Building future on past
A strong sense of community is helping Derwent Valley fulfil its potential, writes Guy Barnett
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.