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December update from the Derwent Valley Council

THE Derwent Valley Council published a monthly report to the community in the December 8 issue of New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News. The text of the advertisement is repeated here.

This has been a year of change for Derwent Valley Council. New executive leadership has seen a simplification of process and a return to the grass-roots priorities of council. Several much-needed projects have been advanced, with $5 million of federal funding secured to deliver new and improved sporting infrastructure for Boyer Oval and Tynwald Park. Separately, the grandstand at Boyer has been painted and cleaned and old damaged infrastructure removed. Secure roller-doors have been installed on the windows of the Boyer clubrooms and on the New Norfolk Licensed Anglers Association kiosk at The Esplanade. Tidy Towns has been allocated a building to store their equipment on The Esplanade and both they and Detrashing Derwent have been given tip vouchers to support the disposal of rubbish collected. A number of publicly-owned buildings have been repainted and had roof repairs, including the council chambers on Circle St. We will soon be upgrading the Arthur Square toilets and adding a disability toilet/parents change room as an addition to the existing building. Council has secured $300,000 to resurface and improve the New Norfolk Pool, and we are a leading participant in the “Be Well” initiative, supporting mental well-being in our community. In June we hosted a Derwent Valley Youth Summit, and we are leaders in the state with the creation and adoption of our Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy. Elected members are working well together, with a focus on community. The variety of experience around the table has held us in good stead, and debate has been robust and respectful. I have been working hard with the acting general manager to build relationships and encourage investment, and we are having a number of conversations with views to bring industry, retail and employment to enliven our region’s economy. In all a good year in the best place in the world to call home. Stay safe and well over the Christmas period, and bring on 2024.
Councillor Michelle Dracoulis,
Mayor – Derwent Valley Council

At the November meeting, council resolved to consider of the disposal of the public land containing the New Norfolk Rowing Club facility. The intention of the motion is to enable council to consider sale of the site to the New Norfolk Rowing Club for a nominal amount. The New Norfolk Rowing Club site is public land and the consideration of disposal of public land is governed under section 178 of the Local Government Act 1993. At this stage council has only resolved an intention to consider the disposal of the land. Before council can make a final decision on this matter, it is required to provide public notice of the intention for a period of 21 days and an opportunity for any interested party to lodge an objection during this period. Council then must consider any issue raised. The public notification period commenced on Nov 25 and runs until Dec 18. Any objections or comments about this matter should be made in writing and addressed to the General Manager (PO Box 595, New Norfolk or via

Council is providing a free bus service from Bushy Park to the New Norfolk Swimming Pool on several dates this summer. With the Bushy Park Pool closed for the season due to Department of State Growth planned bridge replacement works, council is stepping in to ensure residents in the upper Derwent still have access to a pool over summer. The free bus service will run from Bushy Park Market (489 Gordon River Rd) to the New Norfolk Pool on the following Sundays: Jan 14, Jan 21 and Feb 4. The bus will depart the Bushy Park Market at 10.30am, and a return service will leave the pool at 4pm, arriving back at Bushy Park around 4.15pm. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. There will be no additional stops along the route, and no bookings will be required. The bus service will be free, however patrons will still need to purchase pool entry upon arrival.

Council’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, 14 December 2023, commencing at 7.30pm. The mayor will present the Annual Report 2022/23 and invites comments and questions from the community about the report. Copies of the annual report are now available from Customer Service at the Council Chambers and can also be viewed on our website. Residents wishing to participate in the AGM must register their attendance to receive a voting card. For more information about the AGM visit the council website or call 6261 8500.

“Take a minute” is a new campaign promoting positive mental health for all Tasmanians. The campaign has been developed by the Mental Health Council of Tasmania, and Derwent Valley Council is one of the campaign’s launch partners. The campaign invites you to stop and think about what good mental health and wellbeing looks like and identifies some positive things we can do to achieve it. You can sign up to take the seven-minute challenge at where over seven days you are promoted to “Take a minute” to self-reflect and fund out what makes you happy and fulfills your life.

At its November meeting the council adopted a Safeguarding Children and Young People policy. The purpose of the policy is to define council’s commitment to creating and maintaining a Child Safe Organisation. Under a new Tasmanian law, many organisations including councils are required to ensure they comply with a framework that helps ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people using our services and facilities. Derwent Valley Council is the first council in the state to adopt a policy addressing this legislation. This action represents the first step in what will be an ongoing commitment to being a Child Safe organisation.

Over the last 18 months, the State Government has been undertaking a review into the future of local government. A final report has now been released by the Department of Premier and Cabinet which makes 37 recommendations on how our current system of local government needs to change so that councils can meet the challenges and opportunities our communities will face in the next 20-30 years. The Government is inviting comments and submissions from the public on the final report until February 29. Feedback will help the Government decide whether to make the changes recommended by the independent board who compiled the final report. You can read the report and find out more about the recommendations at

Councillors have been selected at random to write for this page. This month, meet Cr Jessica Cosgrove.
I have lived in the beautiful Derwent Valley my entire life. I was first elected in 2018 and I am proud of the fact I was elected as the first female deputy mayor of the Derwent Valley Council and the first female acting mayor of our council. I was re-elected as a councillor last year. I run the popular New Norfolk Market which has contributed approximately $1.6 million to the local economy. I work in the community services sector and am passionate about advocating for social justice and supporting our most vulnerable. My most important role is that I am a mother of three boys, all of whom attend local schools. I grew up in New Norfolk and have strong family ties here. My grandparents Ian and Judith Hall, now aged in their late 80s, were the owners of the Plaza Cinema in New Norfolk which was operated from 1912-2003 by three generations of my family. I love hearing stories from locals reminiscing about their memories of the cinema. My parents, brother and his family also live in New Norfolk and are a great support to me. In my spare time I enjoy walking my dog, getting amongst nature, and exploring new places. I hope to continue working positively within the Derwent Valley for many years to come, whether that will be in an official capacity or not, and I am determined to create a better future for all those who call the Derwent Valley home.

The next council meeting is scheduled to be held in the Social Rooms on Thursday, 14 December 2023. The monthly council meeting will be held at 6pm followed by the Annual General Meeting at 7.30pm at the same venue. The first council meeting of the new year is scheduled for Thursday, 18 January 2024.
03 6261 8500

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

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