28 August 2014
of the Legislative Council
Island Wetlands - Tourism Branding Project
Mr President, I am not sure if you have ever used a singlefurrow,
horsedrawn plough in your time with all those life experiences.
- I am not sure about the member for Western Tiers. He may have used
- He used to pull one apparently.
- He may have used one in his childhood. I have seen the pictures - I
am talking about a singlefurrow, horsedrawn plough, member for
Western Tiers. I reckon when you were pulling that, if you hit an
obstacle it would knock you about somewhat. You see them sometimes at
property entrance gates although they have largely disappeared now
from farm clearance sales.
have rather a good one in my electorate. Many years ago it was left
leaning against an oak tree on Tamar Island. The tree grew around it
and it is now firmly embedded in the tree trunk. It must be well over
100 years old, and is quite a sight to see. Thousands of people stop
to look at it every year and there must be hundreds of photographs
floating around with this stumpjump plough that the tree has grown
around. No doubt there are numerous stories about why the plough was
left leaning against the tree.
is the type of narrative that the West Tamar Council is trying to
weave into its tourism branding project which was the subject of my
special interest speech last week. There is the story of Bruno the
bull which I will come to shortly.
plough was one of the many things to see on the fantastic wetlands
boardwalk from near the West Tamar Highway out to Tamar Island. It is
only a few hundred metres from the division of Windermere, from where
you get the beautiful view of Rosevears. Tamar Island has been crown
land since European settlement and up until the 1980s it was leased
to private and public operators. It comprises 7 hectares of silt
flats with a single rocky hillock, which has been a popular picnic
spot since the 1890s.
the 1980s, the state government bought the wetlands area around Tamar
Island and incorporated it into the greater Tamar River Conservation
Area, which stretches from St Leonards on the North Esk north to the
Tamar Island wetlands. Those wetlands are an important habitat for
many native animals and plants. They are the home of the threatened
and gold frog,
just in case you were wondering where it got to. It is an excellent
place to view birdlife, including black swans, egrets, cormorants,
swamp harriers, ducks, purple swamphens, native hens, pelicans, gulls
is an interpretation centre at the beginning of the 1.5-kilometre
walk to the island and the island itself has more than 1 kilometre of
tracks, picnic and gas barbecue facilities, and drinking water and
toilet facilities, in case you are planning on visiting some time
from the plough in the oak tree, there are other tree plantings from
more than 100 years ago. There is a dilapidated building there that
dredger crews used to stay in overnight when they were dumping the
silt from the upper
between Tamar Island and the Tamar's western shore.
boardwalk over the wetlands, completed in 1994, was a very good jobs
generator. But before visitors could be allowed on the island, they
had to get rid of Bruno. Bruno was a very large red bull which was
left to roam free on the island when other cattle were removed after
it was handed back to the Parks and Wildlife Service by the lessee,
The bull, by now totally unused to humans, became something of a
cause celebre. His lonely plight was reported by international news
agencies and there was even a 'Save Bruno' petition in circulation.
He is believed to have been taken very quietly off the island and
resettled on a farm.
information centre at the beginning of the boardwalk sits on 43
wooden piles, most of which are more than 18 metres deep because of
silt collection in the Tamar. It is staffed entirely by 23 volunteers
who contribute 5 000 hours a year. Without them, this great tourism
attraction could not function as it does. Entry is by donation.
School and community groups visit there. You can see the Gambusia
which was introduced to eat the mosquito larvae. Unfortunately they
eat native fish and green and gold tree frogs as well. Eradication
attempts have reduced but not eradicated the Gambusia
population. You can see the traps for the Gambusia
as you go out to the interpretation centre.
have yet to meet a visitor who has not been impressed by the
ever-changing sky, the rushing tidal waters, the birdlife, and the
embedded single-furrow plough at the Tamar Wetlands in my electorate
Head Council - Documentary on the Effects of the Drug Ice
(Murchison) - Mr President, today I will talk about an issue I am
sure is as much a matter of concern for all members in their
electorates as it is to me: the increasing threat and prevalence of
the drug ice in our communities. I will also talk about the positive
action the Circular Head community is taking through a project of the
Circular Head Council. It is funded through a program to tackle the
use of ice in regional Australian communities. Tackling ice use
head-on is often difficult to do proactively because of the
connotations of dealing with a drug that is so dangerous.
commend the Circular Head Council for making a documentary on the
effects of ice in its community that could be distributed to other
areas for their benefit and use. It will benefit the broader
Tasmanian and Australian communities by creating discussion and
awareness of this issue and working to remove the stigma and shame
attached to users of the drug and their families. It will assist
people to identify if a family member or friend is using ice, what
they can do to help and where they can go to get help. Doctors,
police, hospital staff and emergency service crews are among those
interviewed, with drug and alcohol counsellors adding to the
is often reported that drug use, and the use of ice in particular, is
widespread across regional communities around Australia. Therefore,
the Circular Head Council should be credited for tackling this issue
in a proactive manner. It is going to take a huge amount of courage
from all those involved. There are, and always will be, negative
connotations about communities affected by drug use, and raising it
publicly can potentially increase those negative perceptions and
connotations. This project demonstrates that the Circular Head
Council and its partners are acting as true leaders. They are
forward-thinking, creative and courageous people and we need people
like that working in local government in our regional communities.
also impressed me about this project is that the young people in
Circular Head have been made part of the solution. The council will
receive support for the project through collaboration with the
Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation, Circular Head youth leaders and
students from both high schools. It also impressed me that the
council won a grant to support the project through a competitive
process, which is no easy feat for a small council. The council was a
successful applicant for one of 12 $10 000 grants from the 2014 FRRR
- the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal - ABC Heywire Youth
Innovation Grant round.
those who are not familiar with the foundation, FRRR aims to assist
communities to build their social capital and economic resilience.
This is achieved by engaging and providing resources for projects
such as this one, which create the change that communities aspire to
ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grant, in particular, is intended to
help rural communities tackle the issues concerning young people
across rural, regional and remote Australia. As a result, each of the
organisations and the individuals involved should be congratulated on
the work they are doing to tackle this issue. I look forward to
seeing the results of this work, as well as observing the work in
progress. I understand it will take eight to 10 months to complete.
congratulate the Circular Head community on taking such a proactive
and gutsy approach to problems that not only this community face but
all communities face. I wish them all the best with the project and
look forward to the production of a resource that will benefit many
Tasmanians throughout their communities.