Thursday 30 August 2012

Hansard of the Legislative Council



Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - I want to highlight something that has occurred in my electorate today. Some may think that a view of the upper Tamar River at low tide with its mud and silt problem is not a particular attraction but the former Launceston Mayor, Graeme Beams, who loved the Tamar, had quite a different view. Graeme Beams did not necessarily think that the mud at low tide was beautiful but he thought people should see the best and worst of the upper Tamar and then perhaps add to the pressure to correct the problem. In January last year Graeme Beams passed away.

This morning we had the formal opening of the West Tamar viewing deck. It is on the West Tamar wetlands in lower Trevallyn and gives an excellent view of the upper Tamar silt problem and also the tidal beauty of the area.

During his time on the Launceston City Council Graeme Beams felt that a viewing deck would be an additional enhancement for the community to view the Tamar River, about which he was extremely passionate. There is a plaque on the platform written by one of Graeme's colleagues on the council, Annette Waddle. It says 'This Tamar River viewing platform is dedicated to former Launceston mayor Graeme Beams, a long-serving Launceston City Council alderman in memory of his love of the river and for the enjoyment of the people of northern Tasmania'.

Madam President, that is a fitting memorial to someone who devoted his life to serving the Tamar Valley community. His son-in-law, Captain Peter Bowers, came from Canberra today and also present was Graeme's widow, Ronsley Beams.

I said in my tribute in this House on 15 March 2011 that Graeme Wesley Beams was truly a man of Launceston. He loved and served Launceston passionately. He devoted much of his public life to attracting funding to improve his city and its surroundings. He spent 26 years pestering federal and state entities for funding. He secured money for numerous projects including the Earl Art Centre, the Summerdale Community Centre, the St Leonards Hockey Centre, the Inveresk Railyards development and the Launceston bikeway.

It is hard to put a figure on what Graeme Beams gained for Launceston. One estimate says about $25 million. The cost of his memorial Tamar viewing platform of $175 000 makes it a very good investment indeed to salute this man of the community - Graeme Beams.