30 October 2014
Royal Complex Redevelopment
Mr President, the Black Rod suggested I should be given extra minutes
because I am a regular customer.
the vastly different timing, Matthew
who spent a little time on the West Tamar in the early 1820s, could
have been a constituent of the Legislative Council division of
Rosevears. I am not sure bushrangers were enfranchised, however, as
the only reference to Matthew is Brady's Lookout, which is in my
electorate. Brady, and John Batman who captured him, will be the
subject of a so-called dark ride and that will be an attraction at
Launceston's redeveloped Penny Royal complex.
Penny Royal - and many of you would have visited it over the years
and we have it as that visual icon in my electorate - was built 36
years ago by entrepreneur Roger Smith. It used to have 1 000 visitors
a day, as Tasmania's only theme park, but it could be said that it
became very tired and deteriorated over the years. However, all that
is about to change, with approval this week from the Launceston City
Council for a big reconstruction of the Penny Royal. Tenders are to
be called in January for the construction of restaurants, bars,
cafes, a cellar door, a whiskey distillery, member for Windermere,
and a brewery, and more.
will become yet another tourist attraction in my electorate. The JAC
Group is behind the new development and its founder, Josef Chromy,
told the council his vision was to bring additional commerce to
Launceston through the project. The
quoted Mr Chromy saying:
years back, in Hobart, I was looking at the MONA museum and everyone
was saying we have to go to Hobart, we have to see the museum, then I
am thinking what to do in Launceston. My wish was that something, if
possible, is created here.
is our visionary, Josef Chromy.
managing director of JAC Group, Dean Cocker, says, 'the development
will be an adventure precinct on steroids' and it is hoped it will be
finished for Josef Chromy's birthday on 18 December next year when he
will be 85.
- I hope Dean sings at it.
- He does have a wonderful voice. I was in a musical with Dean many
Mayor, Albert van Zetten - newly re-elected and congratulations to
Albert - says 'the adventure precinct will be great for tourism.'. As
the brochure says, the reconstructed Penny Royal 'will be the premier
food, wine and adventure precinct in the Tamar Valley. This new
precinct will offer an amazing range of local food and beverages, as
well as thrilling adventure activities on the edge of Launceston's
iconic natural attraction, the Cataract Gorge.'
attended a preview event last week and learnt of the proposed
developments including the chairlift and some very advanced cliff
climbing activities. We were able to view a big crane doing all the
checking of the rocks and putting 420 pins in to secure the rocks at
the cliff face. That is going to be a very exciting development for
people to climb over that cliff face.
Cocker, when showing us around, highlighted the fact that there are
going to be 20 cannons installed. I remember when my eldest son Brian
was born, we had a 21 gun salute so I must point out to Dean Cocker
that he will to have to get an extra gun to fire off the cannons at
the Penny Royal.
was with a mixture of sadness and elation that I went through because
it is very tired, it is very dilapidated but how exciting that we are
going to have this dark ride, a special feature at the Penny Royal
and it is going to come to life. Roger Smith, the original
entrepreneur who developed it, is back on board with the JAC Group to
oversee the development. What is to be done next year should put the
Penny Royal complex on track to returning to its big visitor numbers
of 30 years ago. I certainly hope so.