The Hobart

Hobart Happenings August 2022

by Stephanie Williams
Hobart Happenings August 2022

NEW OPENINGS

Hibernation hasn’t stopped new places in Hobart from opening up this winter. Twister Sister (143 Collins Street, Ho­bart) is serving Thai and Vietnamese fa­vourites for lunch (and soon to be dinner) in the CBD. If you’re hungry and heading out on the Midlands Higway, Robin’s Nest Restaurant (80 Midland Highway, Pontville) at the Pontville Football Club rooms has just opened with an extensive menu of schnittys, pizzas, burgers and everything in between. In the Northern suburbs, KH Kebab in Glenorchy is dish­ing up juicy traditional Afghani kebabs. Warm yourself from the inside out with a visit to No.79 Clay Pot Rice Noodle (79 Bathurst St, Hobart). Derwent Estate has opened their restaurant and event space, The Shed (329 Lyell Highway, Granton) recently, offering share plates to accompa­ny some fabulous wine – parfait and pinot anyone? Dunalley Bay Distillery (3530 Arthur Hwy, Murdunna) have opened their beachfront tasting hut where gin tast­ings can be paired with cheese boards and pastries while overlooking the bay. Stop in for a brew and zen out at A Moment of Tea (Salamanca Arts Centre, Salamanca), and take home a little care package to see you through the rest of winter. Moo Brew have only released snippets of informa­tion about their new waterfront location but we’re promised an unconventional venue to match its unconventional beers with drinks, salty snacks and an atmo­sphere fit for Walshy, when it opens later this year. Devils Brewery is opening at the Domain Tennis Centre soon, perhaps some liquid courage will help us release our inner Ash Barty? Pssst, there’s also going to be more pasta and fun wine to share with a second location of a local fa­vourite haunt set to open in North Hobart. More to come soon! A new space for art, music and events to collide has arrived in Midtown with the opening of Bicker­staff Blizzard (246/248 Elizabeth Street North Hobart). Emerging Tassie talent will be showcased through group and solo exhibitions, grounded in a hybrid gallery and events space. “We instantly saw the potential to breathe life back into the his­toric block and create a unique home for artists and guests to enjoy and discover new works” say directors and Hobart locals, Shelley Bickerstaff and Jess Blizzard. Sandy Bay has a new local shop with Baxters IGA (644 Sandy Bay Road, Sandy Bay) opening recently and Porters Liquor (2 Augusta Rd, New Town) next to New Town Hill Street Grocer have the shelves stocked with old favourites, with plenty of drops from local makers and abroad. Nari Salon and Boutique (218 Liverpool Street Hobart) have expanded south from Launceston to Hobart and are welcoming anyone in need of a little beauty or clothing freshen up. Warm up those tootsies with a visit to Icon Foot­wear (117 Collins Street, Hobart) where staff will help you find that glass slipper European shoe. Slow down with a new book from Hobart City Mission’s new upstairs shop, The Book Nest (corner of Barrack and Goulburn Street). Above the existing store lies a book shop filled with a novel and gateway to a mysterious land for everyone.

BLUE CARBON CAPTURES

A local organisation has won one of five Australian Government Blue Carbon Ecosystem Restoration Grants. Natu­ral Resource Management South has been granted nearly $800,000 for a new saltmarsh restoration project at the Pitt Water-Orielton Lagoon, near Hobart. Blue carbon is the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems and the funding will hopefully improve the lagoon’s capacity to store carbon, as well as benefit biodi­versity, fishing and tourism and general resilience.

TASMAN BRIDGE UPGRADES

Plans for major upgrades to the Tasman Bridge have been revealed. The first major upgrades to the bridge in almost 50 years (when the bridge collapsed in 1975) will see wider cycling and footpaths added. There’ll also be heightened safety barriers, strengthening works and feature lighting added to the bridge, which carries approximately 70,000 vehicles a day. The upgrades are expected to cost $130 million, shared evenly by the state and federal governments. Works are anticipat­ed to be completed sometime in 2023-24. For more information you can head to transport.tas.gov.au.

Artist impression of the Tasman Bridge upgrades

SOGGY SPORTS GROUNDS SET TO CONTINUE WITH RAIN + NO BUDGET FOR WORKS ON THE HORIZON

This winter many soccer loving kids who play as part of the Central Region Junior Football Association were displaced from the Soldiers Memorial Oval due to boggy ground, with play not returning to the oval this winter. Last season cricket games were pushed back at least five weeks as well, due to poor conditions. These games have been rescheduled at other ovals across Hobart, putting pres­sure on other competition fixtures.

So why is it happening? A City of Hobart spokesperson shared with The Hobart Magazine, “Soldiers Memorial Oval is built on one of a number of former landfill sites around the City of Hobart. Management of these sites can be difficult due to the time it takes for the ground to settle and compact effectively. Due to these challenges, the site has some drain­age issues which have been increasing in recent years. With the extreme amount of rain falling early this season, as well as consistent rainfall since, the oval has not been able to drain sufficiently.”

Repairing the oval in its current state is reported to be difficult. The spokesper­son shared, “The weight of machinery that would be required to open up the drainage would cause significant damage to the surface. Other avenues have been trialled in this time without providing the improvement that would be required to reopen the ground.”

According to the Bureau of Meteorology from August to October this year, Hobart has a 40-45% chance of exceeding the median rainfall, which will increase to 60- 65% chance in the September to Novem­ber period. Weatherzone has reported that the Pacific Ocean has been in a La Niña phase during the last two Southern Hemi­sphere summers. This has contributed to the record breaking rainfall we’ve seen in parts of Australia. A seasonal forecast model operated by the U.S. National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Centre (CPC) has suggested that a La Niña-like signal could linger in the Pacific Ocean through the middle of the year and possibly re-emerge in the Southern Hemi­sphere’s spring. With the weather forecast not looking promising should the budget for remediation and drainage improve­ments need to be expedited?

It looks as though game interruptions are set to continue into next soccer and crick­et seasons and beyond, with funding for improvement works not allocated in the 22/23 financial year budget. “The City of Hobart does have funding earmarked for future financial years, and we are hoping to commence repair work in the latter half of next year, however it is possible that the ground will be out of action at times over the next two years while this repair work is undertaken.”

Soldiers Memorial oval. Pic: CRJFA FB

DO GOOD, HAVE A COFFEE

The Rwandan Coffee Club is looking to branch out to workplaces and markets after deciding to withdraw their coffee from being sold Woolworths stores due to ongoing tight margins. A not-for-profit, the club is run by the Rwandan-Australian Friendship Association (RAFA), whose members are mainly Tutsi survivors of the 1994 genocide who settled in Tasma­nia. They sell coffee to raise funds for survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide of Tutsi people. These funds assist in rebuilding lives despite significant trauma and dispossession. All ordering, packing and sales are done through the generosity of volunteers, allowing for the maximum amount of funds to be sent directly to Tut­si communities in Rwanda. These projects include food production, income earning capacity, and health initiatives. The Rwandan Coffee Club offers a variety of coffee beans for sale, including Rwandan Arabica, Intashyo, Ihumure, and Sumatra Arabica. To make a purchase or donation, visit www.rwandancoffeeclub.org.

HERE’S A THOUGHT
What happens if the Tassie AFL team fails after ten years, when the funding guarantee expires….will we have a $750m+ stadium that hosts Sheffield Shield cricket as a permanent reminder of the AFL team that was?

DOUGHNUT BE ALARMED…

Gone are the days of half a budget air­line’s load capacity going to imported Krispy Kreme doughnuts, with the iconic baked treat now available at BP servos in Tassie. Sadly, in a very Tasmanian twist, on day one of the doughnuts being available police were called to attend an alleged theft of the goods from a Brighton BP. According to Tasmania Police, the boxes were taken from a delivery van parked outside the service station just after 1am on a Satur­day morning in late July. Cops attended and were given CCTV footage of a man opening the van doors, and taking off with two large boxes. Later that morning Bridgewater Police searched a home in Brighton, arresting a Risdon Vale man and recovering what remained of the allegedly stolen goods. Glazed and confused? A 20 year old man was charged and bailed to appear in the Hobart Magistrates Court for stealing.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

Screen Tasmania are after new locations to shoot their films, TV shows, commer­cials and music videos. They’ve put the call out for home owning Hobartians to upload photos and details of their property for display in their Locations Gallery. Once approved and uploaded, properties are made available for selec­tion. There are some restrictions with highways, flight paths and accessibility, but if you own your own place and want to make a little extra money, head to Screen Tasmania’s website at www.screen.tas.gov.au to find out more.

NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK

This National Science Week, 13 – 21 August, the focus is climate change. The Australian Marine Scientists Association (AMSA) and Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) are holding a compe­tition and want to hear from people in Tasmania about how we might adapt to climate change at the local level, or ideas around climate change mitigation. Entrants need to construct a five minute video outlining a local impact climate change is having, or will have, and your idea(s) on how we can adapt to, or mitigate, this impact. You might like to build a model to describe, a poster to show and discuss, or perhaps just ex­plain your ideas directly to the camera. More info at www.climatescienceinac­tion.com.

DOGGY DON’TS

Note: Don’t read this paragraph whilst eating! In quite gross news, a new Australian-first study has shown a high contamination rate of intestinal worms in dog parks across Australia. In Hobart we have plenty of public parks and sports grounds where dogs and kids share the space – and we know canine intestinal worms can be passed on to humans – so we’ll leave the rest up to your own imagination. A Melbourne university study found almost half of the parks sampled in Australia were contaminated with some kind of canine intestinal worm. In slightly better news for us here, it seems it’s worse in the tropical north, with Hobart’s rate of contamination sitting at 20%. Rebecca Traub, Professor of Veterinary Parasi­tology at The University of Melbourne, the primary investigator of the study, said there were some simple things dog owners could do to help get that number down. “Preventative measures, such as regular deworming, and responsible pet ownership, such as the immediate removal of dog poo in parks, should be encouraged to minimise the health risks associated with canine intestinal worms to both dogs and humans,” she said.

SELF-DRIVE TOURISM PUSH WITH NEW WEST COAST ARTWORK

A new push to promote Tassie as a world-class self-drive touring destination is off and running, with a new video featuring public artworks being used to lure tourists to explore our regions. The artworks encourage visitors to take a break on their Western Wilds road trips to see the three stunning installations, each inspired by a story from the region, and feature in a new video by local filmmaker David Pyefinch. The first of the artworks was installed at the Franklin River Picnic Area in 2019, with Nadège Philippe- Janon’s Forest Specular reflecting on the Franklin Dam project, one of the region’s most well-known stories, with a nod to the iconic photograph by Peter Dombrovskis, Rock Island Bend. At the foot of the Sentinel Range in Southwest National Park, Alex Miles’ striking work, Bitumen Bones portrays the beautiful and often harsh environment of Southwest Tasmania. Lastly, The Extinction Story, by sculptor Matt Calvert at Whyte Hills Lookout outside Waratah, is a large-scale fabricated-steel and laminated-glass artwork that re-creates a historical photo of a thylacine. To learn more about the art of the Western Wilds, and see the videos, visit www.discovertasmania.com.au.

New artwork Bitumen Bones by Alex Miles

SHOCKING STATISTICS AS SEXUAL ASSAULTS CONTINUE TO RISE

New statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a significant increase in sexual assaults over the past year, with sexual assaults recorded by police up 13% from 2020 to an all-time high. Sexual assault was the only major crime category to increase. Full Stop Australia is a national service providing free, confidential, 24/7 trauma-specialist counselling to victims of sexual assault. Director of Counselling Services for Full Stop Australia and sexual assault frontline worker, Tara Hunter, is passionate about humanising the statistics: “31,118 people were recorded as victims of sexual assault in 2021. We need to talk about the human cost, these are not just numbers, these are people,” Ms Hunter said. Around three in five victims were under 18 years of age at the date of incident. “As a trauma-special­ist counsellor, we know that many young people who experience sexual assault will have interruptions to their school­ing, tertiary studies, their ability to work and their overall wellbeing,” Ms Hunter said. With 87% of sexual assaults never reported to police, these reported sexual assaults are the tip of the iceberg. Call the National Violence and Abuse Trauma Counselling and Recovery Service on 1800 FULL STOP (1800 385 578) or chat online at www.fullstop.org.au for 24/7, free, confidential counselling.

TASSIE GRANT FOR MARKETING AND SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

Local businesses can now apply to receive financial and business advice through round two of the Small Business Advice and Financial Guidance program, with grants of between $750 and $1,500 to eligible small businesses. Grant funds can be used toward financial and business advice, counselling and strategy develop­ment from a suitably qualified specialist or consultant, including financial and business planning, cash flow manage­ment, marketing or assistance with a busi­ness website. Head to www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au for more info.

CAN YOU HACK IT? GOVHACK RETURNS TO TASSIE

For 46 hours, from 19 – 21 August, Gov­Hack is on again. GovHack is the largest open government data hackathon in the southern hemisphere. Over the competi­tion weekend, participants work in teams to sort out innovative business models, working prototypes or business solutions of any kind for the challenges provided by the Australian government and our pioneering business sponsors and partners from various industries.While this year’s focus is on Social, Environment & Gov­ernance, GovHack participants will have the chance to talk to prospective em­ployers involved in the event, using their skills and knowledge, making their own voice on these critical social problems. The teams will receive the challeng­es, spend 46 hours coming up with an innovative idea, creating a project page, proof of concept and a video that tells the story of how open government data can be reused. The idea can be presented in different forms such as apps, an informa­tive visualisation, prototype electronic gadgets, through data driven design or an artistic display. In October, GovHack will also organise an award night to announce the winner for the state-based challenges. Find out more at www.govhack.org.

GovHack participants

WHY HOBART WOMEN ARE ANGRY AND SINGING IT OUT?

Local author Meg Bignall recently released her third novel, set in Tassie. This time around she has harnessed the energy of Hobart women who are fed up and angry, but who love nothing more than singing it out.

How do you think the Hobart setting for your new book The Angry Women’s Choir will resonate with mainland readers?

All three of my novels are set in Tasmania, with Hobart a major feature. This isn’t necessarily because I find the city creatively inspiring, rather because it’s simply the city I know best. So I hope that my familiarity with it and my inherent fondness for it might give the setting its resonance. Hobart and Tasmania seem to be capturing people’s imaginations lately without my help, so maybe I’m subconsciously capital­ising on that, hoping that the story will resonate more because of the setting. If that works, then thank you dear Hobart!

The names in the book are wildly fun – how did the characterisation part of the process work? Have you ever met a person named Freycinet?

A recent reviewer called the charac­ter names ‘bizarre’ which is probably true! I just lost sight of that early on in proceedings because they became so familiar so fast. I don’t know anyone called Freycinet and I blame her mother for the choice (she had a son before she had Frey so she must have gone a bit overboard on the point of difference). It might have been better to name my pro­tagonist something that isn’t so easily mispronounced, but having spent many summers at Freycinet National Park, the name is part of my vernacular.

Creating characters is a complete joy, occasionally heart-wrenching and in the case of The Angry Women’s Choir, a bit rage-inducing. I took myself deep into real-life stories of women who have suffered injustices in the name of gender, religion, race, socio-economic background, age, misogyny, etc and from there I created characters that came to life and taught me a thing or two about how extremely lucky I am to be born in a place like Tasmania, to a secure, loving, accepting family and all the privilege that comes with that. Somewhere along the way, telling their stories felt urgent and important.

This is your third novel. How did you become a writer? Is it your full time gig now?

Being published still feels like a dream. A fragile, tenuous dream because publishing is so unpredictable, and hard to break through. There’s so much other media making noise now, and attention spans are not what they used to be (said the very old lady!).

I am determined to be a ‘career writer’, meaning I will stick at it and grow my brand and my audience, keep learn­ing and working on my craft. That all sounds a bit wanky I know but there it is. Like any trade, I am coming out of an apprenticeship and maybe I can work my way up and hone my skills, but it will take time and patience and very hard work. I juggle three children, marketing and support for a family business, performing and writing, so I work full time and overtime at all that. Perhaps one day I will reach master craftswoman level as a writer and I can demand a bit more space for it. That’s my goal – that and getting on a best­seller list somewhere!

What advice would you have for someone who is looking to crack into writing and getting published?

Read books. Good books and bad ones. Get to know a few other writers. Most importantly though, write! Put your bottom on the seat and just start.

What do you love about Hobart? What do you enjoy doing around town?

The thing I love most about Hobart is that I just know it so well. Its streets have familiar people on them, buildings I’ve grown up with, memories around every corner. It has family in it, friends, a river, a mountain. It demands very little from me and I love it for that.

I walk about eight kilometres most days, quite often around Hobart. That’s one of my favourite things to do. Also visiting the wonderful bookshops, going to the State Cinema, and eating at the Don Camillo.

Meg and her new book

ALL THINGS ANTARCTIC

This month it’s all about Antarctica, with the Antarctic Festival taking place at the waterfront (see our What’s On page) and a new national exhibition on display in town too. Chilled: Antarctic life, inside and out, is a National Archives of Australia exhibition that shows the daily lives of ordinary yet extraordinary people stationed on the remote and sometimes treacherous land, on now at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts. Na­tional Archives Director-General Simon Froude said there were some significant items on display. “Alongside clothing and objects on loan from the Australian Antarctic Program, the exhibition presents records from the national archival collec­tion that reveal what life and work was like, and in some ways still is, for Antarc­tic expeditioners.” Some special items to look out for include 1950s ANARE winter clothing, mukluk boots, snow shoes, be­spoke, labelled homebrew bottles, historic newspapers and even party plans. Chilled: Antarctic life, inside and out is free and on display until 29 October.

Carrying ice cores. Pic: National Archives of Australia

MIRACLE OVERDOSE REVERSER NOW FREELY AVAILABLE

They’re calling it a ‘miracle drug’ – a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses – and it’s now available in pharmacies around Australia now. Naloxone (sometimes called Narcan) can instantly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and is often used by first responders in an emergency. Previously only available with a prescrip­tion, and with a hefty price tag, it’s now available for free thanks to the very suc­cessful national Take Home Naloxone tri­al that began in 2020. Naloxone comes as a nasal spray or syringe. While overdoses tend to bring to mind illegal opioids, like heroin, about 75 per cent of opiate deaths and hospitalisations per day are caused by prescription opioids like painkillers. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you think you should add it to your first aid kit.

THE PANDEMIC’S HOMELESS YOUTH

A new report has found that more than one in 30 young Tasmanians became homeless for the first time during the pan­demic. Mission Australia found 3.6% of young people aged 15-19 who responded to their Youth Survey 2021 were homeless for the first time during the pandemic. The report, called Without a home: First-time youth homelessness in the COVID-19 pe­riod, found that young Tasmanians in that situation experienced high levels of psy­chological distress, negative impacts on wellbeing, family conflict, discrimination and other pressures. Some were homeless with their families, others were alone. They were all either without an address, living in a refuge or transitional accom­modation or spent time away from their home because they felt they couldn’t go back. Mission Australia’s State Director Mychelle Curran said sadly, the findings did not come as a surprise to Mission Australia’s practitioners. “It’s clear that for young people, homelessness can often be incredibly isolating, destabilising and traumatic. This can have a ripple effect on their lives without access to the right in­tervention. Shining a light on these young people’s experiences and the risk factors, including family conflict, poor mental health and discrimination, must lead to strong intervention and preventative action.” Ms Curran urged governments and others to take action to help young people avoid homeslessness, reach their full potential and thrive.

KNIT AND NATTER AT HOBART LIBRARY SUPPORTS HOMELESSNESS

Hobart Library has started a new knitting group, Knit and Natter, on Mondays at 12-2pm. The group, open to anyone and everyone, will be knitting blankets for the Hobart Women’s Shelter but you’re also welcome to bring along your own project. Knitting needles and wool will be available on the library floor permanently, so if you miss a Monday session you can still take part any time. Libraries are an important space for people who are home­less or at risk of becoming homeless. They’re warm, dry places to hang out and everyone is welcome. You don’t need a home address to have a library card, and the Hobart Library also delivers weekly outreach services to Bethlehem House and Hobart Women’s Shelter.


PET RENTAL WOES

What’s harder than trying to find a rental in the Hobart property market? Trying to find a rental here when you have a pet. For years the RSPCA has lobbied the state government to make changes to the Residential Tenancy Act. Tenants currently require the land­lord’s approval to have pets in their homes or gardens. Consumer Affairs Minister Elise Archer recently stated the government was now willing to review the laws and look at the issue of pet bonds too. We spoke with RSPCA Tasmania CEO Jan Davis about the current state of pet rental affairs.

What’s the current situation for pet owners looking to rent? Tasmanians love their pets. In fact, we have the highest incidence of pet-ownership, with 44% us living with at least one dog, 34% living with at least one cat, and 16% living with at least one of each. Many Tasmanians rent and most want to have pets, yet our information shows that few property managers or landlords will even consider allowing pets. Unfortunately, there are still significant barriers for people with a companion animal who need or wish to rent and it is almost impossible to find ‘pet-friendly’ accommodation. A hous­ing shortage paired with a skyrocketing cost of living has created the perfect storm.

Are many animals surrendered to the RSPCA by owners who are renting? Every year, many pets are surrendered to the RSPCA and other animal welfare and rescue organisations by people who cannot find rental properties that will accept pets. Of the dogs and cats surrendered to shelters nationally, it has been reported that between 15% – 30% are from owners who could not take their pets when they moved to a new rental property. This is an important issue for both human well-being and for animal welfare.

How does Tasmania compare to interstate? We’re way behind other states. In Victoria, tenants must now re­quest their landlord’s consent to bring a new pet into the property and landlords must not unreasonably refuse. It does not matter when the tenant’s lease started. A landlord can only refuse a pet request if the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) orders that it is reasonable to do so. Two years have passed since the laws came into effect and our counterparts at RSPCA Victoria report the changes are already delivering benefits. In 2020, RSPCA Victoria reported a 15% sur­render rate due to renters being unable to find accommodation which accepted their pets. By the end of 2020, that fig­ure had dropped to 10.7%, and in 2021 it was down to 9.5%. In Queensland, changes to tenancy laws will come into effect from 1 October this year. They’ll be able to apply to have pets, and property owners cannot unreason­ably refuse a tenant’s request. Some of these reasons include a lack of fencing or appropriate space for the pet, health and safety risks, or if the pet is likely to cause damage beyond repair.

What would you like to see the Tas­manian Government do? The RSPCA calls on the government to ensure that the importance of companion animals is recognised in all state legislation and policies. In particular, our tenancy laws need to be updated to ensure affordable and secure rental accommo­dation is accessible for families to stay together with their much-loved animals long-term. If Tasmania introduced laws similar to those in Victoria or Queensland, we know it would result in a reduction in the very sad (and sometimes even traumatic) situations that we see everyday.

What do you think? Share your expe­rience or views on renting with pets at editor@thehobartmagazine.com.au.


HATCHING A SALMON PLAN

The Tasmanian Government is developing a new 10-year Salmon Plan, a long-term strategic plan to support the salmon indus­try, and you can have your say. The plan will be enacted next year and has four guiding principles:

  • There will be no net increase in leased farming areas in Tasmanian waters (though a moratorium on this expires in September).
  • Innovation – future growth lies in land-based and offshore salmon farming.
  • World-best practice through continu­ous improvement.
  • Strict independent regulation.

We’re all invited to have our say on the discussion paper Towards a 10-Year Salmon Plan until 24 August. Head to www.nre.tas.gov.au to share your thoughts.

IF WALLS COULD TALK

How much do you know about your house? Who has lived there before you? Or perhaps you’d like to know more about a Tasmanian ancestor. From early August, the building history display, If Walls Could Talk, at the State Library and Tasmanian Archives Reading Room will show different ways to find out more about the history of your own home, or a place from the past that may have significance to your family heritage. You can view historic photographs and films, newspapers, census records, maps, house plans, deeds and land grants. Learn how to find out how a property may have changed over time, research past owners and occupiers, and discover the origins and significance of places and communi­ties in the surrounding regions.

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May 2024

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