Let’s talk about mental health
Earlier this month, Scott and Florence Harrod from the Sam Project visited West Winds Community Centre in Woodbridge, to provide a community information session and to start the conversation “Let’s Talk about Mental Health”. Scott and Florence are travelling around Australia in an expedition truck named ‘Sam’ building awareness and understanding of mental illness and encouraging communities to start talking about it. One in five Australians experience mental illness each year and it is estimated that 70 percent of those people do not currently seek help.
Thirty five people attended this session and the free barbecue that followed where they got the chance to ask questions, find out where they can get help for themselves and others and to start having that conversation in a safe and supportive environment.
Exercise can be an important factor in managing depression and improving mental wellbeing. Scott and Florence were impressed with the West Winds facility and all that is on offer at the centre, and returned the following day to join the gym class with fitness instructor Carolyn Carius. Besides regular gym classes, West Winds also offers yoga and tai chi classes and use of the gym to individual community members.
A visit to the West Winds Community Shed was also on the agenda. The Shed plays an important role in maintaining wellbeing, and besides supporting people to get creative and be productive, it provides an important outlet for men to get together on a Thursday evening for ‘Beer and a Bite’.
West Winds is fully supportive of health and wellbeing initiatives and is very mindful of providing services, support and activities for the mental health and wellbeing of our local community. We are currently working on a number of projects that will help to build community resilience and provide support to community members who might be struggling with issues related to mental health.
On offer at the moment is an 8-session program ‘Wellways to Health’ for people (18+) dealing with stress, anxiety or depression. In February, volunteers will start training for the ‘Social Circles’ program, a community visitor scheme run by Red Cross.
West Winds is also working with Relationships Australia to facilitate a working group to develop a Community Action Plan (CAP) for the south Channel community. CAPs promote mental health, wellbeing and supports available within communities and bring people together to increase awareness. CAPs encourage communities to reduce stigma about mental health issues including suicide, encourage help seeking activities, and build local knowledge and skills around suicide prevention.
At West Winds, we are keen to start the conversation about mental health and to help destigmatise mental illness. If you would like to become involved, please drop in or give us a call on 6267 4713.
Trina Blazely

Planning matters: defending the community’s voice
Channel residents will have the opportunity on Wednesday evening to hear about how their properties and lifestyle may be impacted by the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme (TPS), which is to come into full effect early next year. Sophie Underwood, Co-ordinator of the Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania (PMAT) will address concerns over the weakening of the state’s planning laws and threats to communities’ opportunities to influence developments. She will share a vision for a fair and robust planning scheme that prioritises the right of community members to have a say in developments in their community, the health and wellbeing of the whole community, the liveability of our cities, towns and rural areas and the protection of the natural environment and cultural heritage. Councillor Flora Fox will give her perspective as a lifetime resident of Kingborough and councillor on the planning committee for 30 years. Kingborough Deputy General Manager Tony Ferrier will speak about issues with implementing the TPS that may impact on residents of the Channel.
PMAT, a growing network of over 50 community groups from across Tasmania, is campaigning for a planning system which will serve to protect the values that makes Tasmania such a special place to live and visit. PMAT is not against the TPS or development. Their concern is that rather than strategy-led development, under the TPS, development will be market-driven and ad hoc. This might be great for short term jobs and economic growth – but does nothing to ensure the long-term prosperity of Tasmania. Our greatest economic strengths are our amenity and heritage of our natural and built environments. The TPS puts all these special and increasingly rare values at risk.
Started by Labor and continued by the current Liberal Government, the planning ‘reforms’ are similar to what we have seen introduced nationally, as outlined by Buxton and Goodman (2014): "There are strong connections between Victorian planning system changes and the national planning reform agenda being followed in most Australian states. Recent changes to state planning systems seek to reduce the strength of land use planning regulations, lessen the contributions of local communities, objectors and local councils to planning decisions and empower development companies."
Rather than a race to the bottom, we could have a globally leading planning system, which will help serve Tasmania’s brand as a destination to live and visit: a planning system that places local communities and natural and cultural values and good design at its core.
By working together, we can continue to live in one of the best places in the world! To support the campaign, you can:
• Meet with state politicians
• Get active on traditional media
• Get active on social media
• Get creative with planning hazard tape
• Donate to the campaign
• Join the PMAT database
• Like PMAT on Facebook
• Join up your community group with PMAT
PMAT’s platform document, full list of alliance member groups and key issues of the TPS can be seen on PMAT’s website (
The PMAT will be holding a forum at the Woodbridge Hall, hosted by the Woodbridge Community Association on Wednesday 29th November at 7pm. Come along and find out more.
Sophie Underwood,
Coordinator, Planning Matters
Alliance Tasmania
References: Michael Buxton and Robin Goodman (2014), The impact of planning ‘reform’ on the Victorian land use planning system, Australian Planner, 51:2, 132-140.

2017-18 Community Grants
The Cygnet Primary School, the Dover District School, Friends of Randalls Bay, Huon and Channel Meals on Wheels, Huon Valley Aquatic Club and the Tasmanian Trail Association.
These are just some of the successful projects to receive funding from the Huon Valley Council through its 2017-18 Community Grants program.
Huon Valley Council commissioner Adriana Taylor said she was pleased to announce this year’s recipients.
“The Community Grants have been awarded for the last 22 years. Many community activities, projects and events have been initiated and supported.
“These initiatives add vibrancy to our community and have given organisations opportunities to take part in community events, access to sporting equipment and opportunities to improve events and facilities throughout the Huon Valley.
“This year, we again had a difficult task in choosing which projects to support. The council received 33 applications. Of those, 12 were successful and more than $18,000 has been awarded,” Commissioner Taylor said.
The following organisations’ grants were confirmed at the last Council meeting:
• Cygnet Primary School – playground
• Dover Community Workshop Inc. – storage shed shelving
• Dover District School – hall furniture
• Friends of Randalls Bay – Echo Sugarloaf Nature Trail Stage 2
• Huon and Channel Meals on Wheels – freezer
• Huon RSL Sub-Branch Inc. – urn for kitchen
• Huon Valley Aquatic – Huon Medal Meet
• North Huon Cricket Club –
Under 13 uniforms
• Port Cygnet Men’s Shed – tool sharpening system
• Sacred Heart Catholic School – frog bog
• Southern Tas. Cat Rescue Inc.
– Huon Valley stray cat trapping program
• Tasmanian Trail Association Inc. – trail remarking
“I congratulate each of these organisations and I thank them for their dedication to the community. I look forward to seeing the progress of each project.
“Any community organisation which has not received a grant this year can apply for a share of the $6,700 still remaining. Please contact the council for more details,” Commissioner Taylor said.
Huon Valley Council

Have your say on the Huonville-Ranelagh Master Plan
The Huon Valley Council (HVC) invites your input into the Huonville-Ranelagh Master Plan.
HVC commissioner Adriana Taylor says HVC has appointed planning consultants Emma Riley and Associates and SGS to prepare a Master Plan for Huonville-Ranelagh.
“The Master Plan will provide a comprehensive integrated framework for future development and investment in Huonville and Ranelagh for the next 15 to 20 years.
“The Master Plan aims to not only guide the long-term growth of the towns, but contribute to their increased activity.
“The process of preparing the Master Plan begins with understanding the issues, what’s important about it and what the community values are. There are three ways to become involved, a workshop, two drop-in sessions and an online survey.
“The workshop on Tuesday 5 December in the Huonville Town Hall from 4-7pm, will involve business, community and government stakeholders working together around a table to identify issues and opportunities for the townships. You can register for the workshop by Thursday 30 November.
“When you register please identify your interest in the Master Plan (i.e. business owner, community group representative or community member). Refreshments will be provided.
Contact the Communications and Media Unit, Huon Valley Council, by phone on 6264 0314, by email at, or visit or
“The drop-in sessions in Huonville from 9.30am to 11.30am (40 Main Street side entrance) and Ranelagh from 12.30pm to 2.30pm (Memorial Hall) are both on Saturday 9 December. They are informal and people can stay for five minutes or the entire time to discuss ideas and opportunities for the townships.
“If you can’t make the workshop or drop-in sessions, you will still be able to provide your feedback via an online survey, which will be available for a two week period from 27 November until 11 December 2017,” commissioner Taylor said.
Please check the council website for more details on the workshop, drop-in sessions and online survey.
Huon Valley Council

Learning for life and Christmas
Kingborough Council’s Learning for Life program has a range of activities leading into and preparing for the festive season.
The Kingston Twilight Market kicks off the fun, with an extended market on Wednesday 22 November. Local producers and makers will be out on the forecourt at the Civic Centre in Kingston until 6.30pm, with fresh locally grown fruit, vegetables, a variety of farm produce, baked goods, chutneys and treats on offer. Come and enjoy dinner on the lawn under the crab apple trees.
Also at the Civic Centre on Wednesday 22 November, is a workshop on how to create a waste-free Christmas. Pema, a passionate up-cycler, will be giving advice and tips on how to create more sustainable gifts and decorations this Christmas, to help ease the strain on both the environment and the purse strings. This workshop starts at 5pm and has a fee of $10 per person. Participants are welcome to bring along materials to up-cycle. Register through Eventbrite at
There is a fantastic opportunity to meet renowned author and dietitian Ngaire Hobbins, who will be hosting a free information session about the latest research on how to reduce the chances of cognitive decline and dementia. Ngaire, a Kingborough local, will discuss the factors at play and how what we eat can greatly benefit the health of the brain.
Everyone is welcome, particularly those who live with or care for people with a dementia diagnosis, or anyone wanting to improve their brain health. This talk is being held in the Civic Centre on Tuesday 28 November from 10.30am to 12pm. Register either online at or call the council on 6211 8200.
Looking after body health is also important and Kingborough Fitness Centre is holding a workshop on Monday 4 December at 7pm to teach participants how to give themselves an affordable deep tissue massage. Learn how to ease those pre-Christmas knots with a foam roller and improve blood circulation throughout the skin and muscle fascia. Fully qualified staff will show how the foam roller assists with stretching out neck, back, shoulder and leg muscles and provides a perfect surface to work on core stability. Book now at The session has a small cost of $5 per person. Please feel free to bring your own foam roller, although the fitness centre will be able to supply them.
Blast away a few calories before the festive season, at the Christmas Blast activity on Saturday 9 December at the Kingborough Fitness Centre. There will be a variety of classes through the morning including spin bikes, weights, high intensity training or a yoga based stretching class. Come for one class or come for all, the only request is to bring a non-perishable donation for the Salvos Hamper Appeal. Check out the session times on the council’s website at
The final session for the year is one for the kids, or anyone who loves gingerbread. Cake decorator Yen Chamberlain will be showing how you can turn a gingerbread man into Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Each child (or adult) will be able to decorate one reindeer each to take home (or eat there). Cost is $2 per person, payable on the day. Two sessions are being held on 12 December at Kingston LINC, one at 10.30am and one at 11am.
For further information or to book into any of these sessions, please visit the council’s website at or contact Community Services on 6211 8200.
Kingborough Council
Media Release

ABC Giving Tree at Kingston LINC
The ABC Giving Tree is Tasmania’s biggest Christmas charity. Kingston LINC is once again a drop-off point for donations in 2017. Toys, gifts, non-perishable food items and clothing can be dropped off at Kingston LINC between Friday 24th November and Friday 15th December. No cash donations please.
Kingston LINC

Tuesday talk discusses My Aged Care system
If you are having trouble navigating the My Aged Care system for yourself, or someone you are caring for, come along to the last Tuesday Talk for 2017 on Tuesday 5 December.
Council of the Ageing (COTA Tasmania) will be running their Aged Care Know How session from 10.30am to 12pm at Kingston LINC, to help people better understand the system. They will be providing step-by-step information, personalised advice and the opportunity for questions.
Tuesday Talks are free, informal sessions run by Kingborough Council as part of the Positive Ageing program, which are organised for the first Tuesday of every month. They aim to help keep older people informed and aware of relevant ageing issues.
Morning tea is provided at the talk, so please let us know if you would like to attend so we can cater for everyone. Book through the council’s Community Development Officer on 6211 8170. We also welcome suggestions for topics you would like to know more about for future sessions.
Kingborough Council
Media Release

Free community film night: A Plastic Ocean
Plasticwise Taroona are hosting a free community film night to show an award winning documentary about the impact of plastic on our oceans.
There will be plastic-free snacks provided and a Q&A panel discussion following the film.
The film will screen from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, on Thursday 7 December, at Taroona Primary School, 104 Channel Highway, Taroona.
Register via the Eventbrite link:
Kingborough Council

Changed traffic conditions at Summerleas Road intersection
State Growth has advised that the next stage of the works includes the completion of the ramp to the south of the existing intersection to allow bridge construction to continue. The intersection for access to Summerleas Road/Kingston will be moved onto the new ramp and will join the Huon Highway south of the bridge works. The Summerleas Road/Ferntree Junction will remain.
This new intersection will be implemented during the week commencing 20 November 2017 and will be in place until bridge construction is complete, which is expected to be in early 2018. The existing junction at the northern end of the bridge will be closed to traffic.
Speed restrictions and altered traffic conditions will continue throughout the construction period. To ensure the safety of road users and construction staff, please obey all traffic signs.
Kingborough Council

Awards for Kingborough planners
Two of Kingborough’s planners have been recognised at the Tasmanian Awards for Planning Excellence by the prestigious Planning Institute Australia Awards (PIA).
Kingborough Council’s Strategic Planner Di Cowen has been awarded Tasmanian Planner of the Year for 2017 and Environmental Planner Natalie Holman was awarded the Mike Shields Award for the highest academic record for her degree.
The Tasmanian Awards for Planning Excellence recognise and acknowledge quality, innovation and excellence in Planning. The Planner of the Year award recognises a planner who provides leadership and has made a significant contribution to advancing the profession in the last year or two.
Improving the effectiveness of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is Di’s focus, and as Convenor of the Tasmanian Reference Group (TRG) she leads an important partnership to provide local government feedback to the Planning Commission.
Kingborough has seen an enormous level of development and expansion over the past few years and Di’s commitment to the improvement of Tasmania’s planning systems has enabled the municipality to keep up with demand through rezoning and expanding growth corridors, as well as protecting key environmental or landscape values.
“Di is held in very high regard both within the council and throughout Tasmania and is a very worthy recipient of this award,” said her manager and nominator Tasha Tyler-Moore. “She demonstrates leadership and initiative in her work with the Tasmanian Planning Commission and Planning Policy Unit and is committed to progression within the Planning System for a positive future. Di has been with the council for 17 years as a planner and consistently achieves excellent outcomes for both the community and for the organisation.”
“I was honoured to be nominated in the first place, considering the calibre of planners in Tasmania,” said Di, “Although I was even more appreciative of the acknowledgement to local government planners through this award. We are all working hard to bring the planning reform processes to ground level and making sure we achieve the best planning outcomes in a timely manner.”
Di will now represent Tasmania at the national Planning Excellence Awards in May next year.
The Mike Shields Award is named in honour of long-serving PIA member and local planner, and is awarded to the student graduating with the best overall academic award. Natalie Holman graduated with an outstanding record, achieving High Distinctions for every subject. Natalie has worked in environmental management for a number of years and wanted to increase her knowledge of the systems regulating land use and of the factors influencing built and natural environments.
“Working with a team of experienced planners has enabled me to significantly broaden the breadth of my planning knowledge
in the real world, while the University of Tasmania course provided a foundation in planning theory,” she said. “My experience as a student planner has cemented my interest in planning and I am fortunate to work in a team of dedicated and passionate planners at Kingborough Council, who are committed to the best on-ground outcomes for the Kingborough municipality.”
General Manager, Gary Arnold said “Planning is a complex area for all councils with changing regulations and evolving schemes, and I am proud that Kingborough has such dedicated planners to navigate us all through the changes. I congratulate both Di and Natalie on their outstanding achievements.”
Kingborough Council
Media Release

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