Sunday, July 29, 2012


HERE are the formal questions I have asked at the last few council meetings.

April council meeting
Mr Mayor, have we had a written answer from the Police Minister regarding the failure of a police representative to attend our recent workshop on Willow Court security?
Answer: The Mayor advised that a letter had been sent but a reply had not been received. He has however received a verbal acknowledgement from the Minister that the letter had been received.

Mr Mayor, has the Council contacted Malcolm MacDonald in accordance with the council's decision of last month?
Answer: The General Manager advised that he hadn’t but will follow it up.

Mr Mayor, will you provide us with an update on your search for a tunnel beneath Burnett St?
Answer: The Mayor advised that he was having a meeting soon with Rebecca White MHA regarding UTAS and their groundpenetrating radar.

May council meeting
Can the Accountant provide an income and expenditure report for the first six months on the Carinya Education Park?
Answer: The General Manager advised that an income and expenditure report would be provided.

June council meeting (questions on notice)
Will the council contact the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources to request a co-operative approach to the provision of a footpath at Westerway?
Answer: The Mayor advised that Stuart Taylor is pursuing this issue and it has also been included in councils budget.

Will the Mayor give an update on the search for tunnels beneath Burnett St?
Answer: The Mayor advised that he would take this matter up with Mr David Llewellyn AM and his new committee. That the General Manager will be taking it up with the University of Tasmania Thermal Imaging section. The Mayor will also take the matter up with Rebecca White MP.

June council meeting (questions on notice)
Cr Bester Mr Mayor why was advertising material for a nursing home posted out in envelopes with the Derwent Valley Council logo on them this month?
The General Manager advised that discussions had been held with Corumbene in regard to sending out the flyer with Council rate notices, unfortunately this did not happen and they were forwarded out separately. They had also asked if they could be provided with the detail so they could do the mail-out of which I advised privacy legislation would not permit Council to pass this information on.

How many were posted out?
The General Manager advised that approximately 1100.

How much did it cost?
The General Manager advised that he would have to get back to him in regard to the cost.

How was it determined who received the flyer?
The General Manager advised that it was forwarded to those that have a pensioner discount or are the holder of a Centrelink Healthcare Card. Corumbene has advised that they now have the longest waiting list that they have ever had and that this will assist with occupancy rates for their newly build units. Unfortunately I am unable to advise if this mail-out was the main reason for this.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New planning scheme

SEVEN of your councillors spent most of yesterday in a workshop to review the new planning scheme for the Derwent Valley Council. This will cover all land use matters between Granton and Strathgordon. All of Tasmania's municipal planning schemes are now under review, to bring them into line with a common model and introduce relative consistency throughout the state. In our case this is long overdue, with the current New Norfolk Planning Scheme have being adopted in 1993.

This was the second workshop on this project and there will be quite a number still to come. We are being ably led through this complex matter by the council's planning officer, Martin McCance, and there is no doubting his enthusiasm for the subject matter. Following an initial briefing last month, yesterday's workshop went through the many new zones defined in the model planning scheme. It seems likely that most of the following zones will be a feature of the new Derwent Valley Planning Scheme:
  • General Residential Zone (To provide for residential use or development that accommodates a range of dwelling types at suburban densities, where full infrastructure services are available or can be provided)
  • Rural Living Zone (To provide for residential use or development on large lots in rural setting where services are limited)
  • Village Zone (To provide for small rural centres with a mix of residential, community services and commercial activities)
  • Community Purpose Zone (To provide for key community facilities and services where those facilities and services are not appropriate for inclusion as an associated activity within another zone)
  • Recreation Zone (To provide for a range of active and organised recreational use or development and complementary uses that do not impact adversely on recreational use of the land)
  • Open Space Zone (To provide land for open space purposes including passive recreation and natural or landscape amenity)
  • Local Business Zone (To provide for business, professional and retail services which meet the convenience needs of a local area)
  • General Business Zone (To provide business, community, food, professional and retail facilities serving a town or group of suburbs)
  • Commercial Zone (To provide for large floor area retailing and service industries)
  • Light Industrial Zone (To provide for the manufacturing, processing, repair, storage and distribution of goods and materials where off-site impacts are minimal or can be managed to minimise conflict or impact on amenity of any other uses)
  • General Industrial Zone (To provide for manufacturing, processing, repair, storage and distribution of goods and materials where there may be impacts on neighbouring uses)
  • Rural Resource Zone (To provide for the sustainable use or development of resources for agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, mining and other primary industries, including opportunities for resource processing)
  • Significant Agricultural Zone (To provide for the use or development of land for higher productivity value agriculture dependant on soil as a growth medium)
  • Utilities Zone (To provide land for major utilities installations and corridors)
  • Environmental Management Zone (To provide for the protection, conservation and management of areas with significant ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic value, or with a significant likelihood of risk from a natural hazard)
  • Particular Purpose Zone (Willow Court)
There is still much work to be done, including determination of where these zones might apply.
Your feedback wanted
I'm particularly interested to hear the thoughts and opinions of Derwent Valley residents on two matters at this stage of the planning scheme process.
  1. The proposed Rural Resource Zone includes a prohibition on subdivisions. In order to prevent further fragmentation of rural resource land, there would be no subdivision of new lots in this "zone". This relates particularly to large farms being subdivided and rendered unsuitable for major agriculture. What's your opinion?
  2. Past and present planning schemes have sought to protect and preserve High St as the municipality's main commercial centre. The new planning scheme's proposed Commercial Zone would allow "big box" type developments in New Norfolk, but away from the central business district. What do you think?
I would welcome your thoughts, which can be posted using the comment function below or by emailing