Thursday 28 May 2015
Hansard of the Legislative Council

Rosevears Waterfront Tavern

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, U3A has also been developed over the last couple of years on the West Tamar. Lady Caroline Richards helped the U3A development at Port Sorell and Hawley Beach.
It was interesting to hear the member for Windermere talking about the problem of having a name like 'Windermere'.  I have 'Rosevears', and many people think I am the member for Rosevears and I have not a very big constituency because not many people live at Rosevears.  My electorate and that of the member for Windermere share the Tamar River - he has a magnificent view of my electorate, up and down the river.

Mr Farrell - I think the honourable member puts the wind into Windermere.

Mr FINCH - I will not advance that.

The beautiful St Matthias Church is on the banks of  the Tamar River directly across from the Rosevears Waterfront Tavern, which I want to talk about today.
I recently moved to the edge of the Tamar River at Deviot , which is more centrally located in my electorate and if I was to nominate a local pub it would be this one.  It is a fair way upstream from my new home but very accessible by water.  I am sure it is merely coincidental that the Rosevears pub is undergoing $5 million worth of redevelopment in the months since my move from West Launceston to the edge of the Tamar.

The historic tavern now has an art gallery, among other things.  This new gallery fits the image of the West Tamar region, which is increasingly about food, scenery, art and wine.  The good thing about the tavern is that they now have a label called 'Rosevears', which I am sure will make a wonderful gift.

The Rosevears Tavern arguably has one of the most scenic sites for a pub in Tasmania.  It is right on the waterfront, with stunning views up and down and across the Tamar.  When anyone takes overseas or interstate visitors there for lunch or dinner, they are just mesmerised by the view. 

I mentioned the new art gallery, which I recently had the pleasure to open - it is being curated by excellent local artist and guru Nigel Lazenby.  It is offering amazing opportunities for established and new and emerging artists to make their work accessible.  I made a bit of a mistake in the spread in The Examiner newspaper, which showed the photos taken.  I look as if I have been photoshopped into the photo.  That is a mistake I will not make again.  You will notice the member for Launceston there in all her glory right in the middle of the photo, smiling and looking splendid.  It was a wonderful night, wasn't it?

The gallery is only one of the proposed new developments at the tavern.  There are 26 accommodation units planned.  There will also be a providore to showcase Tamar Valley food and wine, and a day spa.  Perhaps most importantly, there will be a 40 to 60 berth marina where I will be able to moor my small floating gin palace while I have lunch at the tavern.  Being able to moor vessels at the tavern is quite an historic facility, because the pub first opened in 1831 - about 30 years after European settlement in northern Tasmania - and much of its custom came by water.

In the 1820s there was a small shipbuilding industry operating near the site of Rosevears.  It was based at what was then known as Battery Point and Cimitieres Point.  The boat that John Batman sailed across Bass Strait to found Melbourne in 1835, the Rebecca, was built at Rosevears by Captain George Plummer.

The tavern's first proprietor was William Henry Rosevears who called it the Rose Inn and in the 1830s it was a very important milestone or watermark on the Tamar River.  The river was much used for leisure activities right up to the 1930s - spectacular regattas and picnics by boat were regular events.  Let us hope that can be rejuvenated.  The Rosevears Tavern has seen many alterations since it was first built in 1831 but some of the original brick work is still visible inside.

The pub's redevelopment has been financed by co‑owners Nick Daking and Alan Virieux.  It is a true labour of love.  The Rosevears Tavern's potential, especially for tourism is pretty obvious, but it has taken a pair of visionaries like Nick and Alan to realise it.  I look forward to a visit by boat next summer.