THIS WEEK'S COMMUNITY NEWS
Loans for fire-hit businesses
Applications are open for concessional business recovery loans of up to $100,000 and bushfire business recovery grants of up to $25,000 for businesses affected by the recent bushfires in the Huon Valley, Central Highlands, West Coast and Derwent Valley council areas.
These grants will assist businesses in covering loss of assets and income, and are in addition to the initial $2,000 business disruption grants which assisted small businesses with immediate bill and cost stresses.
It is estimated that 500 local businesses may have been directly or indirectly affected by this summer’s fires, some of which would struggle to recover without assistance.
These grants and loans are an important step in the recovery of local communities and will assist local economies to reboot and ensure jobs remain in our local towns and regions.
The bushfire business recovery grants and concessional business recovery loans will contribute to business recovery, ongoing viability, and supporting jobs in the local economy.
Applications close on 31 March 2019.
Bushfire business recovery grant and concessional business recovery loan application information is available at Business Tasmania’s website at www.business.tas.gov.au/
School holiday fun
The next Kingborough school holiday program is out. Read on to find out what exciting activities are available to young people in April.
12pm-4pm | Monday 15 April | Waterfall walk and bush tucker exploration | Ages 12-17 | Free
Join Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural awareness group NitaEd on a bush tucker walk to Snug Falls, followed by a picnic lunch with fun and creative activities on Coningham Beach. Transport will be provided. Please bring lunch.
9am-3pm | Tuesday 16 April | Woodfield Adventure day | Ages 12-17 | $25
A fun, action-packed day of adventure activities including archery attack, and fun on the flying fox and waterslide at Woodfield Adventure Park. Transport will be provided. Please bring lunch.
10am-1pm | Wednesday 17 April | Cooking workshop @ yspace | Ages 12-17 | $15
Make delicious sweet and savoury dishes to take home.
11am-4pm | Saturday 4 May | Blackmans Bay Skate Park Event | All ages | Free event
Be part of the Tas Skate Park League National Series. The day will feature competition and free play for skateboarders, scooter riders and BMX. There will be great prizes and
a free BBQ.
Registrations open at 11am. Please bring
No registration via Eventbrite is required.
Visit the council’s Facebook page for more information @KingboroughTas.
Bookings must be made for the whole day.
Priority will be given to young people who reside in the Kingborough municipality.
The recommended age range is 12 to 17 (except for 29 January), with concessions made only by agreement with the parents and Youth Services.
Bus times are approximate. There may be occasions when pick-ups and drop-offs occur up to ten minutes earlier or later than the advertised time. Parents will be notified if changes occur.
Transport from Bruny Island for 16 April is dependent upon numbers of young people registering from Bruny.
Please contact 6211 8200 for more information.
Transport will be provided from Kingston to Snug Falls and return for 15 April. If you require transport from Woodbridge or Kettering on this date please contact 6211 8200 before booking.
Transport will be provided from Woodbridge to Woodfield and return (including Kettering ferry terminal) for 16 April.
For more information please contact the council’s youth officer on 6211 8200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cygnet on song
A new community choir will be formed in Cygnet on 1 April. Would you like a chance to sing regularly? A chance to sing something a bit different? Come along and enjoy singing with others. The choir will explore a mixed repertoire of world, gospel, contemporary, and early music and quirky folk. It’s a chance to try some simple or more challenging part singing.
Singers both new and more experienced are encouraged to come. Our new choir conductor, Theo Vandersman, says he can work to both of these levels within the same choir. To that end, he will provide MP3 files of the parts to help choir members learn and practise
Everyone is welcome: women, men and teenagers alike. And it’s free to come and try.
The Cygnet Community Arts Council is excited to have found such a fabulous choir leader in Theo, who will run these six sessions as a block over 12 weeks, with plans for further blocks later in the year.
Theo, who is in his mid 60s, and a bit alternative in character and style, has a long history in music conducting and arranging for choirs of all sorts. His experience will enable him to add a wide range of variety to the repertoire. He aims to create a musical environment where choristers can improve their individual ability levels while having lots of fun. Theo was a high school music teacher for years, and is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist. He will be ably assisted by his wife Alkeiya.
Choir sessions will starting on Monday 1 April and run fortnightly from 7pm to 9.30pm on 1, 15 and 29 April, 13 and 27 May, and 10 June, at the Southern Swan, 12 Mary Street, Cygnet. We will aim for an in-house performance at the end of these first six sessions, to which friends and family will be invited.
For more information, call 0400 614 067 or email email@example.com.
Fostering local businesses
The Kingborough and Huon Business Enterprise Centre (KHBEC) has some exciting events and initiatives on its calendar for local business owners. These events are open to all businesses in Kingborough and the Huon and anyone who is thinking of starting a business as well. To book please visit www.khbec.com.au/events.
Kingborough will see its first Business Breakfast on Wednesday 3 April at 7.30am, hosted by our good friends at Kairos Cafe (Channel Heritage Museum, 1755 Channel Highway, Margate). This will sell out quickly, so purchase your ticket soon.
On Wednesday 10 April, KHBEC will hold a business dinner at the Cygnet Old Bank (20 Mary Street). Our guest speaker is Andrew Marlton, national treasure and Walkley Award-winning Guardian cartoonist First Dog On The Moon. Andrew is a famed cartoonist, author and comedian.
First Dog on the Moon’s popularity led to the production of merchandise based on his characters. Products include soft toys, shirts, socks, playing cards, magnets, badges, calendars and tea towels – which were discussed by a former prime minister of Australia on national television. Bookings close at 5pm on Friday 5 April.
KHBEC has secured the only Australian government contract issued in Tasmania to provide entrepreneurship facilitator services to Greater Hobart and south-east Tasmania.
We welcome a new member to the team, Daniela Schurink-Moeller. Daniela is an experienced business advisor , whom we know well. We are very pleased to have her on board.
Entrepreneurship facilitators promote and encourage entrepreneurship among individuals, but with a focus on those aged over 45. We provide a range of free services, including:
Information and advice about starting and running a business;
Understanding entrepreneurship workshops and networking events;
Providing mentoring assistance and advice.
We will be using the name Business South for this program.
We will continue to provide our normal KHBEC services in the Kingborough and Huon regions.
Please make sure you share our Facebook page with friends, family and associates who may be interested in knowing more. See
For more information about the entrepreneurship program, visit www.jobs.gov.au/entrepreneurship-facilitators.
Dressage day sparks interest
Cygnet Riding Club’s Circles and Bumps dressage day will be held on Sunday 14 April at the club’s grounds, and is already sparking interest among equestrians all over the Huon.
Despite dressage’s highbrow connotations, this unofficial event is set to be an enjoyable and relaxed affair, hence the name Circles and Bumps, a light-hearted nickname for the sport.
Every horse, no matter what its breeding or conformation, can do dressage, for this French word simply means ‘training’, something that every horse should undergo if it is to develop into
a polite and amenable individual that is a pleasure to ride or
Four levels of tests will be offered, from the most basic – preparatory – in which the horse is required merely to show simple, basic movements at walk and trot only; to preliminary, novice and elementary, which ask for progressively more complex movements such as canter figures and lateral movements.
The tests are Equestrian Australia Preparatory A 2013, Preparatory C 2013, Preliminary 1A 2019, Preliminary 1B 2019, Novice 2A 2019, Novice 2B 2019 and Elementary 3A 2019.
All tests may be downloaded from the Equestrian Australia website at www.equestrian.org.au.
Useful diagrams of the tests may be downloaded from www.dressage.net.au/australiatests.
There will be a prize for the first place-getter in each test, and ribbons to fourth place.
Entry forms can be downloaded from the Cygnet Riding Club Facebook page, or by emailing secretary Lesley Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All enquiries should be addressed to Lesley on 0400 409 166.
Entries close on Monday 8 April.
The Kingborough Community Hub is opening its doors for the first time on Friday 29 March.
Come and explore the new heart of Kingston Park.
At 5pm there will be an official opening ceremony with welcome to country by Nita Education.
At 5.30pm there will be entertainment from the Kingston High School Band, the Tinderboxers, Dewayne Everettsmith, the Teahouse Trio, and Janelle Stowe and Brendon Siemsen. Food and wine will be on sale from 5.30pm.
There will be an opportunity to have your say on the Kingston Park playground and on planning Kingborough’s future. You’ll be able to find out about Kingston Park’s developers and to learn about future opportunities at the Hub.
For more information visit Kingborough Community Hub kingborough.tas.gov.au/kch or check out the Facebook event @KingboroughTas.
The Kingborough Community Hub is jointly funded by the Kingborough Council and
a $2.8 million grant obtained from the first round of the Australian government’s Building Better Regions Fund program.
Event moves home
Love Living Locally is moving to the new Kingborough Community Hub for 2019. The event will be held on 7 April from 10am to 3pm.
As the surrounds of Kingston Park are still to be developed, a slightly smaller festival will be held this year. All the favourite kids’ activities will return however, such as Kids Love Science, a pop-up playground, face painting and henna, social circus, a bouncy castle, Zorb balls and more.
The festival is also a great opportunity to connect with local groups and see what is happening across Kingborough and how to get involved.
A variety of local producers will be there with delicious dishes and beverages.
We will be asking for feedback on draft designs for the Kingston Park playground and Kingborough Council will have a listening post for community members to tell us what their priorities are for the future.
2019 Council Cost Index released
The Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) released its annual council cost index
LGAT CEO Dr Katrena Stephenson, said the council cost index (CCI) is a tool to assist councils to appropriately set rates to reflect the cost of providing assets, services and support for their communities.
“It is important for councils to understand the nature of their business and what the true costs are over periods of time,”
Dr Stephenson said.
The CCI differs from the consumer price index (CPI) in that it provides an indication of how council expenditure might change over a time period, even though what the council is spending money on has not changed.
“The cost of living is a very important factor taken into consideration by councils when setting rates,” said Dr Stephenson. “However, while the CPI is a useful guide for understanding shifts in the price of consumables such as groceries and organisational costs, it does not tell the full story around a council’s costs.
“The CCI enables councils to consider the specific nature and costs of the services they provide. It is affected by factors such as the costs of construction for roads and bridges.
It applies to the many activities councils undertake across their municipalities: from community services to general construction of roads, bridges, parks and community facilities as well as ongoing maintenance.”
Nationally, local government collects the least tax of any level of government, only 3.6% of all taxation revenue. Local government is responsible for significant key community infrastructure, such as three quarters of the national road network (by length), yet the share of Commonwealth taxation revenue distributed to local government is shrinking.
The CCI is based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
The CCI formula comprises: the wage price index (50%), the road and bridge construction index (30%) and the consumer price index (CPI) for Hobart (20%).
“The 2019 CCI indicates that an average rate increase across the state of 3.38% may be necessary in 2019/20 to allow current levels of service to be maintained, assuming other funding sources such as grants also increase in line with costs,” said
Each council produces a rates and charges policy which explains the decisions that the council has made about the longer-term objectives of
Local communities and their elected representatives are best placed to understand the many and diverse local challenges and opportunities that affect a council’s expenditure and appropriate setting of rates.
“The CCI is a useful indicator on average across the state,” said
Dr Stephenson. “However variations between council activities should be taken into account when determining final financial forecasts for individual councils.
“Further, council budgets and rates must be set in the context of a council’s strategic plan, reflecting community needs and decisions about the level of services and revenue required each year. Communities have the opportunity to be engaged on these.”
The CCI of 3.38% follows postings of 2.34% last year and 1.5% the previous year. The 2019 figure is affected by increases across all three indices over the past two years.
It is important to note that the CCI is a tool for rates setting and does not automatically mean councils will increase their rates by the CCI amount.
Logal Government Association Tasmania media release
Emergency chopper service takes off
Tasmania’s first integrated medical and search and rescue helicopter service is now in operation. It’s hoped that this will result in faster response times for emergency situations, potentially savings lives.
The state’s contracted helicopter capacity has increased from one to two on standby. The state government is investing an additional $10 million a year to fund the improved service, which rapidly deploys a ready-to-go specialist medical team to emergencies 24 hours a day.
Dedicated flight paramedics and specialist retrieval doctors will be employed as part of the service, which will also include dedicated resources based at Hobart Airport. This allows quicker response times and ensures patients receive high-acuity care from the moment the helicopter lands, rather than having to wait until they arrive
Having dedicated flight paramedics will also mean an ambulance crew will no longer be taken off the road to meet the emergency helicopter when it is called out, because they are on site with
The service is part of the state government’s $125 million package to boost ambulance services, including: recruiting 42 new rural and regional paramedics and six more State Operations Centre staff, as well as implementing new ambulance stations and new equipment to continue reducing response times in Tasmania.
It is hoped the aero-medical retrieval service will dramatically improve response times, with an expected median activation time of ten minutes for high-priority search and rescue. For medical responses, an improvement of 42 minutes compared to the current service is expected.
Staffing for the service will include:
14 additional full-time paramedics
5.5 full-time equivalent specialist retrieval doctors dedicated to the service
5 full-time equivalent flight crew members
5.7 full-time equivalent nurses
4.5 full-time equivalent paediatric registrar doctors.
Patients needing critical care will soon have access to a dedicated helipad at the Royal Hobart Hospital’s new K-Block and at the Mersey Community Hospital in the north-west of Tasmania.
This will mean all four hospitals will be connected with helipads, which will significantly reduce transport times and save lives.
Minister for health media release
No-interest loan milestone
Tasmania’s no-interest community lending scheme, the NILS Network, has loaned over $18 million to borrowers on low incomes since the program was established
NILS has now celebrated the extraordinary landmark of its 20,000th loan by acknowledging NILS volunteers and
“We have reached 20,000 low-income households with support for a wide range of items and services, including washing machines, medical/dental expenses, car repairs and education necessities,” said NILS executive officer Rick Tipping.
Kristy (loan number 20,000) used her loan to buy tablets for her children for a new school year.
“The computers will really help get them through their education”, Kristy said. “The iPads will help them with their reading, writing and maths and I can also work with them to understand internet safety.”
Kristy has previously used NILS to purchase a fridge and an energy and water-efficient washer. Kristy manages with a combination of part-time wages and some income from Centrelink, but she has to budget carefully.
“I’m really grateful that NILS exists to help me and people like me,” she said. “It means I don’t have the stress of borrowing from a payday lender and risking not being able to pay back the high fees and interest.
“A NILS loan is safe and easy to pay back in small amounts. And it feels great when you pay off a loan and know that NILS can help again if you need it.”
The NILS program charges no interest or fees. Money repaid to it is issued again in loans to other people on low incomes. NILS has had an extraordinary 97% repayment rate over its 20,000 loan history.
“Lack of capacity to save for unexpected expenses is one of the most common reasons Tasmanians on low incomes can never get ahead,” said Rick Tipping.
“No-interest loans provide a safe and affordable answer to this problem.
“NILS is a wonderful partnership of the community sector, government and corporate supporters.”
NILS media release
The state government has doubled its funding to Landcare Tasmania, with almost $1 million dedicated to support the coordination of grassroots landcare groups over the next four years.
Funding for Landcare Tasmania has doubled to $960,000 over four years from 2018/19.
Landcare’s work supports the environment, the agricultural sector, primary producers, and industries like tourism.
The government hopes the additional funding will support the thousands of landcare volunteers across the state who give their time to helping sustain our productive farm land, rivers, biodiversity and other natural resources.
Minister for primary industries and water Guy Barnett recently visited the Quamby Bend Landcare group to see the work they have been doing to remove willows and restore a stretch of the Meander River.
This work not only improves local soil and catchment health, but also provides flow-on benefits to Tasmania’s national and international reputation for growing premium produce.
This funding announcement follows the state government’s increased funding of $4.2 million over four years to Natural Resource Management (NRM) and the $2 million Landcare Action Grants Program.
Minister for primary industries and water media release
Visitor spend on the up
The latest Tasmanian visitor survey statistics show tourists spent
a record amount in local communities while overall visitor numbers grew steadily.
In the year to December 2018, visitors spent a record $2.46 billion in our communities, up 5% from the previous year.
Over the same period, Tasmania welcomed a record 1.32 million visitors, up 4% from the previous year.
Visitors in the profitable business travel sector jumped by 21%, and the total number of nights spent by holiday visitors to Tasmania increased to 5.78 million nights, up 5%, from the previous year.
The figures also show 69% of all visitor nights were spent outside of the capital. Increases in visitor numbers were recorded in the southern region, up 3%; northern region, up 3%; and Cradle Coast, up 4% on the
Premier Will Hodgman, who is also minister for tourism, said: “While we have seen continued steady visitor growth, the government understands we must protect what is special about our way of life so it can continue to be enjoyed by locals and
“Tourism is one of Tasmania’s great competitive strengths, supporting over 38,000 jobs in every corner of the state, and is a major reason why our economy is growing so strongly. Now is not the time to put the handbrake on this vital industry.”
Minister for tourism media release
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