THIS WEEK'S COMMUNITY NEWS
Kingston Beach wheelchairs
Kingston Beach has a new beach wheelchair storage facility for all to share.
Kingborough mayor, Paula Wriedt, who also chairs the Disability Inclusion and Access Advisory Committee, said she was delighted to have played a role in making it possible for improving beach access for wheelchair users in Kingston.
“Last year the council completed an accessible ramp at Kingston Beach, which is located opposite the toilet block on Osbourne Esplanade.
“We were also really pleased that the Kingston Beach Surf Life Saving Club secured funding for two beach wheelchairs that can be borrowed by members of the community.”
Kingborough Council contributed to the building and installation of a storage locker for the wheelchairs, that has been installed on council land in front of the Kingston Beach toilet block.
“Being able to go down to the beach and into the water is something that many of us take for granted, but the reality is that for someone who requires a wheelchair, it can be out of reach. These chairs and the access ramp now make it far easier and safer.”
The club president, Danielle Campbell said the club was totally blown away by the community reaction.
“It has been a total privilege to witness the joy and freedom the chairs have been giving individuals,” Dr Campbell said.
“Swimming at the beach is a universal love so it great more people can make it a regular part of their life.”
Keren Frank, a community member who intends to use the facility said the use of the beach wheelchair and Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK) storage facility would be a game changer for families of people living with disability, wishing to access the beach.
“Too often a trip to the beach becomes a logistical nightmare, trying to find accessible parking, easy pathways and then to actually get in the water is a whole other story,” Ms Frank said.
“Our daughter, Bella has often missed out on trips to the beach with her brothers because of this reason, but not anymore.
“We love to do activities as a family and these chairs are so easy to use and are wonderful to experience with your child.
“We have taken Bella to float/ride in the waves with her brothers and for long beach walks when it’s too cold to swim.
“To have them available through the MLAK storage, right at the beach, will save families the sometimes-cumbersome task of transporting it themselves.
“It would be great to see other councils around Tassie jump on board the inclusive beaches project – such a great initiative!”
Members of the community living with disability can access the beach wheelchairs in the locker with a MLAK key they can get through the Kingston Beach Surf Life Saving Club.
Back to Woodbridge Weekend
Residents and visitors will have the opportunity to explore Woodbridge’s past and present at a Back to Woodbridge Weekend on 13 and 14 August. This is the latest event in the year-long Woodbridge Life 2022 celebration.
Several sites will host displays at which people can view stories focusing on life in and around Woodbridge. The stories consist of facts, anecdotes and reminiscences mixed with a small dose of exaggeration. Collectively they reveal the community spirit which has evolved over the period of Aboriginal and European habitation.
Attendees are invited to wander around the village visiting the hall, the old Emporium and the Uniting and Anglican churches to see the presentations. Residents past and present have contributed all of the stories.
Some of the highlights include a Tasmanian Aboriginal exhibit at the hall by SETAC which will contrast with other stories from the European colonisation period. There will be a rare opportunity to view a history of possibly the town’s oldest building, the Channel Emporium. A detailed story of the school and the Marine Discovery Centre years will feature in the Uniting Church hall on both days. However Saturday will be the only day one can avail themselves of the West Winds Community Centre to view works by the West Winds Art Group.
On Sunday 14 August, a special service will be conducted at the Anglican Church of St Simon and St Jude based on the liturgy used in 1885 when the church was founded. It will be open on Saturday for visitors to showcase its copy of the original King James Bible – a resident of the church since its consecration.
Those who want to explore more of the late Victorian Gothic character of the village can elect to take a short history walk. It is an opportunity to learn more about the built heritage dating back to the late 19th century and lesser-known landmarks such as the 163-year-old cemetery.
Admission is free. The displays are open from 10am to 4pm each day (except West Winds Community Centre which is open from 10am to 3pm on Saturday only).
Woodbridge Life 2022
Safety and wellbeing in the Channel
Come along to West Winds Community Centre at 1pm on Friday 12 August, to hear about the research that Professor Nicole Asquith conducted with the Channel community, and participate in a discussion about what makes Woodbridge a safe and healthy community.
Afternoon tea will be provided.
Please RSVP to Nicole.Asquity@utas.edu.au.
In the everyday working lives of rural, regional, and remote (RRR) police officers, and in their engagement and relationship with the communities they serve, we are offered evidence of the critical importance of propinquity in the co-production of safety. Propinquity refers to the closeness between police and the community in terms of place (proximity), time (shared events), relation (kinship), and affinity of nature (similarity). Woodbridge and other Channel communities epitomise the propinquity that is essential to good RRR policing, but also to the general wellbeing of RRR communities.
The “propinquitous policing” undertaken by rural, regional, and remote police officers present us with a different vision of policing that does not see community engagement as a burden. Community policing in RRR communities becomes propinquitous in large part due to the broad and deep connections fostered by these types of postings. Community policing in RRR communities is not something done to – or even, with – communities. Rather, it is a set of propinquitous relationships that are fostered organically from the proximal, kinship, affinity, and shared events created by the closeness between police and the RRR communities they serve. The line between police and communities is blurred, and in some cases erased, by the integral part played by RRR officers who are embedded in
The tyranny of distance can be a barrier for policing; yet, this distance can, by necessity, create the propinquitous relationships that enables RRR officers to know their communities well enough to know what is needed and when. These relationships also provide RRR officers with “deputies” in extreme or critical incidents when time and distance preclude immediate police back up.
However, the “rural horror” of policing cannot be ignored. The “rural idyll” that often beckons officers to RRR postings can hide the “rural horror” of crime outside of the city, especially the family and domestic violence that goes unheeded because of the tyranny of distance. Beyond the “rural horror”, RRR postings come with their own problems that city police are not required to consider, such as privacy and anonymity, surveillance by community, and the significant impacts of these postings on family.
Despite these disadvantages, most RRR officers who participated in this research would not have it any other way. “War stories” from the frontline of rural crime were consistently offset by the moments when RRR officers knew – and were told – they have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing
With the increased relocation of people from the mainland to rural, remote, and regional Tasmania – in part as a response to COVID-19 and the rising costs of housing in Tasmanian and mainland cities – greater attention to the problems and advantages of propinquitous policing will need to be given. Sea and tree changers bring with them the expectations of life in the city, even when their desire is to escape the problems of city life. These service expectations, along with the community upheavals that adhere to sudden fluctuations in community dynamics, necessitate that Tasmania Police consider the development of an evidence-based approach to policing in rural, remote, and regional communities.
Professor Nicole Asquith,
University of Tasmania
New Kingborough sports grounds user fees
Kingborough Council is implementing new sports ground user fees incrementally over five years, starting on 1 July 2023 at $5 an hour and reviewed annually.
Kingborough mayor, Paula Wriedt said the level of disparity between fees for indoor sports as opposed to outdoor sports was unfair.
“At present someone who plays an indoor sport, for example at the Kingborough Sports Centre, pays a small amount in their registration fees towards the hire of the venue, yet someone who plays outdoors doesn’t,” Cr Wriedt said.
“This is not an equitable situation. Community expectations about the quality of facilities such as outdoor playing surfaces has increased substantially over the years and the council has been absorbing the increasing costs of maintaining these facilities.
“For example, $1.4 million per year is spent on maintaining ovals and sports grounds across Kingborough.
“With rising costs, we need to adopt a similar approach to many other councils and recoup some expenses.
“We are not aiming for full cost recovery as the fees only represent a small proportion of the cost to the rate payer.
“The charges are also significantly lower than other councils.
“In contrast Hobart City, Clarence and Glenorchy councils all charge between $35 to $87 an hour for their sporting grounds.
“The council wants to make sure that it treats all sports fairly and considers the application of a very small level of cost recovery from clubs that use its sportsgrounds to be appropriate.
“Fees have been kept low with a twelve month lead in time to avoid undue difficulty for sporting clubs.
“Any introduction of extra costs is going to be unpopular, we understand this, but we are trying to balance user fees with general rate payer contributions.
“I understand that the engagement between the council and sporting clubs has not been to some clubs’ satisfaction, and we apologise for any misunderstanding this may have caused.
“Council staff are currently communicating with all sporting clubs to make sure that their concerns are heard, and we welcome any contact from them.”
Through the state government’s initiative, Ticket to Play, up to $100 can be provided to anyone on a Health Care or Concession Card to be used for club membership fees for children aged five to 18 https://tickettoplay.tas.gov.au
Art project highlights reality of homelessness
Two Huon Valley residents shared their story about severe housing stress as part of a multimedia art project that highlights the reality for people experiencing homelessness and housing stress in Tasmania.
After years of living in precarious housing situations, Tom is now safe, warm and comfortable in his social housing unit at Dover. Cherie and her daughter Hollie had been living in their house for ten years when they were told their lease wouldn’t be renewed. Cherie found herself in a dire situation – house rents were at an all-time high, and there were very few vacant houses available. “If it wasn’t for my mum and dad, I don’t know what I would have done,” she said. Cherie hopes by telling her story, more will be done around the issue of safe and affordable housing.
The ‘I Am Somebody’ project is facilitated by the City of Hobart, created in coordination with members of the City’s Housing with Dignity reference group as well as local support services such as City Mission and the Salvation Army. The project was extended this year to incorporate Clarence, Glenorchy, and Huon Valley Councils.
City of Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said, “The expansion of this program highlights the growing issue of homelessness in our region and that the reality is this is something we all need to tackle together.”
Acting Mayor Sally Doyle said like many communities throughout Tasmania, the Huon Valley has been impacted by the pandemic and positive population growth continues to apply additional pressure to the availability of housing.
“The Huon Valley is considered a desirable place to live and as access to local housing stock becomes competitive, local housing rents and prices have increased dramatically.
“We hear that many local residents can no longer afford to purchase or rent in their local community.”
One of the action areas in the Huon Valley Health and Wellbeing Strategy is affordable secure housing for everyone.
“We know that appropriate affordable housing that is dry and warm in winter and cool in summer is a significant contributor to health and wellbeing. However, for some groups in the valley, comfortable housing can be hard to find,” Acting Mayor Doyle said.
“The council manages several retirement villages across the Huon Valley and we have noted a significant increase in the wait lists with many applicants meeting the guidelines for hardship entry.
“As stated in the strategy we will continue to advocate for the availability of affordable housing as well as explore viable, creative, innovative and alternative housing options.”
The council works with Shelter Tasmania and housing service providers to develop and deliver community awareness raising programs around the issue of homelessness and severe housing stress. The programs aim to destigmatise homelessness, raise local awareness of need, and advocate for and promote services.
“The pressure on the availability of affordable housing is mounting but the council is continuing to liaise with local social housing provider, CentaCare Evolve, and government housing support services, including Housing Connect, to address the issue.
“The council supports The Right Place in the Huon Valley. The Right Place member networks provide information about housing services. Our Huon Valley Hub is the ‘home’ of The Right Place and a drop-in information centre for people seeking support.”
Centacare Evolve has recently built and tenanted new homes in Dover and they will be providing homes in Cygnet, Geeveston and Ranelagh.
“One of the storytellers in the I Am Somebody project was recently provided one of the houses in Dover and he is very happy. He is a 75-year-old gentleman and his living situation prior to moving into the Centacare housing was dire. If you listen to his story you will hear how relieved he is to have been provided a secure and warm home to live in.”
Acting Mayor Doyle said over the coming year, the council will be engaging with the wider community to develop a long-term vision for the Huon Valley which will incorporate strategic plans that include land use and consideration of the management of residential land.
“The issues affecting the availability and access to affordable secure housing is complex and it requires a multifaceted response across all levels of government and community.
“We will continue to advocate for social and affordable housing in the Huon Valley and continue to work with both government and non-government housing providers to explore all possible solutions to this growing problem.”
To hear the stories please visit www.huonvalley.tas.gov.au
Huon Valley Council
No interest rental bond loans now available
Homelessness week is an apt time to announce that Tasmania’s community lending service, NILS Tasmania, is launching a new product to help Tasmanians secure housing.
Thanks to the support and innovation of our partners – NAB, the Federal Government’s Department of Social Services, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, and the Tasmanian Government – from Monday 8 August we will offer eligible Tasmanians access to a no interest (no fees or charges) loan of up to $3,000 to pay for their bond and/or rent in advance.
John Hooper, CEO NILS Tasmania, said, “This change might be more important than any loan we offer as we hope it will help people to move out of, or avoid, homelessness. Over the last two years we have assisted over a dozen people to register the car they were living in temporarily. To now be able to provide a solution that might assist some of those clients to smooth out that entry into housing is just brilliant.”
Repayments on a $3,000 loan through NILS will be a maximum of $60 a fortnight over two years. This turns what seems an insurmountable lump sum amount for bond and first rent into a manageable cost.
NILS Tasmania thanks Minister for Community Services and Development Nic Street, who made the announcement at NILS Tasmania on behalf of the state government. The significant operating funding the Tasmanian Government have provided over the last few years, as well as the funding to subsidise loans on energy efficient products, has enabled us to scale up and increase our loan output by 36% over two years while decreasing the time it takes to issue loans by 60%. We are able to innovate to enable today’s change because the state government provided the funds to invest in our technology and staff.
Today’s launch demonstrates the great partnership between the corporate sector, community sector and, the state and federal governments that actually makes the NILS program work, and most importantly makes a real difference to people.
NAB provides the interest free overdraft of $3.2 million to NILS Tasmania which provides our rolling loan capital. NAB executive social impact Jessica Forrest said it was important to expand the loan to help more Tasmanians find a place to call home.
“NAB has partnered with Good Shepherd and the state and federal governments to provide NILS for almost 20 years. We are pleased to be able to support the expansion of the NILS loan, which will help ease the pressure for many who are struggling to meet the upfront costs involved in securing a rental.”
While NILS Tasmania is providing this option in Tasmania, the rental bond loans are going live
All Tasmanians know how hard it is for people to secure an affordable place to live right now.
Rental vacancy rates were 0.4% in May 2022 coupled with average house rents skyrocketing over 11% in the last year alone. Our loans won’t address these issues but can really assist Tasmanians on low incomes who find the cost of the upfront bond and/or the first few weeks rent a barrier to taking up the rental available to them.
“NILS Tasmania, our funders and our network just want to provide more safe affordable credit and help relieve the financial stress people are under, and these new loans will not just assist people to furnish their house but may assist them to get a safe roof over their heads,” commented John Hooper.
Housing Connect, through state government funding, already offers assistance with bonds and rent for Tasmanians who are eligible, and NILS Tasmania is working in partnership with them to ensure clients we support are those that do not fit their criteria. If people can’t get support with Housing Connect for their rental bond then NILS Tasmania may be the solution for them.
We know the mental and emotional stress of debt, and that feeling of not being in control of your finances is crippling and destroys families. We know that our $3.9 million in loans last year, when compared to predatory rent to buy schemes, saved Tasmanians over $9.5 million in fees and charges. We are very proud of that.
Greg, a NILS Tasmania client with severe medical conditions, recently told us that by using NILS Tasmania to help buy what he needed for his house he was finally able to get rid of the debts he had with predatory lenders. He said: “Through NILS I am saving $200 a fortnight so I am able to go to the doctors when I want, I am able to get my medication on time. It’s not a choice between food or warmth or to have all of your medication … It’s a lifesaver.”
Huon Valley Huon pine celebration
As part of National Science Week, Giant Tree Expeditions is hosting a celebration of the Huon pine, one of the world’s longest-living things and a natural science ambassador.
The aim is to share the wonder and magic of Huon pines through two short, simple, repeatable, and unique world-first activities conducted in the Huon Valley.
Both events are free and will be held on Sunday 21 August, in Franklin and Geeveston.
The first is a public theatre-style screening of an episode of Australia’s flagship science program, ABC’s Catalyst, in which Giant Tree Expeditions coordinated the ascent into the canopy of a Huon pine. Going to air as part of National Science Week, their participation was directly intended as a forest science engagement strategy. The Franklin Wooden Boat Centre also participated. This screening aims to strengthen their identity as woodworking engineers, and create synergy between forest science and nautical engineering careers.
The screening will be at the Palais Theatre, 3388 Huon Highway, Franklin, from 10am to 12pm on Sunday 21 August.
The second activity is a practical, hands-on introduction to dendrochronology – a workshop at the Geeveston Town Hall.
There is a piece of Huon pine approximately 1.5 metres in diameter sitting mostly unnoticed in a corner of the hall. It has a simple sign on it indicating 2,000 years in age. Giant Tree Expeditions aim to not only make this piece of wood a famous landmark of Southern Tasmania, but also to use it as a science education tool – a chronometer for understanding time. They will bring smaller wooden disks, microscopes, calipers, clipboards, and hand lenses, and show people the basics of how to measure and calculate the historical records embodied in wood.
The Geeveston Town Hall is located at 15 Church Street, Geeveston, and the workshop will be held from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday 21 August.
To book please visit https://giant-trees.com/huon-pine-celebration/.
For more information email email@example.com.
National Science Week
Scroll to Top