The Hobart

Hobart Happenings February 2022

by Stephanie Williams
Hobart Happenings February 2022

NEW OPENINGS

If the question is pizza, and the answer is yes, lucky you! Pep Pizza (no address yet!) is opening their third venue in Lindisfarne very soon. They are on the hunt for all sorts of staff so if slinging pizza across the bridge is your thing, hit them up. The Macquarie Store (468 Macquarie Street, South Hobart) has had a facelift with a fresh, new interior. If you didn’t already love the good work that Hamlet does, fall in love with them now with the announcement of the Hamlet Tuckshop (40 Molle St, Hobart). Offering all sorts of ready to go sandwiches, sweets and of course, coffee. Craigie Knowe Vineyard has some pretty new treats on offer with Freycinet Coast Patisserie (80 Glen Gala Rd, Cranbrook) moving in late last year. An opportunity to indulge in sweet treats while sipping matched wines sounds too good to be true. The Sunday High Tea sounds perfect for a girls day, or just any Sunday activity really! NoHo’s first Indian grocery store, Your Mini Mart (Behind Queens Head Hotel, 400 Elizabeth St, North Hobart) is now open and has plenty of the standard grocery and deli goods plus an abundance of spices, packaged meals and fresh pastries with plenty of easy parking next door. It’s great to see a corner shop back in NoHo. Pop into The Tender Soul Boutique (139 Macquarie St, Hobart TAS 7000), which is now open and sharing one off pieces. Ukiyo (Level 1, 110 Liverpool Street) has opened its doors to the city and does all your classic cuts and colours as well as some funky colours and shaggin’ wagon style mullets! Owner Rebekah Ward is working alongside a seriously talented team of stylists. New year, new hair? We think so.

CITY’S PUBLIC TRANSPORT PLAN

Our four metro councils (Hobart City, Glenorchy, Kingborough and Clarence) recently proposed their Greater Hobart Transport Vision as part of the Hobart City Plan. It includes a strong focus on increased public transport options, such as increased express bus services from Kingborough to the CBD and extension of the current Derwent Ferry service. Brighton Council responded by expressing their support for the vision. According to Brighton Council, it’s one of the fastest growing municipalities in the state, and as much as 70 per cent of its workforce commutes to Hobart or Glenorchy for work. Brighton Mayor Leigh Gray said, “A protected cycleway all the way from Brighton into and throughout the city can easily be achieved in the coming few years, with not too many gaps left in the main route…An expanded ferry service could have stops at Old Beach and Bridgewater or Gagebrook and could even extend to New Norfolk easily once the new Bridgewater Bridge is completed.” An extra 43 express Metro bus services have just started between Kingborough and Hobart too, running weekdays during the morning and afternoon peak periods. There will be 14 new X07 Blackmans Bay express services and 10 new X13 Snug express services, plyus 19 more express services running between Kingston central and the Hobart CBD outside of peak travel times.

SURPRISE, TASSIE REAL ESTATE IS BOOMING!

Tasmania has once again starred in an annual property report. Core Logic recently released the 2021 national property numbers which reported that the median house price in Hobart is now $694,261 – so it’s sitting at third in the country, behind Sydney ($1,098, 412) and Melbourne ($795,108), and is now higher than Perth and Brisbane. The stats also reflected the growth in regional markets: over the year the strongest regional markets were in New South Wales (29.8% rise in housing values) and Tasmania (29.5%).

T’IS THE YEAR OF THE TIGER!

Chinese New Year has kicked off, and as always, they have one upped the Gregorian (international) calendar with two weeks of celebrations. People born this year are predicted to be brave, competitive, unpredictable and confident. We think those traits are perfect as we endure our third year of “who even knows what’s going on anymore”! Those born in 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 or 2010 are also Tigers and can expect this year to revolve around hard work, risk taking and adventure. Typically, a zodiac sign’s year is actually the most unlucky in Chinese astrology so if it’s your year, you might want to put in the paces. The Horses, Pigs, and Dogs are in for an extremely lucky year while single Goats will have a chance to find their companion this year, afterall goats are herd animals. The rest of us are still set to have a good year but perhaps we all need to reset our resolutions and expectations at Chinese New Year because January was pretty average if you ask us.

TASMANIAN SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS AVAILABLE

Grants of between $750 and $1,500 are available for small Tasmanian businesses to formulate strategies to overcome the impacts of COVID-19 with qualified specialists or consultants. The Enterprise Centres Tasmania program and Business Tasmania also remain available to provide assistance and advice to Tasmanian businesses impacted by the pandemic. Businesses can apply for funding under the COVID-19 Small Business Advice and Financial Guidance Program from the Business Tasmania website at www.business.tas.gov.au or call the Business Tasmania team directly on 1800 440 026 or email ask@business.tas.gov.au

COVID CANCELS CSIRO TRIP

The CSIRO had to cancel its recent research voyage to Antarctica after an expeditioner tested positive for Covid-19 during a pre-departure screening. RV Investigator was due to do a 56-day voyage to study previous changes in Antarctic bottom water in an attempt to predict how a warming climate might impact future ocean circulation. The news came after a Belgian scientific research station in Antarctica had been hit with an outbreak of Covid-19 in December, despite workers being fully vaccinated and based in one of the world’s most remote regions.

ARTBOX ON THE MOVE

The Huon Valley’s travelling art gallery, ARTBOX, has moved to the big smoke for the first time. Currently sitting pretty at Mawson Place, ARTBOX is showing Suspended Breath: A Hartz Journey, a collaborative exhibition of paintings, music and words dedicated to the Huon Valley’s stunning Hartz Mountains. The artists, Kat Scarlet, Gareth Dawson and Jane Rawson, all live in the Huon Valley. Their exhibition is “a love letter to a landscape found nowhere else on earth” and is on the waterfront until February 9.

Put your hands up for the Undie Run

RAISE MONEY RUNNING IN YOUR UNDIES

Cupid’s Undie Run is a revealing way for everyone to show their support for those who live with Neurofibromatosis (NF), and this year it’s coming to Hobart. NF is a genetic disorder that affects one in every 2,500 people, and on average, a child is born every three days with NF in Australia. It causes tumours to form on nerves in the body, including the brain and spine. NF can also cause cancer, blindness, deafness, physical differences, learning difficulties and chronic pain. It is unpredictable, progressive and there is currently no cure.

After two years of virtual events, Cupid’s Undies Run will be held in person this year, with the idea being that it is a way for everyone to show their support by being brave like those that live with NF and baring a little to overcome any self-negativity about body image. Participants can do the run wearing their undies or wear them on the outside, or choose to dress up in a Cupid’s t-shirt and tutu to show support. Cupid’s Undie Run is a fun, family-friendly and body-positive event held at Montrose Foreshore Park on 20 February from 9am-12pm. Find out more at www.cupidsundierun.com.au

From left, Tasmanian Bus and Coach Society secretary Neil Robins, with Denis Maxwell’s children and grandkids Anne Last, Mason Last, Lucas Last, Elouise Last and Karen Maxwell

LEGACY VEHICLE RESTORED

A 1963 AEC Reliance bus – one of only 11 to be manufactured and believed to be the only one left in Australia – has been restored to its former glory. The bus was donated to the Tasmanian Bus and Coach Society in 2013, and they received a Tasmanian Community Fund grant of $50,000 to complete the restoration.

The bus was built in 1963 for Greyhound Australia in Queensland, then between 1974 and 1992 it operated with Maxwell Coaches in Wilmot on the North West Coast. “Maxwell Coaches is well-known and highly regarded within the Tasmanian transport industry with Dennis and his wife, Jeanette, having operated the Cradle Mountain service for nearly 50 years,” Tasmanian Bus and Coach Society secretary and manager for the project Neil Robins said. “The Maxwell family made a significant contribution to the Tasmanian tourism industry and the development of tourism within the Cradle Mountain region.”

It had been arranged for 84-year-old Dennis Maxwell to drive the bus for a big interstate event last year, but that was cancelled due to COVID-19. “Sadly, Dennis passed away about a month after the event was supposed to be held,” Mr Robins said. “The bus is really a tribute for Dennis’ family now.”

RENOWNED AUTHOR HEADS TO HOBART FOR RESIDENCY

Accomplished Australian author Gail Jones is on her way to Hobart after being named the 2022 Hedberg Writer in Residence with the University of Tasmania. Jones, the award-winning author of books such as Black Mirror, Five Bells and The Death of Noah Glass, said she was delighted to receive the residency and is keen to connect with local writers. “The writing community in Tasmania seems to me to be in a stage of unusual expansiveness and vitality,” she said. “I have taught and examined liter­ature from this region and look forward to better understanding the particular­ity and energy of writing in Tasmania. As someone originally from Western Australia, I’m interested in ‘regionalism’ and ‘localism’ even as it is expressed in global writing.” The Hedberg Writer in Residence is decided through a nationally competitive application process open to all established Australian writers. As the recipient, Jones will develop a major new work, deliver classes to writing students from the University of Tasmania and conduct a workshop for emerging authors.

TELEHEALTH SERVICES BACK IN ACTION AS OMICRON STRIKES

The Federal Government has announced a temporary expansion of telehealth services, with the Australian Medical Association saying it will benefit many Australians who need to see their doctor during the ongoing pandemic. AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid said, “The AMA welcomes the six-month return to the telehealth rules used earlier in the pandemic. COVID-19 positive patients and other patients wanting to see their doctor will now have better access to medical treatment by phone or video.” Dr Khorshid also said COVID-19 patient demand on general practice was yet to peak, with many medical practices forced to triage and care for COVID positive patients on top of usual patient care.

PHARMACIES GET ON BOARD SUPPORTING WOMEN’S HEALTH

There are a lot of awkward conversations that can be had, but getting the morning after pill or medication for genital herpes or thrush doesn’t need to be a public one in your local pharmacy. Youly is a brand-spanking new service doing doorstep delivery of sexual and reproductive health, sleep and cold sore medications for women in NSW and QLD, and we think Hobart ought to get onboard! Pharmacies sign up with Youly to be the local distributor, providing same day delivery for the morning after pill and other medications being usually posted via free express shipping. Women only have to pay for the doctor’s consultation and medication. They also periodically partner with Share the Dignity. If you’re keen to see this in Hobart, head to youly.com.au to find out how your pharmacy can get involved.

FLOATING YOUR BOAT

In our December edition we ran a comp to giveaway four copies of Andrew Wilson’s book Blue Water Classics: Portraits of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race to some lucky readers. Congratulations to our winners Jess Cree, Gerard Direen, Bernie Knight and Sea Urchin Design (@seaurchindesign) on snagging some summer reading! If you missed out, head to www.bluewaterclassics.com.au to buy a copy.

HOBART YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR STOKED WITH AWARD

Congratulations are in order for Mr Oliver Hovenden on being awarded Hobart Young Citizen of the Year 2022 for his long-standing commitment to human rights, social justice and youth engagement. Oliver received the award on 26 January as part of the national Australia Day Awards program, which honours individuals and groups who have made an outstanding contribution to the Hobart community. He, along with other award recipients, were recognised by Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds during a ceremony at Long Beach.

“I’m very stoked! I didn’t expect it at all. I got a call from the Hobart City Council and thought it must have been about a parking ticket or something, but it was much nicer than that.”

A human rights campaigner, Oliver first became involved with Amnesty International at the age of twelve when he joined a letter-writing group at his school. Four years later, he joined the organisation’s Tasmanian board. Since then he has coordinated several human rights campaigns, including advocating for the rights of Indigenous peoples and refugees. In 2021, he volunteered with the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALSWA), an organisation that provides legal aid to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Western Australia. He was also awarded a Global Leadership Citation and a Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Award from the University of Tasmania, which recognises people who have provided more than 100 hours of community service.

Oliver recently graduated from the University of Tasmania with an Honours degree in Human Rights Law, and he has landed a graduate position with the Federal Department of Education.


AUTHOR BEN WALTER ON WHAT FEAR WAS

Interview: Stephanie Williams

Over the last few years you’ve become the most widely published writer of literary short stories in Australia. How does that work? Mostly it’s been a lot of sending out stories, getting them rejected, sending them out again and getting them rejected again. But sometimes you find a home for one of them. My work is a little better known now, so I get a few commissions, which is honestly so much easier – it’s such a relief when someone says “Hello, would you like to do this? We can give you a relatively small amount of cash,” because then you can just write something without worrying about that parade of a zillion rejections.

Your new book, What Fear Was, is out this month. What can readers expect? The big thing is that you’ll be reading stories that are like nothing you’ve ever read before. The first one has talking flathead, for instance, and that pretty much sets the tone for what follows. There’s writing I’ve tried to make beautiful, and writing I’ve tried to make funny. But none of it is like anything else being published in Australia. In a way, I’ve been working on the book for ages – the oldest story was first published in 2008 – but most of them are a lot more recent than that. It’s really nice to see them collected in one place and (hopefully) having some fun together.

What does the day to day life of an author look like? I gaffa tape a weird living together from various places. I work a day a week at Fullers Bookshop, and do some editorial work with Island. But then there’s that massive pile of everything else. Sometimes I’ll be working on a bigger project for a while; at other times it’s loads of smaller stuff – which can be really fun, particularly when people ask you to do things you’ve never thought of trying. Last year I was asked to write a couple of biographical poems for an anthology, which was scary – I really wanted to honour the people I was writing about. But it was hugely valuable, and not something I would have had a crack at otherwise. I end up writing all sorts of things – essays, poems, stories, journalism, copy – as well as performing for podcasts, running workshops and mentorships, editing books. Whatever work comes my way. I kind of like the unpredictable messiness of this.

How does Tasmania factor into your work? I was born in Hobart, and have always lived in Tasmania. Tasmania is a huge part of my writing, particularly the natural world, but most of the time it’s a skewed Tasmania. I’m much more interested in combining lyrical descriptions of the world here with elements that are completely foreign to it. If you let go of realism, you can do all sorts of fun stuff – in the book’s last story, for example, I mash some Moroccan events into Hobart life, which somehow ends up with the Tasman Bridge being knocked over again. Perhaps you need to be there?


Hotondo Homes

BUILDING WARRANTY INSURANCE BACK ON THE TABLE WHILE HOTONDO HOMES GOES BUST

The last thing a new homeowner wants is to find out that nothing can be done about a shonky build. But for many residents in Tasmania, it’s been a merry-go-round of emailing and calls in hope of getting cracks, leaks, mould and even structural damage recognised and fixed bby their builder.

Tasmania is the only state without mandated building warranty insur­ance. Instead, the Residential Building Warranty Insurance is an opt-in scheme and only protects if there is a loss of deposit, unfinished or defective works as a result of a builder dying, becoming insolvent, or uncontactable.

The warranty scheme was mandatory up until 2008 where it was abolished due to high costs and limited coverage due to only encompassing extreme circumstances. Since Hotondo Homes went bust recently, there’s been calls to reenact the protection scheme to bring Tasmanian builders into line with that of the other six Australian states which make insurance mandatory for builds starting at $3000 in some states, and $20,000 in others. As the boom contin­ues in Tasmanian subdivisions, housing estates and as many young people decide to build their very first home, in the very worst case scenarios, it would mean homeowners would have more rights to resolve any issues surrounding the biggest investment they make.


HOBART BAND BOCCE WINS NATIONAL BAND COMPETITION

Interview: Lily Whiting

Almost forgetting they had entered, bocce won the triple j Unearthed comp late last year and scored their first festival gig at Party in the Apocalypse in December. From punters to now per­formers, we chatted to Liam, Zac, Nick, Will and Campbell about their summer of music.

Congratulations on winning the triple j Unearthed comp! How did winning feel?

Liam: Lost for words would be an understatement! I was down at my family’s property in South Arm and missed the group call. I genuinely thought the other boys were trying to stitch me up to tell you the truth. After the guys laid out the news, I came to the realisation that we’d taken it out and we were all just speechless. We ended up in the studio just after it was announced and sorted out a set for Party in the Apocalypse in just under a week.

Describe bocce’s sound and your influences?

Liam: I would label us as alternative rock with a little bit of psychedelia in there. The EP, which we’re hoping to release in the coming months, was written at a time where we were all listening to a fair bit of surf/garage rock which influenced most lo-fi recording efforts. Things seem to resonate back to each of our childhoods as we all take inspiration from our parents’ record collections – Bob Dylan, The Stones, The Doors, Hendrix. That era of music seemed to have this perfect imperfection that we try to illustrate and produce within our own stuff.

Party in the Apocalypse is the biggest stage you’ve played so far, how was it gracing the same stage as PNAU, Dune Rats and Sneaky Sound System?

Band: It was such a surreal time, we all just had grins ear to ear for the entire two days. Most of us were planning on attending for the two days but to play was something bewildering. Party in the Apocalypse genuinely felt like a good old fashioned festival again. Vibestown did an exceptional job at making sure all the punters were wearing masks, sanitising, social distancing and what not. It was honestly so amazing to see how everything came together after such a long time away from large scale music festivals. A massive hats off to the Vibestown crew.

How is the planning for the EP release going amongst a summer of gigs, recording and writing?

Band: Honestly, we envisaged taking a bit of time out over December and January to focus on recording and mixing the last half of EP, but things eventuated into a pretty busy start to the summer, and we couldn’t be happier. Obviously the current COVID climate can make things tricky, but everything seems to be working out well. Over the last few weeks, each of us have ended up in isolation after close contacts so it’s been tricky getting everyone in the studio again. That’s the way things are sometimes, and you learn to adapt, we’re all just so motivated to finish recording and get new music out.


NEW SLOPES FOR CLARENCE MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK

The Clarence Mountain Bike Park has had a sprucing, and its littlest (but perhaps biggest) fans are going to stoked with the new additions. Some massive weeks of riding in August 2021 saw selected tracks needing a major upgrading as well as a call out from local parents for another kid-friendly track for skills practice, out of the way of the big bikes. The kids are privy to a brand new 250 metre long loop track, while the full-grown kids, and those at heart, can now hurtle down reconditioned existing trails, better connected via new green climbing tracks, all thanks to some extra funding from the State Government Cycle Tourism Fund, Clarence City Council and Federal Government funding. Clarence City Council Mayor, Alderman Doug Chipman has commended the upgrade and its benefit to the local community, “A key part of council’s Strategic Plan is building a people friendly city that encourages active recreation, and this Federal Government funding will help us continue to build trails that will allow the whole family to enjoy this wonderful park.” More work is in the pipeline (pardon the pun) with a coaching area being constructed in early 2022 and plans to relocate the dirt jumps on the cards. “We know mountain biking tourism is on the rise and it is important to us to continue to upgrade our Clarence Mountain Bike Park, which was one of the first movers in this space more than 10 years ago,” says Mayor Chipman.

Testing the new ferry

INCAT’S NEW SHIP TO HEAD OFF TO SOUTH KOREA

Incat recently launched a new 76m ship for service in South Korea. The Santa Monica, a catamaran which will be used for tourism, will be delivered in March. Incat chairman Robert Clifford said it was a tricky time to be building large ships. “It has not been an easy time to build ships lately owing to the Covid disruptions to supply chains etc.,” he said. “We are confident that we will still be able to meet the March delivery date and the ship will be ready to serve the tourists of South Korea in time for the northern summer”. The catamaran is now alongside the Incat fitout berth at Prince of Wales Bay.

REGIONAL ARTISTS AND PRODUCERS OPPORTUNITY

Regional Arts Australia and Local Giants are calling for applications from regional arts producers for a skills development program. Lead by Performing Lines, the Regional Producers Platform will cover fundamentals including budgets and finances, market development, grants and funding. Taking place over Zoom, participants will gather weekly for 13 sessions of lectures and tutorials. At the end of the program the producers will meet in person at NIDA, Sydney, in September. This is an opportunity for emerging to mid-career regional producers (including self-producing artists) and regional arts workers of all forms of live work to come together and explore new modes of working, project ideas, and sustainable models for presentation and touring. EOI’s close Sunday 27 February and you can find more information at www.performinglines.org.au

HOBART WOMEN’S SHELTER HOUSING TO HELP MORE

Since July 2020, the Hobart Women’s Shelter have had to turn away seven out of every 10 women who have asked them for help. This is over 1000 women and kids with nowhere to go. Unfortunately, many of these women and their children will stay in, or return to, family violence situations where they are at risk of experiencing further trauma, injury and in some cases, death. According to the Hobart Women’s Shelter, the number one reason women will not leave a family violence situation is the fear of being homeless. Families who do manage to get into the shelter usually stay for up to six weeks, but currently some families are staying for up to six months because there are simply no affordable rental houses available for them to move to. This causes a bottleneck situation where desperate new clients cannot get help.

So, the Women’s Shelter are asking for the community to pitch in to their Buy A Brick campaign. The shelter is aiming to build 25 rapid-assembly homes for the families in need, and you can donate an amount that might cover a ‘brick’, or a door, or multiple windows – the amount is up to you. Their goal is to build an average of eight homes a year over the next three years (2022-2024) with a fundraising target of $2.5M a year ($6M in total). Head to www.hobartws.org.au for more information or to donate.

TEDDY SHEEAN VC MEMORIAL GRANTS OPEN NOW

Applications are now open for Round two of the 2021-22 Teddy Sheean VC Memorial Grants Program for Tasmanian veteran and ex-serving organisations. The organisations can share in a total of $50,000 to fund small repairs and maintenance, equipment purchases and war memorials. The Grants Program will provide grants of up to $10,000 for minor capital works and $5000 for equipment purchases for RSL clubs, RSL sub-branches, and ex-service clubs and organisations. There are also grants of up to $5000 towards the repair and maintenance of war memorials and construction of new memorials, which is also open to not-for-profit organisations, local councils and schools. The Grants Program will also provide grants of up to $5000 to eligible organisations for welfare initiatives to support the health and well-being of veterans. Guidelines are available from www.communities.tas.gov.au/csr and applications close at 3pm on Monday 7 March, 2022.

HOBART CITY HALL’S HOSPITAL CONTINGENCY PLAN TO HANDLE OVERFLOW

The Hobart City Hall could become an outpatient treatment venue for Covid-19 patients if the Royal Hobart Hospital reaches capacity. A deal between Hobart City Council and the Department of Health people who have tested positive but have only mild symptoms could access face-to-face appointments in the hall. During the spread of swine flu in 2009, City Hall hosted respiratory outpa­tient clinics.

HOBART COUNCIL FEES WAIVED FOR HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES

The City of Hobart has fast-tracked a Covid-19 business support package. They’re waiving fees charged to restaurants, bar and cafe owners for the use of public spaces as outdoor dining areas until the end of March 2022. Application fees for businesses wishing to amend existing outdoor dining permits or apply for a new permit will be waived from 1 January until 31 March 2022. Site fees will be waived for existing operators, and for those businesses who want to establish an outdoor occupation area for the first time, or want to expand their current area. For more information head to www.hobartcity.com.au.

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July 2022

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