The Hobart

Hobart Happenings Dec 20/Jan 21

by Hobart Magazine
Hobart Happenings Dec 20/Jan 21

The hole that Small Fry Cafe left in our hearts (and in Bathurst St) is filled by Ed’s Spuntino, which is already garnering a great reputation for delicious Italian cuisine. Fondru’s Cheese and Wine has relaunched as A’Petit Bar and Bistro (374 Murray St) offering a new Mediterranean-style share plate menu. Elevenses (178 Collins St) is a funky reinvention of a classic city coffee spot. Popular Tasmanian gin brand Forty Spotted now has a boutique bar called Gin(bar) (30 Argyle St). Wattleseed Catering, not content with their Richmond cafe and takeaway Food Van, are expanding to Orford, with Wattlebanks Coastal Cafe (1 Charles St) opening this month. Moonah-based nano-brewers Fox Friday Brewery have opened a tap room in the old Westend Pumphouse building (105 Murray St) where you can sit down and enjoy a tasty local beer and snacks. La Sardina Loca is moving on from its residency in the Hanging Gardens and setting themselves up down the carriageway on 100 Elizabeth St. Empire Lounge and Garden Bar (35 Melville St) opens this December. Popular Liverpool St eatery Mr Burger has opened its long awaited Eastern Shore expansion – Mr Burger Rosny (2/1 Bayfield St, Rosny Park), a two storey retro style burger joint with an expanded beer and cocktail menu. A new cafe has opened in the Royal Hobart Hospital, Pounds and Ounces (Campbell St Ground Floor, K Block) focused on specialty coffee and house made fresh and healthy food, with a sushi bar soon to follow. Pilgrim Coffee is back at its old location with a new look on Liverpool and Argyle St. Lord of Pizzas & Cafe (95 Hampden Rd) boasts the only New York Style pizza in Hobart. Stock Market (8 Brooke St) has opened in the old Black-Footed Pig, which is moving to MACQ01 soon. The first Mövenpick Hotel in all Australia is opening in Hobart (28 Elizabeth St), in mid-January.


The Hobart City Council has approved plans for a network of new mountain bike tracks in the lower foothills of Mt Wellington. The plan has been in development for over 18 months and had input from many community members. A survey done by the council showed 83% of Mt Wellington track users were in favour of new mountain bike trails. The proposed plan includes 20 tracks, covering over 30km, with varying levels of difficulty for bikers of all stripes. Every track will undergo a thorough environmental impact assessment which should assuage the 25% of walkers surveyed who expressed concern about the potential environmental impact of the project. “This is just a plan at this stage and every track would be subject to further assessment and design, but it’s good to have a vision that we can work to over time,” said Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds.“We will need to secure additional funding from State or Federal Governments to implement some of these tracks. There have been many millions provided around the state on tracks in recent years, so it would be my hope that Hobart could also get some support in coming years. This plan does not take away from the importance of walking tracks, which are also a much loved way to appreciate the mountain. It’s our intention that this plan will reduce the conflict between riders and walkers and ensure there are great places for everyone.”


The possibility of a Light Rail to the Northern suburbs has been back in the news recently as various election promises, deals and reports see light. Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston, who has campaigned for the project for over 11 years said, “It’s difficult to explain why a state government wouldn’t get behind a proposal which is incredibly popular in the community, supports the growth of affordable housing, supports economic development and businesses and increases tourism opportunities.” So why dawdle? “It’s been tied up in bureaucratic processes,” said Johnston, “It has to be the most studied piece of infrastructure, for least dollars spent thus far that we have in the entire state.” Money appears to be the main concern – studies give a consistent estimate of around $200 million in cost. “If you consider the amount of money that goes into road infrastructure for little or no economic benefit or urban renewal potential it’s beyond belief that they haven’t committed to investing in rail passenger transport services,” said Johnston. Mayor Johnston is attempting to get the project put forth to Infrastructure Australia and is pushing for the State Government to confirm its commitment to making concrete progress, hopefully before Christmas. “It’s important we can move into 2021 with this project on the books and ready to go.”


Every summer Directions Theatre brings the Bard to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. This year marks their 22nd Shakespeare in the Gardens production, a rewarding tradition that’s become a bulwark of Tasmanian theatre. 2021’s production brings us A Comedy of Errors – Shakespeare’s hijinks filled tale of mistaken identity and Too Many Twins. The production will premiere on 29 January and run throughout February, capping off its season with a special performance at the Delamere Vineyard in March. This is director Tai Gardener’s third time heading a production for Shakespeare in the Gardens. Tai said “Shakespeare in the Gardens is perfect for the times – outdoors, easily socially-distanceable, and a much needed arts outlet for audiences and performers alike. I like reminding people that Shakespeare was for the masses and can be made accessible for modern audiences. For those unconvinced, I can say that A Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s shortest play, changing laborious wordplay for slapstick farce. Add a picnic, a bottle of wine, and a lovely summer night under the stars and you can hardly go wrong.“


Catherine Grainger and Bonnie Liston in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Directions Theatre


Mona has been officially recognised by Heritage Tasmania as one of the youngest buildings ever to be permanently placed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register. Mona celebrated this historic achievement by submitting a development application to the Glenorchy City Council for an “extension to a museum on a heritage listed place.” The new building is rumored to be called ‘the House of Kiefer’, perhaps after Anslem Kiefer, a German artist who has already contributed an installation piece to the Mona grounds. The proposed plans were designed by Melbourne-based Fender Katsalidis Architects, who were responsible for the original Mona buildings and appear to show the new building located near the Spectra installation and connected to the museum by multiple tunnels. This project would be the third significant expansion to Mona since its opening nearly 10 years ago.


The Derwent Entertainment Centre upgrade has passed a major milestone in its progress as the Tasmanian Government recently completed its purchase of the building and surrounding land from the Glenorchy City Council for $8 million. Premier Peter Gutwein announced that on-site construction has already begun and preliminary works are expected to be completed by Christmas. The ambitious program has already set itself several tight deadlines. The Tasmania Jack Jumpers are slated to play their first NBL game there in October 2021 and Guy Sebastian has booked the venue November 22, 2021, for his upcoming tour. The Tasmanian Government has finalised their arrangement with the LK Group, who will be in charge of the redevelopment of the DEC as well as its future operation and management. This project is part of $1.5 billion worth of investment happening in Glenorchy, which includes the DEC, Mona, the Showgrounds, Austins Ferry at Whitestone Bay and a number of affordable housing projects.


Construction of a 5,900-square-metre shopping centre on the South Arm Highway begins next year, with more tenants to be announced soon. “Glebe Hill Village is essential infrastructure for what is Hobart’s fastest-growing catchment and will create around 200 jobs during construction and over 350 ongoing jobs once the centre opens,” Tipalea Partners CEO Scott Spanton said. “McDonald’s alone is expected to employ around 100 people across a mix of full-time, part-time and casual roles, with training and development a focus for these new employees.” Happy Meal anyone?


Work to expand the Bruny Island ferry terminals at Kettering and Roberts Road is expected to start in early 2021, aiming to improve travel times and reduce congestion and ferry queues for those travelling to Bruny Island. A second ferry berth, Berth 2, with dual-lane loading ramps will increase capacity and allow routine maintenance to be carried out with less disruption to the ferry service. An existing road will be extended to meet the second berth and directional line marking will be added to both terminals. Construction is expected to be complete by mid-2021.



The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s (TMAG) newest exhibition, David Keeling: Stranger, is open now featuring the artist’s work dating from the 1980s until today, with many sourced from private collections. TMAG Principal Curator of Art Jane Stewart said that Keeling has dedicated his adult life to painting Tasmania. “At the same time, he has been influenced by international movements such as the Italian Renaissance, Surrealism and Classicism,” Jane said. “The combination of elements which are both local and global, contemporary and historic, makes for a compelling body of artworks. The exhibition was planned for earlier this year but was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.” David Keeling: Stranger is on show at TMAG until 14 February 2021.


Have you ever tried to train a dog? With lots of dedication, it’s possible. How about an echidna? Or black-tailed yellow cockatoo? That’s the challenge Sonja Boxsell, who is in charge of training animals at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, has taken on. Sonja keeps track of the animals’ weight to ensure they’re keeping healthy, but she said the regular weigh-ins were causing some residents stress. For the past year, Sonja has been teaching the animals to weigh themselves by introducing food treats to lure them the scale – and she said training had progressed quickly. “In one of the first five-minute training sessions, a yellow-tailed cockatoo just got on the scales on his own,” she said. It’s going so well now that sometimes trainers need to intervene to stop animals crowding the scales. Sonja said celebrating every self-weigh-in was important because many of the animals were permanent residents and weigh-ins would be part of their routine forever. “This is their only chance for them to survive, it’s their last home.”



Speed limits for some of the streets in Hobart’s CBD will be dropped to 40km/h from 1 February, 2021. The reduced speed limit, which is consistent with other major Australian cities, aims to improve the safety and comfort for road users in high-pedestrian areas. This comes as data from AAMI’s 2020 Crash Index revealed Argyle Street as the most likely street to have an accident in Hobart. Speed limits on Davey Street and Macquarie Street will not change. There’s more information and a map available via the council’s website.


The spotlight is being shone on youth right now, with the Premier recently announcing a Commission of Inquiry to examine responses to child sexual abuse allegations by State institutions. It is set to begin early 2021 and run for a year. The Tasmanian Government has also committed $4 million to transform the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) model of care. This comes after independent consultant Professor Brett McDermott authored a lengthy 100-page report that included seven recommendations, and highlighted the need for additional funding for CAMHS. Part of the Government’s first phase of action is directing $1 million to set up a youth early intervention service and a $500,000 increase for the coverage of Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service in the North and North-West.


This summer, the Clark-Port family, well known in the Huon Valley and owners of the St John’s Church in Franklin, are throwing open the doors to host a Sunflower Art Exhibition. Given the challenges 2020 has presented, Naomie Clark-Port is organising the exhibition to bring some cheer to Franklin and its visitors. “St Johns is an important part of Huon Valley heritage, and needs to be open for the public to enjoy,” she said. Five generations of her family are buried in the surrounding cemetery, where there will also be a history installation trail. Sunflowers have been planted around the area, and all exhibition items will be for sale. If you’re an artist keen to exhibit, email


Along with blooming flowers and fresh fruits comes pollen season. Tasmania has the highest rates of asthma in all of Australia – afflicting 13.4 per cent of the population – and the increasing severity of pollen release can spell bad news, triggering hay fever symptoms, asthma flare ups and attacks. Dr Penelope Jones, from the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research said, “We have already started to see moderate grass pollen counts in Hobart and high counts in Launceston. We can expect grass pollen counts to rise over the next few weeks, as it hits its Tasmanian peak.” Asthma Australia is urging Tasmanians to check in on their asthma with various strategies like calling Asthma Australia’s free 1800 ASTHMA line, where trained Asthma Educators help asthmatics manage their symptoms, or downloading pollen monitoring mobile apps like AirRater to check pollen levels and prevent unnecessary exposure.


An action plan that will help the City of Hobart to achieve more sustainable operational outcomes has been endorsed by the Council.The Sustainable Hobart Action Plan: Towards a Zero Emissions Hobart comprises 46 actions across six categories. Following the recent community consultation, three key targets were added to the plan – a corporate greenhouse gas reduction target of 20 per cent by 2030; the setting of a community greenhouse gas target by the end of 2022; and a target to achieve 100 per cent net renewable electricity by 2040.


Mona Foma is back baby! Mona’s high Summer festival will run from 15 January through to 24 January split across two weekends – one in Launceston (15-17) and one in Hobart (22-24). The program is jam-packed and tickets are on sale on 8 December. In Launceston’s Cataract Gorge internationally acclaimed artist Robin Fox will debut Aqua Luma, a cacophony of light, sound, and water. Meanwhile in Hobart. the dear departed, derelict K&D Store will get a multicoloured makeover to house No Place Like Home, curated by Emma Pike and featuring video installations, art and sculpture by local and international artists including Tony Albert, Zanny Begg, Andy Hutson, Rachel Maclean, Nell, Ryan Presley and Phebe Schmidt. Curator of Mona Foma, Brian Ritchie, said “Robin Fox has been involved in every festival program since Mona Foma’s inception, so it’s appropriate that he has created a new work to address a year like no other. While at K&D Warehouse the art will take you over the rainbow after the storm that was the year 2020.”


Tasmanian Aboriginal petroglyphs taken from Preminghana in the state’s NorthWest more than 60 years ago will be returned home after the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Roger Jaensch approved a permit application lodged by Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). Mr Jaensch said arrangements for the physical return of the petroglyphs were being made between TMAG, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) and the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania. While there is still some ironing out of the return details, Mr Jaensch said, “It is nationally accepted that materials recognised as spiritually and culturally important, or acquired in an unethical way, should be returned to their rightful owners unconditionally.” TMAG welcomed the announcement and “recognises the significance of this material as part of an extensive and complex cultural landscape at Preminghana.”

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre CEO Heather Sculthorpe said she is hopeful that the only thing standing in the way of petroglyphs’ return is logistics. “On the 10th of December every year we have a celebration of the return of land from 1995, so it would be great if we could get it done by then,” she said.

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May 2024

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