Deputy mayor hoping to fly the flag

A VOTE at the Derwent Valley Council meeting this week may see the Australian Aboriginal Flag flown at the council chambers in New Norfolk for the first time in 25 years. The council flew the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags for NAIDOC Week in 1996, but not since.

Deputy mayor Jessica Cosgrove raised the issue during councillor question time at a recent council meeting and was told to bring a motion to a future meeting if she wished to progress the matter. Cr Cosgrove today said she was surprised that a formal decision was needed but she was pleased to table a notice of motion for the September council meeting being held this Thursday night.

The Australian Aboriginal Flag and Torres Strait Islander Flag were flown at the council chambers during NAIDOC Week in 1996.

Due to reports of ongoing difficulty reaching the existing flagpoles on the council chambers roof, Cr Cosgrove suggests that three new flagpoles be installed in the council chambers lawns. She also proposes that the council develop an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Recognition Strategy over the next 12 months and undertakes community consultation on a plan to mark national dates of significance to the Aboriginal community within the Derwent Valley.

“Following an overwhelming number of requests and conversations I have personally had with constituents, and recent communications to council during public question time, it is evident that many members of the Derwent Valley Community would value the Aboriginal flag being permanently flown alongside the Australian flag,” Cr Cosgrove said.

“After I requested for the Aboriginal flag to be flown at the Derwent Valley Council Chambers during councillor question time at the July 2021 public council meeting, I commenced consultation with council staff and the local Aboriginal Education Officer at Ptunarra Child and Family Centre. By consulting on this topic, I have respectfully made an informed motion prior to forming part of the council agenda,” she said.

“At present, the Australian flag is the sole flag flown on the building at the top of the Derwent Valley Council Chambers. The location of this flag is not ideal as there are structural and visibility issues. I suggest that the council installs three flag poles to permanently fly the Australian flag, state flag, and Aboriginal flag on the lawns of the Derwent Valley Council Chambers.”

Cr Cosgrove said this would solve the problem of accessing the existing flag poles and create a space of public gathering of pride and togetherness. She proposes that an appropriate traditional ceremony be held to commemorate the new installations.


  1. It really is hard to understand why we need “a space of public gathering of pride and togetherness” at the council chambers.

    If we gather as a community at council chambers to voice our concerns we have had until recently threats of police.

    If you raise concerns you will be named and bullied.

    We have business owners at the entrance to town that have flown the three flags proposed by the Deputy Mayor with the rainbow flag for years.

    So flying these flags will bring community connections?

    Perhaps councillors could work a bit harder on community connections without spending money on what seems like a thought bubble.

    Perhaps put forward some actual fact that this will help with community connections that the spend would justify.

    The mayor wants double footpaths, the deputy mayor wants flags.

    Health care?? Not a single motion from a single councillor.

    If I am wrong please correct me.

      I have lost faith in the only medical centre we have in the ENTIRE DERWENT VALLEY AREA.
      I am elderly and prefer to have a GREAT medical centre with the BEST Mature CARE.
      WE are NOT guinea pigs.
      Absolutely, FED UP!

  2. Jill

    I am with you.

    Your statement that “we are not guinea pigs” resonates very strongly with me.

    I have MS. A chronic, degenerative neurological disease that needs knowledgeable doctors and constant management for quality of life.

    I travel from New Norfolk to Bellerive by public transport to a medical centre where I am not made to feel like a guinea pig and I am not told my expectations are too high.

    We need livable towns.

    Livable towns have health care and housing for many different social groups.

    New Norfolk is becoming unlivable because of uncontrolled development without infrastructure and services to meet the demands.

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