Mayor’s talking points

WELCOMING the premier and cabinet to New Norfolk yesterday, Derwent Valley mayor Martyn Evans outlined a number of points for further discussion today. Councillor Evans thanked the assembled government ministers for taking the time to discuss the future of the Derwent Valley. “The Derwent Valley has a wealth of potential in natural and built heritage, investment opportunities and tourism,” Cr Evans said. “We have a growing but ageing population and poor school retention rates and recognise that our future planning must take these things into account.”

The mayor’s talking points were:

Education: The council is seeking additional educational facilities including the provision of Year 11 and 12 classes for local students and those from neighbouring areas; a trade training centre for horticulture, aquaculture, silviculture, viticulture; and co-locating the already-announced Child and Family Centre in a proposed education precinct.

Health: The council thanked the government for its decision to reinstate x-ray facilities at the New Norfolk District Hospital and was looking forward to the installation of promised air-conditioning in the wards. The council proposed to discuss the idea of an emergency treatment facility at the hospital, to serve the municipal area and neighbours, taking pressure off the Royal Hobart Hospital.

Huon Link Rd: The council is seeking an upgrade to the existing Plenty Valley Link Rd, which connects the Derwent and Huon valleys, for economic and employment benefits as well as taking heavy traffic away from the Hobart CBD.

Police: The council seeks to discuss the need for a 24-hour police presence in New Norfolk. Additional police officers were promised during the last State Election but none have yet been allocated to the New Norfolk Police Station.

Willow Court: Discussions are continuing on future ownership of the Willow Court site.

Derwent Valley Railway: Insurance and access to the rail line are the sticking points preventing the operation of a tourist railway experience in the Derwent Valley and the council seeks the government’s assistance with those matters.

Tourism development: The council would like to investigate possibilities for an extended tourism plan for the entire Derwent Valley area and its linkages to the Central Highlands and Huon Valley.

Economic development: The council has engaged a regional development officer and seeks the government’s assistance with long-term economic and tourism development projects.

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