Carrick, Hagley and Westbury Anglican Churches are among a long list of properties that are being considered for sale.

At a meeting with Bishop Condie in May, parishioners were informed that an alternative for them was to raise approximately $200,000, the portion of money that would be used from the sale of properties (25 percent) to fund the Redress Scheme.

Members of the Anglican Parish of Quamby believe they have a viable plan to raise the money required in an effort to stop the property sales.

‘We are mildly confident that we have a workable proposal to put forward to the Diocese and are hoping that other community groups and individuals will support us by lodging submissions to the Diocesan Council”, said Quamby Parish Council member Rob Menzie, adding “We want to make it clear that we are not against the Redress Scheme, we support it, we just want to find a way of doing that without selling our places of worship.”

Two of the Churches in the Quamby Parish have significant historical value.

St Mary’s Anglican Church in Hagley has the first Tasmanian born premier, Sir Richard Dry buried in the chancel (near the alter) of the church. Sir Richard grew up on nearby Quamby Estate and was Premier from 1866 until he died in 1869, aged 58.

With a foundation stone laid in 1836, St Andrew’s Church in Westbury is one of the oldest churches in Tasmania. It also houses a significant collection of the work of world-renowned wood carver Nellie Payne.

Nellie, born at ‘Westfield’ in 1865, was closely involved with the church throughout her life.

In 2015 an exhibition of 240 pieces of her work was shown over three locations in Westbury, including the church and attracting 7,000 visitors.

When asked to put a value on the church’s collection, parishioner and ex-Quamby Parish Council member Shirley Hancox says “the collection of carvings is priceless.”

Dr Dianne Snowden, speaking to The Examiner in an article printed last month, said “this church is of great significance not only to the Westbury community but to the whole of Tasmania.

“It is an integral part of our colonial and convict history and it should be protected and respected as part of our heritage.”

For those wanting to see the carvings, the church will hold an open day on the 21st July to coincide with the next Westbury Market day.

Community groups, or individuals who wish to make a representation to the church’s governing body (Diocesan Council), about church property proposed for sale, can address their submission to the General Manager of the Diocese at Submissions must be made before 1st September 2018.

Other Meander Valley properties on the proposed list for sale are: Church of the Good Shepherd, 59 Main St, Hadspen; Fencing Paddock, Meander Valley Highway, Carrick; Vacant Land, 19 Meander Valley Road, Carrick; Saleyards, 9 East Westbury Place, Deloraine; St Michael’s Church, Kimberley Road, Kimberley; St Saviour Church, Hall & Cemetery, 143 Main Road, Meander; and Vacant Land, Lot 7 Bass Highway, Elizabeth Town.

Photo | Mike Moores

The original mud cake

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

July 2018

SMILING FACES and squeals of delight were heard ringing around the playground at Our Lady of Mercy Primary School when Junior primary students were treated to an International Mud Day celebration on the 27th June.

International Mud Day was created in 2009 when Australian Gillian McAuliffe and Nepali Bishnu Bhatta got together to talk.

They wanted to find a way to help all children of the Earth feel closer to each other and decided there was no better way to do it than through the Earth itself.

Our Lady of Mercy decided to celebrate by creating mud artworks on trees in Deloraine’s ‘Wild Wood’, making mud pies and other mud culinary creations as well as the obligatory mud pie throwing. They also created a mud mural on a wall on one of the school outbuildings.

A wonderful time was had by all students.

Photo | Mike Moores

Council challenge Diocese

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

July 2018 | Sharon Webb

MEANDER VALLEY Council has strong concerns about Tasmania’s Anglican Diocese plan to sell churches and cemeteries, and will make this clear in a submission to the church.

Councillors have had negative feedback from residents about the sell-off proposal and Mayor Craig Perkins said there is no way the council will contribute funds to a bailout of the diocese.

The Anglican Church plans to sell church buildings and cemeteries to pay redress to survivors of child sexual abuse by its members under the National Redress Scheme.

In the June council meeting Cllr Tanya King successfully moved a motion to make a submission to the diocese, saying she had been approached by residents about the inadequacy of Anglican consultation on the issue.

“People are concerned about the effect of the move on congregations and parishes, especially that only 25 per cent of the funds from the sale will go to pay redress,” she said.

Councillors will discuss the contents of the submission in a workshop on 24th July. Cllr Rodney Synfield unsuccessfully moved that discussion canvas alternate funding options instead of property sales.

“There are serious alternatives which may mean properties in our area may not need to be sold at all,” he said.

“There are also questions about the legalities of the sale related to who constructed the properties. There may be other ways of dealing with this and that ought to inform our response to the Anglican Church.”

Cllr John Temple supported Cllr Synfield’s motion but it was lost.

Councillors also endorsed a motion from May’s Local Government Association of Tasmania meeting acknowledging the importance of redress for victims of abuse but noting the concern being expressed across a number of Tasmanian communities about the sale of their local churches and cemeteries.

The motion sought that the Anglican Church ensures that those communities are not being made to pay unfairly for the actions of leaders in the church and give genuine consideration, to the huge impact on communities, particularly rural and regional Tasmania.

Cuppa for a cause in Prospect Vale

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

July 2018

LAUNCESTON Residential Village on Casino Rise in Prospect Vale recently held a ‘Biggest Morning Tea’.

Attended by approximately 50 members and their friends, the Village raised $1137.00 for the Cancer Council. This was from a raffle, trade table, and donations on the day.

This has brought the Village’s total fund-raising efforts since 2011 to $7125.25, an achievement of which the village residents and friends can be extremely proud.

$7.2m for underused Ashley

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

July 2018 | Sharon Webb

THE STATE Government has allocated $7.2m in its recent budget to refurbish Ashley Youth Detention Centre (AYDC), saying the decision will protect 60 jobs in the Deloraine area.

But those job numbers look to decrease because the detention of young Tasmanians is decreasing dramatically.

According to the government’s Custodial Youth Justice Options Paper by Noetic Solutions Pty Ltd, between 2008-2009 and 2014-2015 the total number of youth offenders in Tasmania declined by 47 percent.

While Ashley currently has a 51-bed capacity, in 2014-15 an average of only 10 offenders were in detention – five on remand and five sentenced.

The Noetic report predicts that by 2020 only six young people will be in detention.

The Minister for Human Services Roger Jaensch said $7.2m is allocated for a major redesign and upgrade of the facility “to make it fit for $7.2m for underused Ashley purpose, continuing to improve the model of care as part of a modern, integrated state-wide therapeutic youth justice model.”

The budget allocation follows the government’s decision to continue with a single youth detention centre near Deloraine.

Noetic’s preferred option was to construct two 12-bed, purpose-built detention facilities in Hobart and Launceston, but the government decided on a $7.2m major redesign and upgrade of Ashley – even though Noetic was clear that “the facility should be located in either Hobart or Launceston and not Deloraine to ensure the custodial model is designed to meet the needs of young people in detention.”

Mr Jaensch said the decision to keep the detention centre open only on its current site would protect jobs in the Deloraine community.

“In making this decision, we have sought to balance the needs of youth offenders with the importance of the AYDC facility and its 60 jobs to the Deloraine community,” he said.

Yet the Noetic report makes it clear that, for Ashley detainees, keeping only one centre is not ideal because Deloraine is “geographically isolated” in terms of optimising government services and off‡enders’ access to family support.

Noetic maintains that two new facilities would provide an opportunity to change the way Tasmania deals with young offenders: “AYDC does not provide appropriate connections for young people to their family, community and support services.

“Throughcare is at best difficult and in most cases ine‡ffective. The distance from residents’ communities means building and maintaining connections with key services is not currently possible.

“(Staff) recruitment can be challenging given AYDC’s remote location.”

New app plugs into people power

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

July 2018

THE NATIONAL science agency is calling on all Australians to be part of its energy research by providing valuable information that will improve understanding of the way households consume, generate and interact with energy.

By using the new CSIRO Energise app, ‘citizen scientists’ will help to paint a clearer picture of contemporary energy use to guide research and decisions concerning Australia’s energy future.

For example, solid data can help overcome information gaps around how much households pay for energy, what is driving these costs, and how to reduce these costs into the future.

The app is a key component of CSIRO’s Energy Use Data Model project, which is collating, centralising and enhancing various streams of energy data.

Until now, this information has never been brought together, and the resulting platform will benefit researchers, government and industry.

Over time, users of CSIRO Energise will receive a range of ‘micro-surveys’ covering general household characteristics, tariffs and power costs, energy-usage patterns, appliances, uptake of renewables, and more.

The app will follow users’ responses over time and ask questions in response to specific events, like how air conditioning is used on hot days, and how that can then improve understanding and management of peak energy consumption.

CSIRO Energise is intended as a two-way communication channel, with users receiving insights including tips for energy efficiency in the home, cutting-edge research updates, and short videos from scientists.

Camera-shy cleric

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018 | Cody Handley

A PUBLIC meeting for concerned Anglican Church parishioners of Quamby was held at Westbury in May.

Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, Richard Condie, addressed an audience of 90-odd people at St Andrews Church.

The meeting concerned the proposed sale of churches and cemeteries to fund the National Redress Scheme.

In his address, Bishop Condie spoke of the importance of the Redress Scheme, saying that for survivors of sexual abuse, “redress provides a small measure of justice and recognition.”

Sales proceeds would be distributed as follows: 25% would go towards redress, a further 25% to a ‘new ministry fund,’ while the remaining 50% would stay with local parishes to be put towards finding a replacement site for congregations or to organise transport to another church.

The Bishop stressed that “A church is not the building but the people.”

If money equivalent to 25% of the estimated value can be raised, the Bishop said there would be no need to sell properties. For Quamby Parish, churches at  Hagley, Carrick and Westbury are intended to be sold for an estimated total value of $600,000; meaning, that in order to avoid any sales, Quamby parishioners would need to raise $200,000.

Attendees were hostile to the proposals. One particularly distraught woman stated “These places are our memories. This is where I got married. This is where my children were christened. This is where my husband is buried!”

There was a sentiment that parishioners were being made to suffer for the sins of the clergy with the aforementioned attendee asking, “Why should we have to pay for your sins?” to which the Bishop suggested it was “the Christian thing to do,” drawing scoffs from the audience.

The Bishop was asked how many cemeteries for sale had originally been gifted to the Church, which he took on notice.

The Bishop said the Church was in discussions with councils about taking on management of cemeteries and said more details would be known after a meeting with Treasurer Peter Gutwein.

Submissions are invited between June and October to object to specific sites being sold.

Photo | Mike Moores

Sherriff hands in his badge

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018 | Wendy Laing

AFTER THIRTY four years of running his business in Deloraine, Peter Sherriff is letting go of the reins.

Peter and his wife, Jenny, sold their house in Launceston and came home to Deloraine to start an accounting business, now known as PJS Financial.

Peter Sherriff grew up in Deloraine where his father, Carl Sherriff, originally had an accountancy practice, before becoming the Account/ Financial Controller for Harris department store.

After working for two large accountancy firms in Launceston, Peter said he always had ambitions and dreams of starting up his own business and moving back to live and work in Deloraine.

“Accounting must have been in my blood,” Peter said, “just like farmer’s sons become farmers.”

Peter started PJS Financial with himself and one staff member who worked two days a week. His father would also occasionally help out.

During the past thirty-four years he has employed over fifty staff, watched them grow, gain knowledge and qualifications. At present, there are fourteen employees at PJS Financial.

‘We have had a fantastic bunch of long-serving employees, with over half of our current staff clocking up the second stage of their long service with the business.

Peter and his wife, Jenny, who is the daughter of another local family, Jimmy and Margaret Arnold, have two sons, Adam and Jason who are now in their thirties and live and work on the mainland.

Peter has been a board member of Grenoch Aged Care and the Rotary Pratt Foundation and is a Senior Active member and a Past President of the Deloraine Apex Club.

Over the years, Peter has also participated in local sporting organisations. These include Little Athletics, junior and senior basketball, football, and tennis. As well as involvement with junior football, Peter is a Past President of the Deloraine senior football club.

“It has been great being involved in the town,” he said. “Both Jenny and myself have gained a lot out of being part of the community and helping others.”

Six years ago, Sam Horsman, also a local Deloraine lad, joined the firm from KMPG, where he was a senior manager. Sam said he is

looking forward to continuing to steer PJS Financial into the future.

“Since Sam has been with us,” Peter said, “I have had a chance to develop other business interests which I will now be able to concentrate on.”

Although they also have a Launceston office, PJS Financial Deloraine will always be the main centre and core business.

Peter still intends showing a keen interest in PJS Financial and will act as a consultant for the business.

“I have no intention of sitting back and doing nothing,” he said. “I hate the term ‘retirement’ and have banned the word from our home.”

Photo | Mike Moores

Full steam ahead!

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018 | Marguerite McNeill

THERE’S SOMETHING about steam traction engines that captures the imagination of most people. The ageing giants have a special charm that attract people from all walks of life and across generations.

The sooty smell, hissing steam and chugging engine spell a kind of romance that evokes images of a bygone era ... a time when man’s ingenuity challenged the power of a horse-drawn plough.

Nowadays, totally outpaced by modern smart tractors, the steam workhorses are regarded as prized relics of the past and generally only fired up for special events or just for fun.

But starting a steam engine takes a lot more effort than just turning a key; and maintaining the machines is dirty, tiring and time consuming.

It’s a job that keeps Hagley duo Bernard Boon and Paivi Sims absorbed for hours at a time. And they love it.

The working mechanisms of steam engines hold few surprises for 87-year-old Bernard who is a regular volunteer at Pearn’s Steamworld in Westbury. He has owned a 1912 Foden steam traction engine for more than 40 years (though not from new, as he once explained to a couple of interested youngsters. “They even wanted to know if I could do burn outs,” he laughed).

The only burning with that engine is keeping the firebox topped up until it reaches the optimal temperature for full steam and it’s not a job for any mean slouch. Reaching steam-up involves feeding in three quarters of a ton of wood and 500 gallons of water and takes around three hours. But it’s all in a day’s work for Bernard and Paivi who work together in complete harmony while pandering to the old engine.

“You can’t build up the steam too fast,” Paivi said. “It will cause cracking.” A much newer recruit to the magic of steam, 26 year old Paivi is in her element working around steam engines and hasn’t stopped smiling since gaining a license to drive the sturdy machines earlier this year. The intensive course involved a lot of online study, hands-on training and 250 driving hours. “It’s very strict,” she said. “You’re working with a pressure vessel and have to pass a standard boiler operation exam.” She is also up to speed on all-round maintenance.

One of just three women drivers in the state, Paivi’s enthusiasm is infectious. I just love it,” she said. “I love the smell and the way they move.”

As well as time spent at Pearn’s, occasional excursions further afield allow the volunteers to meet with other enthusiasts and show off their machines.

Paivi believes that steam engine drivers are one of a kind and said women are well accepted into the mould. “Go and talk to them, you can learn a lot,” she said. “We need more people to be interested (in steam), we need more of the younger generation to become involved.”

Photo | Mike Moores

Greg leaves halls of Parliament

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018 | Cody Handley

LONG SERVING Legislative Council member, the Hon. Greg Hall, has retired.

Mr Hall has had a long career in public life, spanning 28 years.

Greg was first elected to the Deloraine Council in 1990, before it became Meander Valley Council, and later served 6 years as Mayor.

Greg hadn’t thought much about politics, and was still preoccupied with farming and local issues when he was approached by John Loone to stand as an independent for the Legislative Council. He has since been re-elected twice, and spent 17 years in the Upper House, including 2 terms as Deputy President.

“As an independent you don’t get to set policy, but have to be proactive in convincing the government of the day that they ought to make changes here and there for the betterment of the state,” he said.

Greg counts the Meander Dam and the Lakes Highway amongst his major achievements in which he had an influence.

“The Lakes road used to be an old goat track which was dangerous given the level of traffic,” he said. “I’d been banging on about it so long Paul Lennon said ‘get this bloke off my back, get it done.’”

Greg notes “it was harder to get grants as an independent, it’s easy if you’re one of the government.” However, there were also advantages. “In a large diverse electorate, I found that people would prefer to approach an independent member than a ‘party person.’ Tasmanians like a predominance of independents in the Upper House as they see it as a house of review.”

“As an independent, I always voted on the issue, not the politics, and tried to avoid paralysis by indecision. ‘Perfect’ can often be the enemy of ‘good,’” he said.

Another positive of working in the Legislative Council was its collegiate nature. “We had the ability to cross swords on the floor and then go for a beer afterwards. This doesn’t happen so much in the House of Assembly.”

Greg has a reputation as a practical joker, and thinks his best gag was putting talcum powder in President Jim Wilkinson’s umbrella. However, this was payback for when Greg was a newly elected member and Jim put a talc ‘bomb’ in his desk draw, giving his suit quite the distinctive hue.

When asked about the best and worst aspects of being a MLC, Greg identifies the satisfaction of achieving good outcomes for your electors and state, conversely the amount of travelling and time spent away from home.

Despite retirement, Greg plans to keep involved in the community. “I’m not good at doing nothing,” he said. Although greater consideration will be given to the family, farm, cycling, and a long reading list, he admits.

“I really appreciate those people who have supported me throughout three terms in parliament. I’ve met some fantastic people who have volunteered for their respective communities. I think we’re very fortunate in regional communities for the people who step up to the plate and assist those in need.”

Greg’s electorate of Western Tiers has recently been abolished in what he describes as a bizarre decision by the Electoral Commission, creating another electorate in the South, whilst denying people in the central north a vote for 10 years.

Photo | Mike Moores

Adventure seekers

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018 | Cody Handley

EIGHT DELORAINE High School students are raising funds for an overseas expedition to Malaysia and Borneo in September.

The expedition will be student-led, with guidance from teacher Garan Lewis and an expedition leader from World Challenge, an organisation that works with schools to provide overseas travel opportunities for students.

The students are expected to raise approximately 70 percent of the funds themselves, a total of $5,800 each, which will cover necessities like flights, accommodation and travel insurance.

So far, they have done this via part-time jobs, an auction that raised $2,400 organised with help from Rotary and local businesses, and have 3 weekends lined up to do sausage sizzles at Bunnings.

The trip will be three weeks in duration and include a 5-10 day trek through the Borneo jungle and a community project. This project, decided by the village, could include repairing schools or buildings, teaching English, creating drainage or plumbing, or conservation. Materials and skilled labour will be supplied by World Challenge, the students will do the rest.

Asked what they hoped to take from the expedition, answers were varied.

“Doing something different, I guess. Experiencing something you otherwise wouldn’t,” said Ruby.

Ebony looked forward to “The leadership and responsibility.”

Colby, the only boy on the trip, had a simple request: “I want to see an orangutan!”

The trip resulted from an information night and an email circulating the school about World Challenge.

The students had a training weekend at Narawntapu National Park where they learned useful skills such as erecting hammocks, using stretchers, first aid, building shelter, and safety and risk assessment.

To make a donation, email garan.lewis@education.tas. for more information.

Photo | Mike Moores

He haw, he always talks about me!

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018

STEVEN FRENCH’S Facebook posts about Missy the Irish donkey have resulted in her getting quite a personal following.

Steven was recently approached by the ABC in Hobart about a weekly state-wide radio guest spot where Steven talks about the exploits of Missy and other happenings on his farm in Whitemore.

‘There’s a Donkey at the Window’ goes to air Sunday mornings on ‘Weekends with Chris Wisbey’, Tasmania’s highest rating weekend radio show.

‘There’s a Donkey at the Window’ started this week and the link to the show is:

Steven and Missy’s bit comes on at approximately 1:17:09 into the show.

Weekends’ is uploaded to the ABC site a day or two after each show and Steven will post the link on Facebook each week.

Steven has also been asked to make a regular contribution about life on the farm (and assorted topics) to the national quarterly magazine ‘Earth Garden’.

Steven’s stories and photos will start appearing from the next edition.

‘There’s a Donkey at the Window’ will also be the name of Steven’s forthcoming book.

Could he be basking in, and capitalising on, Missy’s reflected popularity?

Photo | Steven French