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Build it at New Norfolk and call it the Peter Hudson Centre

ABOUT three years ago the Derwent Valley Council approved a plan to convert New Norfolk’s disused Kensington Park Racecourse into a multi-use sports precinct costing tens of millions of dollars.

Without the money to make this plan a reality, all the council could do was add it to the wish list it calls its “advocacy document” and try to find someone else to pay for it. It was also included in a sports master plan alongside the need for major upgrades at Boyer Oval.

Kensington Park
The council’s master plan for Kensington Park, put forward by the then mayor Ben Shaw in 2020.

State and federal elections have since come and gone, with nothing provided for the Kensington sports precinct and a $5 million pledge for Boyer Oval which has to be shared with Tynwald Park and seems to have stalled. It therefore beggars believe that with $40 million on the table for a high-performance centre for the Tasmanian AFL team, there has been no public call for New Norfolk to be considered as the venue.

In New Norfolk there is plentiful council- and government-owned land at Kensington Park (and the adjoining former high school hostel) and at Boyer Oval and surrounds, that could be developed together or separately for the high-performance centre and upgraded local facilities.

Perhaps there would be scope for school and/or community use of the AFL facilities in order to make the most of the investment, particularly as the AFL’s commitment to game development pathways in Tasmania includes $90m for community facilities.

Why wouldn’t you build the high-performance centre at New Norfolk and call it the Peter Hudson Centre, after our most famous footballing son? Why wouldn’t you at least put up New Norfolk for consideration, just 30 minutes out of the city?

Damian Bester, Editor & Owner
New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News

What’s your opinion? Have your say by commenting below or send a Letter to the Editor by emailing letters@newnorfolknews.com.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.


  1. Beats me why the DV Council have not put their hand up for opportunities such as this suggestion similarly with an earlier one from myself re a southern juvenile detention centre – the space/s available are certainly there.
    Ngaire Glover – Molesworth

    1. Good idea re a Detention Centre Look at the old Hayes Gaol Farm as an example

  2. Parking would need to be addressed, but yes, They should look at Kensington.. It is the first sane suggestion I have seen regarding it all.

  3. Would that mean we would have to pay for the removal of the Peter Hudson statue from Arthur Square to Kensington Park? Do we put the Memorial Wall back to it’s original place in Arthur Square? Look at the costs, time, energy and rates going to a very simple issue. This is why we need a Masterplan that is not ignored by Council.

  4. If my memory is correct didn’t council agree to $100 000 feasibility study to explore the site for the Ex-Mayor motion? Was this money spent on that?

  5. What a great idea for Kensington Park. The Peter Hudson statue would also have a more sensible site to be located rather than the current dubious placement.
    DV Council better get its skates on as Clarence Council has flagged the former Rosny Golf Course as its preferred location.

  6. A great idea as upgraded and consolidated sporting facilities in the town are desperately needed.Our town has had many reports , reviews,plans of proposed sporting precinct proposals over the years and not one of the proposals have seen the light of day
    Maybe this idea has some legs if our town was able to support a regional sporting complex or even facility upgrade that would support specific sporting activities that are associated with the AFL plans
    Should Boyer Oval upgrade as planned ever happen, maybe that facility could be utilised by the AFL as part of their grand plan
    Needs consideration

  7. State Government have settled on Pontville as the new location for the Ashley/Youth Detention Centre. It already has the security infrastructure in place (ie fencing) and also each of the existing accommodation shelters contain facilities (ie toilets, showers, kitchenette). Kensington Park has been approved by the State Government for proposed affordable housing development.

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