Thursday 21 November 2013

Hansard of the Legislative Council



[11.19 a.m.]

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, there is a community group in my electorate which is exceptional in its success and probably unique in the way in which it was established. I am going to talk about the Legana Community Group and it was developed from a Neighbourhood Watch group in Legana about 12 months ago. Its launch was funded by a grant from the West Tamar Council and it immediately began its incorporation process in November last year. One of the driving forces behind the group is Anne Brelsford and she describes the process like this on the website:

We are a not-for-profit group of volunteers with no political or religious affiliations. Our aim has been to provide a group which can be a focus for the Legana community, both in terms of building community spirit in practical ways and by lobbying all levels of government to provide the infrastructure and facilities that Legana needs to grow and flourish. In pursuing these aims we have had some notable successes over the first year of our work but have also noticed some areas where there still a lot of work to be done.

One of the most successful ongoing works is our community newsletter. The Legana Community Group Incorporated compiles, publishes and distributes through its volunteer support group, a monthly newsletter to all households in the Legana area. The feedback we have received about our newsletter has been excellent, indicating that Legana people do read and connect with it.

Legana is probably the fastest growing area in my electorate, and probably in Tasmania. It is a very vibrant and progressive community.

Ms Rattray - I think Port Sorell is the fastest growing.

Mr FINCH - As well. Legana is ideally placed as what you would call a dormitory suburb of Launceston. It is close to the city so it is quite advantageous, particularly for young families. It is probably too fast growing in terms of young families because the growth has left behind the provision of facilities. This is where the group says there is some catch-up work to do, and that is going to be its main focus.

Mr Hall - And many fine young people live near there, too.

Mr FINCH - Absolutely, in a wonderful electorate, I might say.

Even while it was being formed, the Legana Community Group was involved in local projects. It began work on the Jetty Road site in Legana with a view to making it family friendly - a nice reserve area complete with paths, parking, seats and a vegetation management plan. It has presented the West Tamar Council with a plan for the site foreshadowing the need for toilets, which are very important in communities, and an important part of this Jetty Road site will be improving the public boat ramp there. It has had talks with Marine Safety Tasmania, the West Tamar Council and state and federal members of parliament, looking for funding and support.

In the same area it is working on the concept of a community river walk along the river bank between Tanner Drive Reserve play area and the proposed Jetty Road recreation area. It currently has two grant applications being considered.

In February and March of this year, the group was engaged in the Lighting Up Legana project, which distributed 45 motion sensor lights to households to improve home safety. That was a good initiative, and the group has ambitious plans for the future. It recognises the need for activities for young people in Legana, so they hope to be involved in the creation of a skateboard park. It plans further work on local playground areas involving providing public barbecues and toilets. The group is also mindful of the exercise needs of the adults. They would like to see an adult exercise equipment area made available in the public recreation areas.

Ms Rattray - There is one of those areas at Campbell Town and it is fantastic.

Mr FINCH - Yes, I have seen it, up there near the footy ground. I have long believed that the best community initiatives come from the grassroots. But they need dynamic leadership and enthusiastic followers. The Legana Community Group has both and in little more than 12 months it has started projects that are already knitting together a very fast-growing community. I salute them.