Meet the Huon’s first AR platypus

With plans underway to bring more tourists to regional centres, particularly to the Huon Valley by way of Southern Journeys, the big issue is: what will visitors do when they get here? Tourists with expectations will want more to do other than just driving around taking pictures of themselves. Tourists are savvy, often sophisticated, and want to have unique experiences. Here’s an attraction that’s offering something a bit different. The Huon’s first augmented reality (AR) platypus was launched last week in Geeveston, allowing people to get up close to one of the Huon’s most unusual and difficult-to-find creatures.
Part of a broader project being formed across Tasmania, the Huon Platypus AR Project is possible because of the teamwork of local developers Handbuilt Creative and Huon Valley Council. The project has been jointly funded by the Huon Valley Council and the Department of State Growth. It is one of a series of unique user experiences that Handbuilt Creative have developed. The Handbuilt Creative team have worked with a number of local government and regional tourism organisations to bring Tasmania’s unique stories to life. Hours of painstaking work has gone into the creation of the platypus display, which allows you to see the real-life behaviours of this fascinating creature in a duplication of an Australian riverbank recreational scene.
Augmented reality: please explain?
Using a handheld digital device, like an iPad, the user can zoom in to see how the platypus swims and navigates the flows of the river, shifts and shovels the gravel for food, and secretly returns to its burrow, just as it would in the wild.
At the launch at Geeveston Visitor Centre on Wednesday 11 September 2019, representatives from the organisations behind the project spoke about its creation and how other AR experiences are being installed across southern Tasmania, offering more opportunities for visitors to get involved. Following a demonstration of the installation, Huon Valley Council mayor Bec Enders and David Shering of Handbuilt Creative together cut the ceremonial ribbon, officially launching the display for public enjoyment.
Cr Enders said the Huon Valley Council is excited to bring new technologies to the Huon Valley, not only to help boost tourism but also for our community to enjoy.
“Huon Valley Council staff and our friends at Handbuilt Creative have put an enormous amount of effort and care into this project, so it’s fantastic to see this collaboration come to fruition. The display is very real and impressive. We are confident it will become a highlight attraction for the area,” Cr Enders said.
“We are looking forward to seeing and hearing the public response to the display. An important aspect of the experience is that it encourages people to then head out for some real-world exploration, which draws people’s attention to our greatest asset – our natural environment.
“It also offers people of all abilities to get up close and see how platypus behave in the wild.”
David Shering said, “The vast majority of people passing through Geeveston have no idea they can view wild platypus so close to the road. By developing an experience that encourages people to get outside and explore, we can increase the number of visitors that stop in rural towns like Geeveston.
“This AR approach is critical to the local economy, and it’s a rapidly growing sector of technology – with the world’s biggest brands focusing their efforts on AR. Tasmania has some of the most advanced AR in the world and is attracting international attention because of it. This is great news for our economy, and our state.”
Name the AR platypus
Huon Valley Council is running a competition inviting local residents to submit a name suggestion for the Huon platypus which includes the letter combination ‘AR’. Head down to Geeveston Visitor Centre to meet the AR platypus for yourself and fill out an entry form before submissions close on 15 October 2019 for a chance to win a prize package valued at more than $300. Cr Enders encourages people to make a special visit to Geeveston Visitor Centre to experience the display and make a name suggestion before 15 October. If you can’t make it before then, don’t worry – the AR Huon platypus is here to stay, so you can come visit our newest local resident any time. The filmed footage of the platypus going about its business is charming and authentic. It’s sure to be a hit with tourists and locals. The Geeveston Visitor Centre, the former Town hall built in 1914, is located in the impressive red brick building in the centre of town, is open 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm.
Merlene Abbott

Residents urged to keep recycling
Following concerns raised regarding recycling services, Kingborough Council is urging residents to keep recycling at this time.
Tasmania’s four southern metropolitan councils have been negotiating to secure the immediate future of the recycling facility in Lutana.
Kingborough, Hobart City, Clarence and Glenorchy councils have agreed to engage
a contractor to remove and process the stockpile of glass on the site, maximising the opportunity for the operation to continue receiving and sorting recyclables for all southern Tasmanian households.
The four councils also moved to meet the costs associated with the necessary removal of accumulated contaminated materials to landfill, as per standard waste practices, which contained recycled waste from all southern Tasmanian councils.
Kingborough’s kerbside recycling collection and the recycling facilities at the Barretta Waste Management Facility will continue to operate as normal. For more information on what can be recycled and the services available at Barretta, visit
Kingborough Council

SETAC free health clinic for the whole community

The SETAC Primary Health and Well-Being Centre at Cygnet would like to remind the whole
community (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) that we run a free health clinic in conjunction with Family Planning Tasmania (FPT) nurse Deb Croft. Deb has many years of experience working in sexual, reproductive and women’s health in Tasmania.
This free clinic caters for clients of any gender throughout all phases of life – from puberty to menopause and beyond. The name Family Planning does not fully reflect the complete range of sexual, reproductive and women’s health services that Deb offers.
Services available include:
• STI screening for all ages
• Contraceptive advice and counselling
• Cervical screening, previously known as a PAP smear (recommended until 74 years)
• Menopause counselling
• Breast checks and education about self-examination
• Pregnancy advice and counselling
• Continence issues
• Assistance or advice around menstrual problems and disorders
If you’re not sure that your matter is one that Deb can deal with, feel free to come along for a chat and she’ll see if she can help.
All client consultations are completely confidential; Deb will only collaborate with other health providers if you ask her to.
Clinics are run once a fortnight on a Friday morning. You can book your appointment by
calling SETAC on 6295 1125.
Find out more information from Family Planning Tasmania on their website:

Mayor: infrastructure needed
In the latest edition of the Kingborough Council's newsletter, mayor Dean Winter spoke about the need for improved infrastructure to support the growing Kingborough community.
Mayor's message
After being the fastest growing municipality in Tasmania for over a decade, we are facing a shortfall of infrastructure to support our growing population. With over 80% of our workforce commuting into the city every day, there are two clear ways we can address this.
The first is to maintain and increase our local employment opportunities.  I am fighting as hard as I can against any move of the Australian Antarctic Division out of Kingborough and into central Hobart.  There is no economic or scientific benefit to moving 300 workers into the city.  All it will do is create more congestion and unintended flow-on economic impacts to
local retailers. 
The second thing we can do is build appropriate transport infrastructure. The City Deal has provided the council with $20.8 million from the state government to develop infrastructure to support transport. Work is being done to identify the best locations for park and ride sites, and we’re redesigning central Kingston to include
a bus interchange. It is very hard to expect people to use the bus when we have such poor bus stops in our area.
We continue to advocate for enhancements to the Channel Highway, particularly around cycling infrastructure. The shared path from Margate to Snug has been such a huge success, and it could only be improved by extending it to Kingston.
Kingborough Council

Nominate your local hero
ave you nominated an outstanding Kingborough volunteer yet? The Kingborough Awards 2020 nomination process closes on Monday 7 October. We are looking for outstanding volunteers who selflessly contribute to the Kingborough community.
We warmly thank all those who take the time to nominate a volunteer or community group. We look forward to seeing who will be nominated for 2020.
We are seeking nominations for: citizen of the year, young citizen of the year, and community group of the year.
The guidelines and nomination form can be found on the council website at Click on Community> Community Services>Awards and Ceremonies>Kingborough Awards Nomination Form.
Kingborough Council

Free compost workshops target waste
Learn how to compost your food waste at home for free. Good Life Permaculture is hosting a series of free one-hour composting workshops in collaboration with Kingborough Council. Participants will learn about composting food waste at home, and keeping it out of landfill.
Did you know that food waste comprises nearly half the rubbish in an average household bin, and that up to (and over) 40% of landfills across Australia contain pure food waste. Once in landfill, food waste undergoes anaerobic decomposition (because of the lack of oxygen) and generates methane. When released into the atmosphere, methane is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
So if you compost your food waste, you’re diverting it from landfill and transforming it into nutrient-dense compost. Perfect for growing a great veggie patch in your own home or community garden.
This workshop will cover how to compost food waste with chickens, small compost bins, large compost bays and piles, compost worm farms, and more.
The workshop will be held at Unpacked Wholefoods Shop, 45 Channel Highway, Kingston. Please arrive five minutes early so we can start on time. The workshops will take place on Sunday 29 September, 27 October and 24 November from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Spaces are limited.
The workshops will be led by Anton Vikstrom, director of Good Life Permaculture, an environmental scientist and a permaculture designer/educator. With over 20 years of home composting experience under his belt, there’s not much he doesn’t know when it come to turning your kitchen waste into garden gold.
Good Life Permaculture

Free mental health first aid
RAW (Rural Alive and Well Tasmania) are offering a session, Free Mental Health First Aid for Non Suicidal Self Injury at Huon Valley Council Chambers, 40 Main Street, Huonville, on Thursday 26 September, from 9.30am to 2pm (half hour break with lunch provided).
Teens, parents or individuals working with teens are encouraged to attend.
To register your interest please contact RAW on 6254 1092 or There is a maximum of 25 participants.
Visit or for more information.
Rural Alive and Well Tasmania & Mental Health First Aid Australia

Kingborough weekly works update
Kingborough Council’s contractor, Downer EDI, have completed the first stage of reseal to Tinderbox Road. They will return during the October school holidays to complete the reseal outside Illawarra Primary School, and other streets.
The asphalt crew will be carrying out minor repairs and reported pothole repairs in
various locations.
A pipe upgrade will be carried out at the intersection of Van Morey Road and Old Bernies Road and a pipe replacement will be carried out on Talbots Road.
There will be some shoulder maintenance on Cripps Road in preparation for the gravel road resheeting work coming up.
The council’s mainland grader will be offline this week to receive a service, and to have some minor additions installed (part of the purchase). As a result there will be no maintenance grading this week on mainland Kingborough.
Roadside spraying was postponed on Bruny Island last week due to weather conditions.
Kerb and channel repair work will be carried out on Aldinga Street in Blackmans Bay.
Some roadside guardrail maintenance will be undertaken in some locations along Summerleas Road (delayed from last week).
Street sweeping will occur in various streets from Margate and south.
Maintenance grading will be carried out on various roads in the Adventure Bay area this week.
The crew will be installing a culvert on Simpsons Bay Road as part of the preparatory works for the gravel resheeting work.
There is still some tidy up happening this week following the stormy conditions from last week.
The garden crew are laying the turf for the new Kingston Beach toilet block.
There will be some minor fence repairs in the Snug Beach reserve area. This was delayed from
last week.
The contractor working on the Mountain Bike track near the sports centre will be finishing their work on the track upgrades.
The building crew will be attending to various reported maintenance issues and continue checking various roofs for leaks.
Please take care if passing any works and follow any traffic management controls. We greatly appreciate your patience as we carry out this work.
Kingborough Council

Help address the risks of dementia

The Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre is a global research leader on the risk factors for dementia and has recently launched the ISLAND Project – the largest dementia prevention project in the world.
Through the ISLAND Project, we want to equip members of our Tasmanian community with the knowledge and information to self-manage personal risk factors that are known to increase risk of dementia if they are not managed, especially from middle age onwards. Many of these risk factors are prevalent in our population and we want to help our community members to reduce their risk of dementia and improve their overall health and wellbeing.
We need the help of our community to make the ISLAND Project a success. We hope you will help us to spread the word about this important project that aims to improve the health of our population and make a dent in dementia in Tasmania.
We are seeking your support to help us sign up over 10,000 Tasmanians who are over 50 years of age for this project. Any Tasmanian over 50 years of age can register their interest at This link also provides further information about the ISLAND Project and its aims.
We hope that you share this information and the registration link with your personal networks. We also hope you will register an interest yourself, if you are within the age group outlined above.
We hope to reach all Tasmanians over 50 years of age and especially those who are concerned about dementia and the impact it has on individuals, families and communities. Thank you for your help to engage our community to register their interest in this important project. With the help of our community, we believe we can have a positive impact on dementia in Tasmania and help Tasmania lead the world in preventing this life changing condition.
Please contact or 6266 6977 if you have any queries.
The ISLAND Project
Wicking Dementia Research & Education Centre

Shaping our food and waste systems for a circular economy
Momentum is growing across Tasmania to reduce emissions and transition to a circular economy.
Eat Well Tasmania and the Local Government Association of Tasmania hosted a ‘Tasmanian Way’ forum on Monday 16 September 2019. The forum, supported by the Tasmanian Climate Change Office within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, brought together 50 leaders and decision makers from local and state government, business, industry, the research sector and the community to shape a roadmap for transitioning our food and waste systems towards a circular economy.
The invitation only forum set out to:
• Identify key priorities in our food and waste systems, including a preliminary set of measurable 2030 goals and targets,
• Identify solutions in Tasmania that are advancing more sustainable food and waste systems; and
• Co-create a roadmap to coordinate greater action to deliver the goals and targets.
The forum was opened by the Hon Peter Gutwein MP and the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Anna Reynolds.
LGAT president Mayor Christina Holmdahl said, “The discussions at the forum are timely and important as they will feed into the broader engagement process LGAT has been undertaking with our members in relation to the development of a State Waste Action Plan”.
Leah Galvin, state manager of Eat Well Tasmania said, “We know Tasmanians want to eat more locally produced food and this forum is a fantastic opportunity to discuss how we can work towards developing a target to encourage everyone in the community to eat more sustainably by choosing
local produce”.
Local Government Association of Tasmania & Eat Well Tasmania

Dementia doesn’t discriminate. Do you?
Australians are being called upon to consider how discrimination impacts the estimated 447,000 people living with dementia, along with their families and carers, during Dementia Action Week 2019, which runs from 16 to 22 September.
As part of the annual awareness campaign, Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe is asking Australians to complete a short survey at to give us a national, informed picture of what discrimination looks like now and what it would take to shift that discrimination.
Figures show that without a medical breakthrough, the number of Australians living with dementia is projected to increase to almost 1.1 million by 2058. The increasing prevalence means there will not be anyone not impacted by dementia in some way.
In the Federal electorate of Franklin there are an estimated 2,210 people living with dementia this year, which is expected to increase to 3,793 by 2058.
“We know, because people living with dementia tell us, that discrimination exists and that it impacts on their everyday life,” Ms McCabe said.
“That’s why we want to tackle this head-on and we are calling on all Australians to contribute their views.
“Almost 5,000 people have already responded since the survey opened last month.
“If we can inspire the general public, as well as people who have been impacted by dementia, to complete the survey we believe we will have access to invaluable data that will give us a national, informed picture of what discrimination looks like now and what it would take to shift
those behaviours.
“Dementia is the chronic disease of the 21st century. We have a responsibility to think differently about dementia and end the discrimination.”
Discrimination can come in many forms. For Tim Granger, who lives with dementia, the change in people’s behaviour towards him has been noticeable since his diagnosis with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease four years ago.
“A lot of people don’t know how to approach me and there’s a misconception that I won’t remember who they are,” Mr Granger said.
“I was recently at an event where I knew almost everyone in the church yet everyone stayed away except one man.
“My close friends are ok and treat me the same, but it’s the wider circle of acquaintances who aren’t sure what to do. I want them to know I am a normal human being and I want to talk to people. I just have a few obstacles now.”
Tara McDonald, whose father Jim is living with dementia, said at her father’s local community group, he was encouraged to use the equipment to his ability and chat to other attendees.
“He tended to enjoy sweeping up and keeping things tidy, so he felt useful, until a member of the group asked him why he bothers coming because he doesn’t do anything,” Ms McDonald said.
“That really took the wind out of his sails.”
This year’s Dementia Action Week theme is Dementia doesn’t discriminate. Do you? The aim is to challenge Australians to think about how their words and actions impact on the everyday life of a person living with dementia.
During Dementia Action Week, individuals, community groups and organisations are hosting events to help spread community awareness. Find out if there is one near you by heading to
To coincide with World Alzheimer’s Day on Saturday 21 September, major landmark buildings across the nation will be illuminated in teal to help spread the word about dementia. The full list is at
People are being encouraged to take a photo of the landmarks lit up in teal and share it on social media using the hashtag #dementiadoesntdiscriminate and tagging Dementia Australia. All Australians can make a difference. Find out more about the survey and Dementia Action Week at
Dementia Australia

Scroll to Top