Build­ing fu­ture on past

A strong sense of com­mu­nity is help­ing Der­went Val­ley ful­fil its po­ten­tial, writes Guy Bar­nett

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS -

THE Der­went Val­ley has a long and proud his­tory.

Hard work, re­silience and in­no­va­tion are key char­ac­ter­is­tics of the val­ley.

Agri­cul­ture, forestry and in­dus­try have been main­stays for gen­er­a­tions.

Tourism has also been a long-time part of the val­ley’s fab­ric with Mt Field Na­tional Park wel­com­ing visi­tors from across Tas­ma­nia and the world for decades.

This year sees the 100th an­niver­sary of the for­ma­tion of Mt Field Na­tional Park — one of Aus­tralia’s old­est na­tional parks. With oth­ers, I look for­ward to pro­mot­ing this event far and wide.

The val­ley has a rich his­tory of care with the Royal Der­went Hospital be­ing a ma­jor part of the com­mu­nity for years.

The out­door life has also been a key thread in the val­ley’s story for years with the tale of trout in the South­ern Hemi­sphere hav­ing its birth­place at the Salmon Ponds at Plenty more than 150 years ago.

Even today, some of Aus­tralia’s best trout fish­ing can be found in the beau­ti­ful Der­went River, the defin­ing fea­ture of the val­ley.

With this deep past and a strong com­mu­nity, I see a strong foun­da­tion that can be built on in the years to come.

Al­ready this ex­cit­ing po­ten­tial is be­ing re­alised and I am look­ing for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to sup­port jobs, growth and sen­si­ble devel­op­ment in the area. The ready avail­abil­ity of wa­ter and ir­ri­ga­tion schemes in sur­round­ing re­gions is bring­ing new agri­cul­tural busi­nesses to the val­ley with a num­ber of dairies, new stone­fruit or­chards and winer­ies open­ing.

These bring op­por­tu­ni­ties for new jobs and help build the eco­nomic base of the com­mu­nity.

Tourism con­tin­ues to be a driver with ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties open­ing up with the Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment’s EOI process lead­ing to some in­no­va­tive pro­pos­als for the spec­tac­u­lar Ea­gle’s Eyrie at May­dena.

Dirt Art, an ex­pe­ri­enced ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­ity com­pany, pro­pose mak­ing the site a cen­tre for some of the best moun­tain bike trails in the coun­try along with a range of other ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties, which may in­clude bush walk­ing, zip lines, eco and sight­see­ing tours and gourmet ex­pe­ri­ences.

I hope to see this progress as the process moves for­ward.

Peo­ple con­tinue to be drawn to stun­ning Mt Field in droves with healthy vis­i­tor num­bers help­ing drive new busi­ness pro­pos­als and ideas in the area.

The Rail­track Riders in May­dena is an­other draw­card.

An­glers also visit the re­gion in large num­bers with the Hodg­man Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment’s An­glers Ac­cess Prog- ram see­ing 50 pop­u­lar sites along the Der­went up­graded to im­prove ac­cess for lo­cal and vis­it­ing an­glers.

Hy­dro Tas­ma­nia con­tin­ues to be a ma­jor em­ployer in the up­per Der­went Val­ley with tens of millions of dol­lars’ worth of re­fur­bish­ment and up­grades be­ing per­formed over re­cent and com­ing years, help­ing drive lo­cal economies.

I was pleased to tour some of the works be­ing done at Tun­gati­nah and Tar­raleah power sta­tions late last year with the State Min­is­ter for En­ergy Matthew Groom — a great ex­pe­ri­ence and re­minder of Tas­ma­nia’s strengths in clean, green power and in­no­va­tion.

I am keen to see the val­ley reach its full po­ten­tial.

If there is any way in which I can help you, please feel free to drop into my New Nor­folk of­fice at 6 Cir­cle St or phone 6165 7751.

Let us build a bet­ter fu­ture to­gether.

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