THIS WEEK'S COMMUNITY NEWS
Study: logging aggravated 2019 fires
A study on the January 2019 Riveaux Road bushfire published by University of Tasmania researchers has found that logging causes bushfires to be more severe.
In a paper published in the journal Fire, researchers found that logging regrowth and plantations burned more severely than old-growth forests.
Satellite images of the area taken before and after the fire allowed the researchers to examine where the fire burned, its severity, and the types of forest affected.
Co-author Dr Jennifer Sanger said the research found that old-growth, mature forest and plantation tended to burn less than regrowth forest, but the most notable differences were in fire severity.
More severe fires occurred in logging-regrowth and plantation forests (about 60% crown death each) while fires were less severe in mature forests (30% crown death), and old-growth forests (12%).
“Old-growth wet-eucalypt forests, which are the most commonly logged forest type in Tasmania, are naturally more resilient to fire than younger forests,” Dr Sanger said.
“This is because they often contain shady, wet understoreys of non-flammable rainforest plants which help to slow down fires.”
In contrast, younger forests and plantations have a much higher density of young eucalypts and a much drier understory, causing them to be much more flammable. The flames can also easily reach into the canopy, creating very intense fires which tend to spread quickly and are difficult
“Regrowth from logging and plantations often form the interface between untouched forests and our communities. We really need to take this into consideration when planning how we make our communities safer from wildfire,” Dr Sanger said.
“There have been calls from the forestry industry after the recent bushfires to use logging as a way to reduce the fire risk. This is extremely misleading as our research has shown that logging can make forests more
University of Tasmania
Green waste disposal invited by postcode
Kingborough Council will hold two free green waste weekends at the Barretta Waste Transfer Station and two at Bruny Island Waste Transfer Station. Due to coronavirus restrictions, entry will be granted for residents according to their postcode.
The split weekends are designed to protect the community and staff, and to help comply with distancing requirements.
Green waste will be accepted from Kingborough residents at no cost between 9am and 4pm on the following weekends, which are open to residents of each
Saturday 20, Sunday 21 June
Bonnet Hill/Taroona 7053
Saturday 27, Sunday 28 June
Blackmans Bay 7052
Margate and all of the Channel
Saturday 20, Sunday 21 June
Saturday 27, Sunday 28 June
You will need to provide proof of address upon entry to the facility.
Green waste must be free of contaminants, including general and hazardous waste, plastic and declared weeds. Assistance on weed identification is available by contacting Kingborough Council on 6211 8200. Detection of contaminated green waste may result in disposal fees being applied.
A limit of 5 cubic metres per household applies. Private and commercial operators will be required to pay standard rates for green-waste disposal.
Residents are requested to follow directions from staff as free disposal weekends are very busy. Staff appreciate the patience of all visitors to the facility during this time. Enquiries relating to the program can be directed to Kingborough Waste Services on 6267 2337.
West Winds reopens cautiously
West Winds Community Centre in Woodbridge has a plan to start reopening the centre to the community. The centre has measured its rooms and calculated how many people it can accommodate. It has limited activities to ensure a Covid-safe venue. Of course things will change from day to day and week to week, so please keep abreast of the latest updates on our website, Facebook page, or by giving the centre a call.
Please do not come into the centre if you or anyone in your household is sick.
Many groups are hoping to recommence by the end of June. The centre will ask all visitors to sanitise their hands and observe physical distancing. Participant numbers will be restricted. The centre asks visitors to help achieve a smooth transition into being social and active again.
Larger events may be possible from mid July. This will be determined by the Public Health Unit.
The Reflections Exhibition could be launched on 17 July.
If you, or someone you know, has been doing it tough, or you just need someone to talk to, the centre now offers free phone appointments with a counsellor on Tuesdays. Give the centre a call to book.
West Winds Community Centre
Libraries launch click and collect
Local libraries are launching click and collect services in response to coronavirus restrictions. The service is now available at Huonville, Cygnet and Kingston Libraries. From Friday 5 June, Geeveston Library will also offer the service. Check individual library Facebook pages for further local details.
The new modified lending service will feature a special catalogue which shows those items currently available to borrow.
How to use Click
Go to Libraries Tasmania’s home page and click on ‘Click and Collect’. Search the unique catalogue for an item and select ‘place hold’.
Choose your preferred pickup location from the list of participating libraries.
Requested items are delivered to your chosen library, after which you will be notified by phone or email when they are ready for collection, and the hours during which you can collect. You will also be informed of the procedure to follow, such as physical distancing requirements. Remember to bring your library card (or the card of the person you are collecting for).
If you only have temporary membership and need to collect your new card, remember to bring one piece of ID for you or the person you are collecting for.
If you have existing items on loan you can drop these in the bins provided when you come in to collect your holds.
The regular catalogue is still available for browsing, but you can’t place holds there just yet as our normal holds service is currently not available.
Huon highway work begins
Work has begun on upgrades to the Huon Highway at Dowlings Road to improve safety for all road users.
This project will widen the northbound lane to provide room for vehicles waiting to turn right into Dowlings Road, which provides access to Kate Hill Winery.
The growing number of successful tourism businesses along the highway north of Huonville has led to increasing tourist and local traffic.
The state government has committed $1.5 million for Huon Highway priority safety upgrades to reduce the risk of crashes at busy junctions.
The Huon Highway at Grove has previously been upgraded as part of this package. Safety has been improved for all road users along this section of the highway by widening the road to provide a dedicated turning lane for vehicles waiting to turn right into the Willie Smith’s Apple Shed. Works on the final stage of this project are currently underway, and include widening the road shoulder, and relocation of the safety barrier.
Work on Huon Highway, Dowlings Road is expected to be completed by 30 June 2020, weather permitting. There will be single lane closures and a reduced speed limit during the works, to keep our workers and all road users safe. Road users should allow up to 5 minutes extra travel time during this work.
Minister for infrastructure and transport media release
Wayraparattee gets back on track
Wayraparattee Child and Family Centre in Geeveston has reopened and is following
a statewide family-centre approach to getting back to some normality for children, parents, community members, staff and service providers.
This won’t be a fast return to normal as the centre wishes to take all precautions to ensure families are as safe as possible.
Children and family centres have adopted a three-phase approach. Stage one is underway. The second stage will take effect in mid June. A start date for the third stage has yet to be announced.
Currently members of the public can only visit the centre if they have a scheduled appointment with a staff member or service provider.
Further information will be provided over the phone prior to your visit either by staff or the service provider.
If you are visiting for a scheduled appointment there are procedures to follow. You are asked to follow physical distancing procedures at all times, practise safe hygiene procedures, and follow directions from staff.
If you or your child/children are unwell, please don’t come to the centre.
Drop-ins by families, community members and service providers are not permitted.
The outdoor play space is also closed to the public.
All procedures have been taken from state government directions and Public Health advice.
Please contact the centre on 6297 0052 if you need more information.
Child and Family Centre
Huon Valley Council meeting headline
At its 27 May ordinary meeting, Huon Valley Council discussed the potentially unpopular closure of the Huonville and Geeveston Visitor Centres, improvements to the Huon Highway, fee increases, and development plans for Franklin and Ranelagh. The Cygnet Medical Centre was discussed in closed council. Read on for a summary of the meeting. Meeting video footage, minutes, and agenda are available on the council’s website.
Visitor information centre review outcomes
A report was presented on informing the public about the decision to close the visitor information centres. The council is aware this may be seen as an abandonment of the tourist industry when it most needs support. The council resolved to work with the tourism industry to progress marketing initiatives associated with the Huon Valley brand and the council’s Covid-19 community support package.
Due to a future conflict of interest relating to an accommodation project potentially supplying visitor information, Cr Wilson will not take part in council discussions on visitor information centres in the Huon Valley.
Geeveston Town Hall
A report discussing transition arrangements for the visitor centre site at Geeveston Town Hall was presented. Geeveston Town Hall Company Ltd (GTHCo) leases the hall to a number of tenants who will lose their retail shopfront with closure of the visitor centre. It was resolved that, as an interim solution, GTHCo will provide retail services within the town hall. Surplus stock and fittings from the visitor centres will be transferred to GTHCo on consignment. GTHCo board positions will be extended until June 2021. GTHCo plans to continue the Geeveston Feast when coronavirus restrictions allow.
It is hoped a long-term solution will be developed through a community engagement process for future operations at the town hall.
Huon Highway improvements
Cr Juarne Bird’s motion to write to State Growth minister Michael Ferguson requesting improvements to the Huon Highway down to Cockle Creek was passed.
Cygnet Medical Centre
Items discussed in closed council included the Cygnet Medical Centre and Cygnet Caravan Park leases.
Fees and charges
Fees and charges for the 2020/21 financial year were approved. The fees and charges will increase, for most part, by 3%.
Covid-19 recovery support
A report from the recovery coordinator considers how Huon Valley Council can support longer-term community-led recovery in the Huon Valley. The Huon Valley Covid-19 Council Recovery Action Plan is included as an attachment to this model. More details on both can be found on the council’s website. The general manager was authorised to approve the 2019/20 Stronger Together Quick Response Community Grants.
Draft Franklin Foreshore Rehabilitation and Development Plan
A report provided feedback from a three-week community consultation. Issues raised were:
The location of a unisex vertical-timber toilet block and whether one is necessary;
The location of a path which would affect land use by the Living Boat Trust and Wooden Boat Centre;
Landscaping and planting in keeping with the area.
Amendments were made to the draft plan based on feedback.
Draft Ranelagh Recreation Ground Master Plan
No overall master plan exists for the Ranelagh Recreation Ground. Consultants Inspiring Place developed a draft plan. A report on feedback was received. This suggested:
A reduction in the number of buildings with the goal of supporting multi-use building was not supported;
Planting of trees around perimeter for shade;
Installation of a playground.
The council will provide the North Huon Cricket Club with a letter of support to seek grant funding for their proposal to develop new facilities.
A report was presented for the period of 1 July 2019 to 30 April 2020. The forecast reflects a detailed review of the year-end projection in response to the Covid-19 health crisis.
2020 NRM grants
NRM grants were awarded to The Friends of Huon Island for native-plant revegetation and threatened species conservation ($1,639) and Regenerative Agriculture Network Tasmania for regenerative grazing trials ($3,685).
Councillors have decided to freeze their allowance for the 2020/21 financial year.
New appointments were made to the Audit Panel, the General Manager’s Performance Review Committee, and the Huon Valley Arts and Culture Committee following the resignations of Cr Mick Newell and Cr Mike Wilson from these roles.
Apologies were received from Cr Wilson. Cr Prince is on leave of absence.
Restrictions to ease early
The state government has brought forward the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Effective from 3pm on Friday 5 June, Tasmanians will be able to travel across the state, stay overnight, enjoy their shacks and camping spots once again, as well as launch their boats outside of their municipality. More businesses will open, including beauty services and gyms, while public gathering numbers will increase to 20 people. Fifty people will be permitted to attend funerals.
Gatherings of up to 40 patrons for seated table service, including dining and drinks, can occur in cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs where sufficient space and settings allow.
Restrictions to ease include:
Gatherings increase to 20 people indoors and outdoors, including cinemas, museums, galleries, historic sites, religious gatherings and weddings;
Gatherings of up to 40 patrons for seated table service at cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs (excluding nightclubs) only where sufficient space and settings allow this to occur;
10 visitors to households, in addition to household members;
Accommodation (hotels, motels, Air BnBs, B&B) unlimited;
Camping is permitted - check www.parks.tas.gov.au for open camp grounds as there may be some exceptions where maintenance is occurring;
Open homes and auctions can resume with 20 people;
Gyms and boot camps for up to 20 people;
TABcorp retail shop fronts can reopen;
Beauty services (including tattoo, nails, waxing, facials and tanning) for up to 20 people;
Park exercise equipment and playgrounds open for up to 20 people;
Outdoor community sport to resume, with up to 20 athletes/personnel, as guided by AIS; and
Indoor sport and recreation, including pools with up to 20 people, no spectators, as guided by AIS.
A review for easing stage 3 restrictions will occur in mid to late June.
Premier of Tasmania media release
Kingborough wins in City Deal
The Hobart City Deal projects for Kingborough have been locked in, with the council formally endorsing the plans.
The projects funded under the City Deal for the area include:
Huntingfield and Firthside Park and Ride facilities – $6.75 million
Kingston Bus Interchange development – $800,000
Kingston Place Strategy being led by the council – $100,000
Bus stop upgrades – $2.65 million
Expansion of bus services – $3.5 million
Complementary council initiatives – $7 million
Minister for infrastructure and transport Michael Ferguson said these important projects would provide a boost for the region and improve quality of life for the local community.
“The park and ride facilities will be serviced by additional buses and services, making bus travel to the city faster and more reliable than ever.
“In addition, the state will upgrade major bus stops across Kingborough to increase disability access requirements as well as adding shelters and seating to high-use stops.
Mayor Dean Winter said the Hobart City Deal was set to deliver the biggest transport infrastructure investment in Kingborough in a decade.
“We could not be more excited to see these projects to come to life next financial year,” Cr Winter said.
“It is a much-needed and appreciated investment by the state in one of the fastest growing areas of Tasmania.
“While the state delivers two new park and ride facilities along with additional services, Kingborough Council will be rebuilding the Kingston CBD, including the Channel Highway and new bus interchange at Kingston in 2020-21.”
Kingborough Council’s design of its new central business area will be in line with its finalised Kingston Place Strategy, which was also undertaken as part of the City Deal. The strategy’s development included almost 1,500 survey responses from local people which helped formulate the new plan.
Kingborough Council media release
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