To be or not to be

THE Derwent Valley Council recently gave its seal of approval to a proposed garden on land it does not own, but refuses to endorse a garden on land it does own.

At its January meeting, the council heard that New Norfolk Primary School had received a $20,560 grant from the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation to establish a community garden at the Blair Street Kindergarten. The “kitchen garden” will enable children to plant, nurture, harvest, cook and eat fresh food. It will also be available to other local schools and community groups.

The school sought council support to extend its grounds by fencing off 836 square metres of the Ellis Dean Reserve, immediately behind the kindergarten (off Charlotte St) for the community garden. Deputy general manager Robert McCrossen reported that Ellis Dean Reserve was Crown Land, leased to the council in 1982 for 21 years. “Although the lease expired in 2002 Council has continued to develop the reserve with play and recreational facilities. The State Government has offered a number of parcels of land (including Ellis Dean) to Council under its Crown Land Assessment and Classification Project although agreement to transfer properties has not been reached,” Mr McCrossen wrote in his report.

Councillors endorsed Mr McCrossen’s recommendation that the council give its support for the community garden by advising the New Norfolk Primary School and State Government that it supports the extension of the Blair Street Kindergarten grounds.

Seated in the public gallery at the council meeting was a representative of the Friends of Frescati, a community group which has been unsuccessfully seeking to work with the council on the development of a community garden on open space at Willow Court – land owned by the council. The group has developed a landscaping plan but has been unable to gain council support for this initiative despite several years of lobbying.

The NNNewsblogger is a former student of New Norfolk Primary School and supports its initiatives.
The NNNewsblogger is not a member of the Friends of Frescati, but supports its initiatives.
The NNNewsblogger is not a member of the Derwent Valley Council and does not support its recalcitrance.

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