Tuesday 28 November 2017
Hansard of the Legislative Council

Port Dalrymple

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, the name, Port Dalrymple, in my electorate perhaps is not where it should be.  It is the name on the monument at the mouth of the Tamar near George Town.  The name also lives at Beauty Point on the west bank of the Tamar.  There is also a school in George Town of the same name.  The original name Port Dalrymple for the school marks the discovery and naming of Port Dalrymple by explorers George Bass and Matthew Flinders. 

On my side of the river - and you get a wonderful view of my side of the river from the member for Windermere's side of the river - it is highly appropriate to take that name bestowed by those intrepid sailors for a centre for competitive yacht races organised by the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club.  The club has long been the focus of yachting on the lower Tamar and is about to host the first sailing world championships ever in northern Tasmania.  The B14 championships are going to be held from 28 December to 6 January.  The B14 is an extremely nippy two‑crew dinghy with a big spinnaker.  The B14 races are a great spectator sport.  They look spectacular on the Tamar River.

The Port Dalrymple Yacht Club is a very important centre for sailing in my electorate, and I will elaborate on that shortly.  The yacht club is in the process of rebuilding its jetty after being offered $30 000 by the West Tamar Council, with the same contribution from the state Government.  Work is already underway on driving new piles into the riverbed.  The total cost is expected to be $300 000.  It is not an inexpensive project.  Built in the 1950s, the main jetty is the only on-water public refuelling point in the area.  It is an elaborate project using donated concrete-coated steel gas pipes.  There will also be new aluminium gangways and plenty of galvanised steel.  The aim is to have the rebuilt jetty ready for the B14 championships next month. 
About 35 boats and 70 competitors are to take part in the championships, with well over 100 backup people expected to attend.  Competitors will come from Australia, the United Kingdom, France and other countries.  This is going to be another opportunity for us to showcase the West Tamar and Tasmania as well.  It will enhance Tasmania's international image as a tourism destination.  I hope we get the weather we have been experiencing lately, which was a big surprise to my visitors from Sydney and the Gold Coast who came down this time last year.  This time of the year is pretty chilly, but beautiful.

With the Sydney-to-Hobart, the Melbourne-to-Devonport and other sailing events over the Christmas‑New Year period at the forefront in the media, these B14 championships are well timed to get plenty of exposure.  ABC Radio in northern Tasmania is going to cover them and will provide television updates on them throughout the championships.  You will see and hear plenty about them.  This first world championship sailing event for northern Tasmania is likely to lead to more such events in the future. 

The Port Dalrymple Yacht Club was founded in 1952 and has become an important community focal point on the West Tamar.  As all members realise, football clubs, bowls clubs, yacht clubs and the like are the cement that holds our communities together; they give us our community spirit.  The yacht club has both a keel boat and dinghy sailing program offering both racing and training opportunities to bring the young ones on.  With weekend and mid-week racing, they are a main focus of a very strong interest in sailing in my electorate of Rosevears.  It relies on volunteers and that important community support and, in turn, is part of the glue that holds our Tasmanian communities together.  It is that cohesion that makes Tasmanian communities so strong.