THIS WEEK'S COMMUNITY NEWS
The Middleton Country Fair is back
The Middleton Country Fair, which failed to go ahead last year because of the bushfire threat in southern Tasmania, will be back in 2020 bigger and better than ever.
The organisers are delighted at the renewed response from traders and Kingborough Council following last year’s cancellation, the first in the fair’s 28 year history. The fair, on Saturday February 1, is one of the biggest community events in the South Channel, and has over the years raised thousands of dollars for local community projects.
The event, organised by the South Channel Ratepayers and Residents Association, promises a wide ranging mix of music, entertainment and a smorgasboard of food stalls with many of the regular food retailers returning for what many see as the social highlight of the year in the Channel.
More than 60 stallholders have signed up embracing everything from craft work, plant sales and wood turning. There will also be demonstrations of sheep shearing, working sheep dogs and a large animal section featuring sheep and poultry.
Musical performers include the popular Daystar Duo, the Hobart Pipe Band and the Veterans Band. Bush dancing will also feature on the day’s programme.
To avoid traffic congestion a free bus service will link the car park area and the fairground.
The event raises about $4,000 a year for community initiatives with proceeds from 2020 earmarked for work on the practice cricket pitch and a plaque of the explorer Bruni d’Entrecasteaux, to mark the 80th anniversary of the unveiling of the d’Entrecasteaux Monument at Three Hut Point, Gordon. Money raised at previous fairs has resulted in improvements at Middleton Community Hall including a commercial kitchen and a history room to complement the local History Wall.
In the lead up to the fair, scarecrows will again feature along the Channel Highway as part of a competition with cash prizes sponsored by the South Channel Garden Club which will be running a cafe at the fair. The club celebrates its 50th year in 2020.
In line with Kingborough Council’s waste management policy, stallholders will not be allowed to use plastic bags, balloons, straws, polystyrene cups, plastic food containers or plastic cutlery. Instead they are being encouraged to have reusable or recyclable packaging and service ware and visitors are required to take their own bags, drink bottles, cups, plates and cutlery to the event.
The Middleton Country Fair began as a Saturday market in Middleton organised by Middleton resident and one-time Bruny farmer Jim Conley, and others. Jim Conley remembers the displays of cattle and sheep which attracted crowds of up to 2,000. The market became the Middleton Expo in the late 1980s and later was renamed as the Middleton Country Fair.
Breakfast in the Park
A free community Breakfast in the Park event is being held on Australia Day, Sunday 26 January 2020 at Heritage Park, Geeveston. Kicking off at 8am, the morning will include a free barbecue breakfast as well as live entertainment, games and lots of family fun, followed by a Citizenship Ceremony and Australia Day Awards held in the Geeveston Community Hall on Brady Street.
During the event planning we have been mindful of our waste management process and have limited the amount of plastic used. There will be a reduction in the use of plastic water bottles this year, with compostable cups and reusable water bottles to be available at the portable drinking water and juice station.
There will be a free shuttle bus to the event leaving Cygnet at 7.45am and stopping at Cradoc, Huonville, Franklin and Port Huon on the way. There will also be a return service departing Geeveston at 11.30am. Bookings are essential via Eventbrite or by calling the council on 6264 0300.
Our 2020 Australia Day Ambassador
We are pleased to welcome Tasmanian Australian of the Year 2010 Deborah De Williams back to the Huon Valley as our Australia Day Ambassador this year. An ultra-marathon world record holder, Deborah is best known for running in pink. She was the first woman to walk and then run around Australia in 2004 and 2010 respectively, raising money for charity along the way. Having overcome many obstacles in life, Deborah has made it her mission to inspire and empower individuals as a master coach and mentor.
Deborah will be at the Breakfast in the Park event to take part in celebrations and give an address, and assist Mayor Bec Enders in delivering the Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony.
Huon Valley Council
Protecting the Huon from bushfire: prepare, act, survive
With peak bushfire season upon us, Huon Valley Council continues to work hard to lower the risk for our towns, in collaboration with the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) and other fire agencies, and is calling on residents to do their bit by making sure their property is well-prepared. The council is also aware that there is a high level of anxiety within the community this bushfire season. “With our country suffering its worst bushfire season to date, and the experience of the January 2019 fires still fresh with us, it is understandable that much of our community is worried about bushfire threat,”
said Huon Valley Council mayor Bec Enders. “We urge all residents to get their property bushfire-ready and be proactive about contacting the council to report potential hazards via email@example.com or on 6264 0300. If you see a fire, please contact the TFS on 000.”
What we do
The council is committed to lowering bushfire risk in the Huon Valley as per legislative requirements, and works closely with the TFS to do this as part of its membership on the Southern and Hobart Fire Management Area Committees.
Roadside slashing and vegetation management
Roadside slashing and vegetation management is carried out year-round by the council in accordance with the directions stated in the Local Government Act 1993 on how to deal with fire hazards. The council has two hydra mowers that slash roadsides throughout the Huon all year round and engages a contractor to assist with slashing in peak periods.
We will always do our best to maintain the roadsides and vegetation. Should you see vegetation on the council’s roadsides that you are concerned about, please let the council know via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 6264 0300.
Fire hazard abatement
If you think there is a fire hazard on a property, please let the council know via email@example.com or on 6264 0300, or in person at the Customer Service Centre.
Council inspectors are trained by the TFS on how to recognise and deal with fire hazards, and will assess risks on a property that are reported to the council based on:
• Amount of available fuel present;
• Soil moisture;
• Fuel type and arrangement/structure;
• Site topography;
• The level of risk posed to surrounding properties and life.
If the fire hazard is deemed to present an immediate risk to life or property on adjoining land, the council will issue the homeowner a fire abatement notice and provide a reasonable time frame (generally two weeks) to remove the hazard, depending on hazard type.
The council has the responsibility to take action to abate a risk at the owner’s expense if the owner does not do so within the time frame specified in the abatement
In the lead up to the bushfire season, courtesy fire hazard reminders are issued to homeowners who have received an abatement notice in the past.
Amendment to the Planning Scheme
The council has brought forward an amendment to the Huon Valley Interim Planning Scheme 2015 to include a Bushfire-Prone Areas overlay map recently completed by the TFS.
The new overlay mapping applies where there is a subdivision or ‘vulnerable’ or ‘hazardous’ use proposed that is within 100m of bushfire-prone vegetation that is equal to or greater than one hectare, and was developed with valuable technical and local knowledge.
By clearly defining bushfire-prone areas based on TFS expertise, the overlay will allow for more accurate and efficient assessments of development applications while also providing a resource for the community and professionals when it comes to fire permits and hazard complaints.
Operators have a role to ensure that their visitors are informed about bushfire risk in Tasmania, including where the Evacuation Centre and Safer Places are located throughout the Huon Valley.
The TFS has produced a brochure titled ‘Bushfire safety for travellers’. The Huon Valley Council Visitor Information Centres have these brochures with information visitors need to know about bushfires
Now it’s your turn
Now is the time to make sure your home is well-prepared. Residents should also comply with Fire Permit Periods and Total Fire Ban days, remember never to leave a fire unattended, and report any fires immediately to the TFS on triple zero ‘000’.
Protect what matters most
Preparing your property means ember-proofing your home, removing fire hazards, building a defendable space and preparing a Bushfire Survival Plan. Information on how to do this is available on the TFS website at www.fire.tas.gov.au, and Bushfire Ready Neighbourhoods also has a helpful video series exploring eight key aspects to preparing your property, available at www.bushfirereadyneighbourhoods.tas.gov.au.
The council will be releasing a ‘Prepare Now for Bushfire’ brochure in February 2020 which provides simple advice on the things you can do to lower your risk, including the Fire Danger Rating visual guide which will help you understand the impact of a bushfire on any given day and decide whether to leave early, or stay and defend your well-prepared property. An online version of the brochure is available on the Huon Valley Council website at www.huonvalley.tas.gov.au now.
If you run a business in the valley, it’s important to protect your livelihood by putting a Business Continuity Plan in place. Visit the Business Tasmania website at www.business.tas.gov.au to find out how.
Register your fire
You can register your fire before lighting any fire outdoors on 1800 000 699. This will help prevent unnecessary TFS emergency response. If your fire gets out of control, call triple zero ‘000’ or if a TTY user call 106. More information about safely using fire and Fire Permit Periods is available on the TFS website.
The following is a list of key websites to monitor to stay informed:
• Fire activity near you: fire.tas.gov.au
• Weather conditions and warnings: http://www.bom.gov.au/
• TasALERT Tasmanian Government emergency information: http://alert.tas.gov.au/
• Road closures: https://www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/
• Power outages near you: https://www.tasnetworks.com.au/outages
• Water and sewer outages and alerts near you: https://www.taswater.com.au/News/Outages---Alerts Alternatively, tune into your local ABC Radio station for regular updates.
Mental health support
The full impacts of disasters can be severe and long-lasting. Heightened levels of stress and anxiety are common, as are lack of sleep and self-care. It’s important to pay attention to your own mental health and look for signs that friends and family might not be okay.
For support please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.
Huon Valley Council
New tennis court for the Huonville Recreation Ground
Huon Valley Council has been successful in securing a $75,000 grant through the Australian Government’s Community Development Grants Programme to build a new tennis court on Tennis Court Road, Huonville.
The new tennis court will replace a surplus netball court which is currently not used, and will be fully accessible to the public for free casual usage.
Huon Valley Council acting mayor Sally Doyle said the court will offer another opportunity for people to engage in fun and healthy activity at the community’s sporting hub, the Huonville Recreation Ground.
“The tennis court will complement the other offerings at the recreation ground, which also has an oval, athletics track, skate park, half-sized basketball court, netball courts and playground,” said Cr Doyle. “We are excited to receive this grant as it allows us to offer another reason for families and young people to visit and enjoy this popular spot.”
This project is included in the Huonville Recreation Ground Master Plan.
Huon Valley Council
Help keep the Huon clean by reporting dumped rubbish
The pristine natural environment we enjoy in the Huon Valley is treasured by locals and visitors alike, yet dumped rubbish is still often spotted in our parks, reserves, roadsides and waterways.
Not only is dumped rubbish unsightly, it also affects the health of our landscape and waterways. Looking after our environment, community, and future generations means disposing of waste properly and reporting dumped rubbish offences when you see them.
You can report dumped rubbish at any time using the Environment Protection Authority’s Report Rubbish online app.
Available for your smartphone, tablet and computer, the easy-to-use web application requests information about the type, quantity and location of dumped rubbish and forwards the report to the relevant land manager so it can be investigated, collected and disposed of.
For more information about rubbish dumping in Tasmania please visit https://epa.tas.gov.au/sustainability/litter-and-dumping.
Huon Valley Council
Weed of the month: Ragwort
Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) is a widespread weed in southern Tasmania that readily invades poorly managed and disturbed areas. It can swiftly establish itself and outcompete desirable plants, reducing
Ragwort is highly toxic to cattle and horses, especially when consumed in silage or dried hay. Seed is spread by wind, so any ragwort on your property can easily spread to neighbouring properties and beyond.
Have you seen it?
• Starts as a rosette of leaves with irregular, deeply lobed edges
• Leaf stems may be purple at the base
• Upright flowering stems form in summer, when the rosette leaves die off
• Bright yellow daisy flowers form in dense bunches at the top of the flowering stalk
Please report local sightings to the council by phoning 6264 9439 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on weed management, including developing your own weed management plan, can be found on our ‘Weeds and the Huon Valley’ webpage.
Huon Valley Council
It’s scarecrow time again
It is time to get creative and enter the 2020 Scarecrow Competition for the Middleton Country Fair on Saturday 1st February. There is prize money of $200, $150 and $50 up for grabs for the three scarecrows voted ‘most popular’ at the fair, so why not join in the fun? Entry to the fair will provide you with a voting slip so you can vote for your favourite scarecrow.
To be eligible for a prize you will need to register your scarecrow by sending in a photo of the scarecrow, its name and location and your contact details to West Winds Community Centre on 6267 4713 or email@example.com or drop in to 3528 Channel Highway, Woodbridge. West Winds coordinates the Scarecrow Competition and the South Channel Garden Club sponsors the prizes. If you are unable to take a photo, please send us a request and we will be happy to take it for you.
There is always a wonderful array of scarecrows, some traditional, some created with a wry sense of humour and some that are just plain scary. It is very much worth taking a drive along the Channel Highway to check out this year’s crop of wit and creativity. Maybe get a selfie with some of your favourite scarecrow rogues. Scarecrows are on display from 26 January until 26 February between Kettering and Verona Sands or on the grass verge of Beach Road, Middleton.
The fair is a true country event run by the South Channel Residents and Ratepayers Association (SCRRA). In addition to the scarecrow competition, there will be local produce, animals, stalls, food, raffles, demonstrations, and entertainment. Popular as the fair is, parking is never a problem as fair-goers can park on the far side of Middleton and catch the free shuttle bus to the fair.
Seniors spread singing spirit
The Singing Seniors is for those who love to sing. Jan Mills invites you to join the Singing Seniors, a group which sings at nursing homes each month. There’s no need to audition, read music or sing in parts, and there’s no joining fee, uniform or book costs. The group asks only for your time for an hour on a Monday morning. The Singing Seniors don’t sing because they’re happy; they’re happy because they sing. For more information, give Jan a call on 6229 3990 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
LGAT thanks Premier Hodgman
The Local Government Association of Tasmania would like to thank the outgoing premier, Will Hodgman, for his service to Tasmania as premier and for his strong working relationship with the local
LGAT President, Mayor Christina Holmdahl said, “I would like to thank Premier Hodgman for his commitment to working with our sector through the Premier’s Local Government Council”.
“Through the Premier’s Local Government Council, the Local Government Association of Tasmania is able to regularly take the views of our sector directly to the premier as well as raising important local government issues as they emerge through this valuable forum,” Mayor Holmdahl said.
“On behalf of the local government sector I wish the outgoing premier, Will Hodgman, and his family all the best for the future. We look forward to continuing a constructive relationship with the state government under new leadership, supported by the Minister for Local Government.”
Local Government Association Tasmania
Plantation logging at Franklin
There is a plantation harvesting operation currently being done at Franklin, and as of this week log trucks will be using Chambers Road and Swamp Road.
A heavy vehicle permit has been obtained by the operator, Les Walkden Enterprises, to allow the use of these roads. It is anticipated that approximately nine log trucks will be using the roads daily for an estimated period of 10 weeks. Vehicle speed for the trucks is not to exceed 40km/h.
On official school days, the trucks are not permitted to use Swamp Road during morning and afternoon school bus times. There will be no night time or weekend haulage.
If you have any questions, please contact Sustainable Timber Tasmania (South Region) on
Huon Valley Council
Free TasTAFE basic computing course
TasTAFE is running a free Basic Computing Course at Kingston Library. If you already know a little bit about computing but are looking to improve your skills and knowledge, this could be just the course for you.
You will learn
• basic word processing skills
• folder and file creation
• simple formatting.
This course is delivered face-to-face to help you learn in a hands-on and supportive environment.
• AWTDIG101 – Word process a basic document
• AWTDIG102 – Use a simple spreadsheet
• BSBITU101 – Operate a personal computer
• FSKWTG05 – Complete simple workplace formatted texts.
Where and when
This course is free and will run part-time, from Tuesday 4 February to Wednesday 8 April 2020, 9.30am to 2.30pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The venue is Kingston Library, 11 Hutchins Street, Kingston.
A Statement of Attainment will be awarded for the units successfully completed.
Contact Sonya at Kingston Library email@example.com or call TasTAFE to find out if this is the right course for you.
For more information or to register your interest in this course, please call us on 1300 655 307 or visit www.tastafe.tas.edu.au.
Please note: You will need to complete an application form which you can collect from the Library or it can be emailed to you.
Tassie devil talk
Come along to Kingston Library on Tuesday 4 February at 11am, and hear about the great work being done to help save our unique Tassie devil.
Wildlife biologist, Phil Wise, will present the history so far regarding the translocation of
Tasmanian devils to Maria Island. This move is designed to conserve the species from Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). The talk will discuss the importance of the island population in context of all the work that is currently underway to conserve the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial from the effects of a rare, contagious cancer.
Phil Wise works for the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, with the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
Here is your weekly update on a selection of roadworks that may impact your journey on Tasmania’s state-owned roads, from Monday 20 January to Sunday 2 February 2020.
To see a complete list of all roadworks planned over the next two weeks, visit www.transport.tas.gov.au/road/closures_delays.
Bruny Island Main Road
We are upgrading Bruny Island Main Road, between Alonnah and Lunawanna, until late
There will be a reduced speed limit and the road will be reduced to one lane at all times. Traffic will be managed by traffic signals.
Snug to Huonville
We will be grading the shoulder along the Channel Highway, between Margate and Huonville, from Monday 27 January to Friday 28 February.
There will be a reduced speed limit and frequent lane closures during our working hours, 7am to 5pm.
Hastings Caves Road
We are sealing the unsealed sections of Hastings Caves Road, from the Hastings Caves Visitor Centre to the Hastings Caves car park, until Friday 31 January.
A shuttle bus will operate from the visitor centre to carry people through the work site during working hours, 7am to 6pm.
We will be doing surveying works on the Huon Highway between Willie Smith’s Apple Shed and Basin Road, Monday 20 to Tuesday 21 January.
There will be a reduced speed limit and the occasional closure of one westbound lane during our working hours, 7am to 5pm.
We are building a new right-turn lane on the Huon Highway at the Swamp Road junction, until Friday 31 January.
There will be a reduced speed limit and occasional lane closures during our working hours, 7am to 4pm.
We will be doing investigations on Davey Street, from Harrington Street to Southern Outlet, Monday 20 to Friday 31 January.
There will be a reduced speed limit and occasional lane closures during our working hours, 7.30pm to 12am.
We will be repairing and installing safety barriers along the Tasman Highway, between Brooker Avenue and Liverpool Street, Wednesday 22 to Friday 31 January.
There will be a reduced speed limit with frequent lane closures during our working hours, 7.30pm to 6am.
Department of State Growth
There are two road projects starting this week in Kingborough.
The Works Crew will be preparing Summerleas Road for sealing. The gravel from the road surface will be removed to prepare for the asphalt overlay from the end of the sealed section to the first bridge (approximately 100 metres and includes the intersection of Old Summerleas). Traffic will be delayed so please follow the traffic management in place. Delays may take five to 10 minutes
Proctors Road is also being prepared for an asphalt overlay. The location is 450 metres north from Hinman Drive (second bridge) to 200 metres south of Albion Heights Drive. Red gravel will be removed and replaced with asphalt to prevent potholes appearing on the bridge approach. Traffic will also be delayed five to 10 minutes.
The preparatory works are happening this week and the asphalt dates are tentatively booked for next week (from 29 January). There may be a road closure on Proctors Road so please follow all traffic management instructions and detours.
We thank you for your patience while we carry out this work and please take care if passing.
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