The Hobart

Hobart Happenings March 2022

by Stephanie Williams
Hobart Happenings March 2022


Machine Laundry Cafe are spreading their wings and opening another couple of venues. Both Madame Clarkes (Shop 19, Channel Court Kingston) and Plain Jane (Main Road, Moonah) are in the pipeline, opening dates to be confirmed. NoHo is maintaining its reputation as a foodie hotspot with the latest neighbours, Peony Pavilion Chinese Restaurant and Bar (369 Elizabeth St, North Hobart) moving in just down from the State Cinema. Think simple yummy Shanghai-inspired plates and a fun cocktail list to match. Risdon Vale’s new kid on the block, Tony and Friends Cafe (Shop 1-38 Sugarloaf Road, Risdon Vale) is serving up coffee, lots of fresh salads and delicious donuts. UTAS students have more choices this semester with Goodness Gracious opening up on campus, by the team behind Belle’s, Lupin and Taco Taco. Bite Me (7/285 Elizabeth St, North Hobart) had some unfortunate plumbing issues after a blown pipe flooded the restaurant, but they are back baby! The menu is Thai and East Asian-fusion style dishes. They also have 10% off takeaway while they get up to full speed again (but check in with Bite Me for the details). The Little Punjab (52a Main Road, Moonah) has opened up in Moonah, sharing their authentic Indian street food, every day of the week. Just down the road, Chulesi Nepalese Restaurant (1/73-75 Main Road, Moonah) is also keeping this foodie strip full of flavour. There’s an array of authentic Nepalese dishes to share. Goat curries, traditional thali and sour soups are just a few that make up the massive menu. MJ Bale (90 Murray Street, Hobart) has opened their first ever Tasmanian store in the city, on the corner of Bidencopes Lane. They are offering wedding party fittings for the man of the moment, as well as tailoring and personal styling appointments.


The University of Tasmania is conducting a review of potential underpayment of employees in the past. The University has engaged external firms to investigate. Preliminary work shows issues around two themes: minimum engagement periods, and penalty rates not being correctly applied in some cases. Chief People Officer, Jill Bye, apologised to staff in writing, saying: “First of all, I want to say sorry. Our people are central to who we are as an institution and what we do…Our commitment is that we will be open with people and put things right.”


If you’ve noticed extra police officers – often with canine companions – in our local shopping and transport hubs that’s because they’re been cracking down on anti-social behaviour and crime (including shoplifting and drugs) in a recent blitz across southern Tasmania. Officers headed to Northgate, Eastlands, and the Elizabeth St Mall as well as surrounding areas including bus malls in Hobart, Glenorchy and Rosny. The blitz involved a range of resources, including uniform and plain clothes police, detectives and police dogs.


Did you know you can access four hours of free digital coaching for your business? Digital Ready is a government-funded set of coaching sessions available across the state, either face to face or over Zoom. The sessions are one-on-one between business owners and skilled coaches. Call 1800 955 660 to book.


After losing her house and boat shed-stu­dio to the 2013 Dunalley Fires, artist, furniture maker and sculptor, Gay Hawkes is returning to TMAG this autumn for her exhibition, Gay Hawkes: The House of Longing. The exhibition will be filled with works created before and after the fire, recognising her resilience and passion since tragically losing her tools and an irreplaceable collection of her life’s work. It is one of many exhibitions at TMAG celebrating living Tasmanian artists and their commitment to practice. Known for her use of foraged materials within her furniture, Gay has been practicing for more than 40 years. She undertook her Bachelor of Arts at the Tasmanian School of Art, where a move to Melbourne saw her career flourish. A move back to Tasmania in 1994 settled her into a studio she dubbed the Dunalley Children’s Chair Factory, a creative space for shows, performances, workshops and celebra­tions. Gay’s exhibition will be on show in Argyle Galleries 1-3 from 18 March till 28 August 2022. Find out more at the TMAG website.

Gay Hawkes: The House of Longing


Lasca Dry, the wonderful Tassie songbird previously seen in the pages of this here mag, has won a grant that will surely send her soaring even higher within the Australian music industry. Lasca, from Ulverstone, won the Nick Balcombe Foundation’s ‘Live Your Dream’ grant last month. Nick was a passionate Tasmanian musician who sadly died too young after suffering a stroke. His legacy is the foundation set up in his name, which every year supports promis­ing Tassie musicians to reach their potential. Lasca intends to use the grant to record two singles to join a third that will become a three song EP. “Winning the Nick Balcombe Foundation ‘Live Your Dream Grant’ means so much for my career, having the support of my community is something every artist hopes for. This opportunity means I can create more art to a higher quality,” Lasca shared. “It is a very special opportu­nity and one that has helped me gain confidence in myself and I am so very grateful.” The funds will also support the promotion of this EP and accom­panying music videos for each single.

Hey Winner!


The Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service (TRLS) are currently seeking volunteers to support their case work service this year. Ideally, volunteers will be studying law, have an interest in social justice and be able to commit to a preferred minimum of six months (one semester) volunteering with them, at least once a week. Retired and practising lawyers are also welcome to get in contact about volunteer opportunities. The service will have another huge year continuing to work on Afghan files, global family reunion matters, Safe Haven Enterprise Visa clients, Ministerial Intervention requests, onshore protection visa applications, stateless children, citizenship matters and even referrals to the UN. That’s in addition to TRLS’ Family Violence Migration Service which volunteers may also undertake work for. If you are interested, please send your resume and a bio to volunteer co-ordinator au or call the office on 6169 9473.


Do you know a young person who passionately collects something? TMAG are on the hunt for the next Young Collector to curate their own mini display at the museum. It could be dragons, shells, penguins. money boxes…anything! Applications are open for people aged 3-18, and can be made at


A new public artwork compiled from old household objects was recently unveiled in Kangaroo Bay, but there is nothing trashy about it. Commissioned by Clarence City Council, artist Donna Marcus titled the artwork Mooring, an ode to her mothers own domestic innovation in the 1970s while living in Bellerive. Drawing upon the Tasmanian identity of ‘making do’ through tenacity, innovation and imagination, items were collected for more than two decades from opportunity shops, tip shops and garage sales. Marcus calls the artwork “giving form to the fleeting and small moments of domestic life,’’ a representation of Clarence’s rich post-war history. Clarence City Council Deputy Mayor Alderman Heather Chong described the work as an important step in enhancing the city’s cultural identity through the installation of public art.“Public art provides a platform for people to come together to share their experiences and build a sense of community,” she said. “We value the important contribution public art plays in the overall wellbeing of our community.

Artist Donna Marcus and Clarence Deputy Mayor Heather Chong with the new artwork


Do you or your staff need some help to navigate mental health issues? Small businesses in Tasmania can get free mental health training through Lifeline Tasmania’s Minding Your Business training. There are five courses available for free: Mental Health Boost, Accidental Counsellor, Crisis Communication, Mental Health First Aid and Counselling Support. To access the courses, head to the training calendar at www.lifelin­, book into the appro­priate course, and use the promo code MYBFREE to remove any cost.


Covid decimated the tourism season on King Island this summer, so the Tasmanian Government has introduced some travel initiatives to encourage visitors to spend time on the island. There will be $300 incentives available for accommodation and experiences between May 1 and July 31. The scheme launches in April – head to


Words: Vicki Fox & Karen Wall, Screening Recruitment and Cancer Prevention Officers at BreastScreen Tasmania

Has it been more than two years since your last mammogram? This March we are reminding all women aged 40+, living or working in the Hobart CBD, about our BreastScreen service that is available right at your doorstep.

We know how busy you are, and that’s why we are encour­aging you to make a lunchtime appointment. It only takes 20 minutes. That’s less time than a yoga session! Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Tasmanian women. One in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85. Finding breast cancer early through breast screening, improves your chance of survival. BreastScreen Tasmania has introduced additional infection control measures to ensure they continue to offer a safe and reliable service to Tasmanian women during COVID-19. So, if you are due for your next mammogram, don’t delay.

In between screening mammograms, it’s important to be breast aware. This means being familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel. Most breast changes are not due to cancer, but you should see your doctor if you find a breast change that is unusual for you. Changes to look out for include: a new lump or lumpiness, a change in the size or shape of your breast, changes in skin texture or colour, nipple changes or unusual pain that does not go away.

Listen to your body for anything that feels different for you – and participate in breast cancer screening when you are invited – early detection is the best protection. BreastScreen every two years. Call 13 20 50 today.


Not only are bikes easier to park than cars (no reverse parking!), they come with better parking locations too. The recent installation of 14 bike hoops inside the new Parliament Square Space means riders can conveniently park up for the day halfway between the City and Salamanca Square. Just be sure to dismount upon entering the square and don’t forget to lock up.

The new racks. Pic: Bicycle Network Tasmania


The City of Hobart is looking into install­ing an electric vehicle fast-charger at the Town Hall for elected members. The announcement was made following last month’s council meeting. Whilst we’re all for normalising switching to EVs if you can afford to, we do wonder why the elected members can’t just charge their cars at home like most EV drivers? If they get stuck with a low battery in town, the council has already provided a metered fast-charger at the Dunn Place car park and free trickle chargers at the Hobart Central car park.


The Federal government has partnered with Crime Stoppers Australia to target illegal gun ownership. The plan is to raise awareness of the dangers posed by the use and theft of unregistered firearms and empower the community to share relevant information to Crime Stoppers. Australians in possession of an unregis­tered firearm will be further encouraged to hand it in or register it. If you know someone who has an unregistered firearm or firearm-related item, they will still be able to surrender it to a police station anonymously and without penalty. If you know someone with an illegal gun tell Crime Stoppers today on 1800 333 000.


The 24 Carrot Garden project is expanding. Started in the northern suburbs of Hobart in 2014, it builds kitchen gardens on site at schools, giving kids the chance to develop their growing, cooking and entrepreneurial skills. They’re expanding to four high schools in the south – Montrose Bay High School, Bayview Secondary College, Jordan River Senior School and Kingston High School. They’re also heading north, bringing the program to five primary schools across Launceston, Devonport and Burnie. Kirsha Kaechele, 24 Carrot Gardens founder said, “Kitchen gardens provide children with essential skills for health and wellbeing. Placing them directly in the schools and communities where children are means they access healthy food and engage in hands-on learning in an uplifting environment. We’re excited to see nine new schools join the program at the start of this school year.”


When Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in Northern Tasmania last month, he announced an $800 million funding commitment by the federal government to support and grow Australia’s Antarctic research sector. According to the mayors of the Greater Hobart region, this demonstrates confidence in Hobart’s ongoing role as an international Antarctic Gateway City. “Every investment in our Antarctic sector is an investment in Greater Hobart and Tasmania,” Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said. “We now have the RSV Nuyina calling our city home, and the capabilities of the vessel and its crew will be enhanced through the purchase of new equipment that will greatly expand the reach of our research programs.” Kingborough Mayor Paula Wriedt said Kingborough had long supported Australia’s efforts in Antarctica through the presence of the Australian Antarctic Division in Kingborough, which houses hundreds of scientists and expeditioners. “Our Antarctic sector is worth $160 million a year to our state’s economy and employs nearly 1000 Tasmanians,” Cr Wriedt said. “This 10-year investment contributes to the value of the sector to our local economy and community,” Glenorchy Mayor Bec Thomas added.

“It drives opportunities to further Greater Hobart’s identity as a globally significant base for world-leading Antarctic and Southern Ocean research and education.” Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said the importance of the Antarctic sector to Greater Hobart’s economy and identity had been recognised in the Hobart City Deal. “A survey by the Antarctic Cities Project found that more than 72 per cent of Greater Hobart residents feel Antarctica is important to the city’s identity,” Ald Chipman said. The project is expected to expand Hobart’s capacity as a premier gateway to the Antarctic and Southern Ocean, and further consolidate the collective Hobart-based science and research capability in the sector.


Have you been to the doctors lately? How long did you have to wait to get in?

Its not uncommon to have to wait of over a week if it’s not an emergency it’s not a big stress, but Tasmania’s ongoing GP shortage, combined with staffing issues thanks to Covid, is certainly not getting any better, and patients and the GPs them­selves are all losing out. Dr Tim Jackson, Tasmanian Chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, recently spoke to The Hobart Magazine about the situation, and told us just what has to happen to improve.

How bad is the GP shortage in Tasmania? Access to General Practice services is at a crisis in Tasmania. Most general practices require additional GPs to meet community care needs. There are 64 current vacancies in Tasmania – out of 594 full time equivalent GP workforce. A 2019 report by Deloitte found a projected national shortfall of 9,298 full-time GPs or 24.7% of the GP workforce by 2030.

What factors are contributing to the shortage? It’s a perfect storm – the GP workforce is ageing and not enough medical graduates are choosing to enter specialist GP training to meet the increas­ing need for care. More than eight out of ten junior doctors are not interested in becoming a GP, results from this year’s Medical Training Survey show. Thirty years ago over 50% of medical graduates entered general practice. For decades governments have neglected to invest in Australia’s general practice workforce, and this has led to many communities facing severe shortages of GPs, particu­larly rural and remote areas. The GP shortage has worsened with the pandemic, vaccine rollout and reduced immigration and ability to recruit international doctors putting enormous pressure on general practice, and the entire health system.

How is it impacting on practices?

General practice is the backbone of the primary care system, with nine in 10 Australians visiting their GP each year. The pandemic has highlighted the critical role GPs play in our communities includ­ing having delivered over 25 million vaccines across the nation to date. This is happening at a time when the community need for high quality general practice care is increasing as more people are becoming infected with COVID with the prospect of long term sequelae, increasing chronic disease and complex medical conditions that have been neglected during the pandemic together with esca­lating mental health care needs and an ageing population. This increased demand is unprecedented and will become the norm as the virus infection enters its endemic phase.

How is it impacting on the GPs them­selves? There is understandable fatigue and stress across the sector. General Practitioners are generally very resilient and prioritise the care of their patients. GPs and the entire practice staff are working through lunch breaks, after hours and weekends to manage the unprece­dented community care demands.

How can we increase the number of graduates choosing to do General Practice and choosing to do it in Tassie?

The government needs to act now and invest in our future GP workforce, and in general practice more broadly. Up to 50% of medical graduates need to choose to enter specialist GP training to meet the increasing need for care. We need to do much more to attract medical students and junior doctors to the profession. The new RACGP campaign ‘Become a GP’ aims to help, highlighting the important role of GPs as diagnosticians providing holistic care to patients throughout their lives, leading to a rewarding and varied career.


Our beloved Cadbury factory has just turned 100. One of the largest chocolate factories in the southern hemisphere, the Claremont facility supports some 700 direct and indirect jobs locally, and contributes around $400million to the state economy each year. And our late nights in front of the computer!


Police recently took two men to task for illegally bringing in extra rock lobster in the Frederick Henry Bay and Clifton areas. A tip-off from a member of the public led police to intercept a vehicle at Cremorne Boat Ramp where they seized an excess number of rock lobster. A subsequent search of a residence found even more lobster. A 30-year-old man from Howrah and a 20-year-old man from Abels Bay will be proceeded against for multiple marine offences including Taking Excess Rock Lobster and Using Excess Rock Lobster Pots. To make sure you’re following the law when fishing, download the Tasmanian Sea Fishing Guide from the app store for information regarding fishing and fisheries rules in Tasmania. Anyone with information about marine offences can report it to Fishwatch on 0427 655 557.


The Zig Zag track on kunanyi/Mt Wellington is closed until winter for maintenance. The track, which is more than a century old, is currently off-limits to the public so it can be made safer and have it’s important heritage values maintained. Hobart City Council said there was a chance the track could be opened on weekends but it would depend on safety conditions at the time. In the meantime, the Milles and Icehouse tracks are being improved so more people can access them as alternative routes to the top while Zig Zag is closed.


Interview: Sarah Aitken

Pics: Amanda Sparkles

Registered Wildlife Carer Amanda Sparkles, of Howrah, has been rescuing animals from storm water drains over summer, and is demanding councils cover the ends of the drains with grates to stop it happening.

Amanda says the animals – including, commonly, full-sized Bennett’s wallabies, enter the drains in search of water and get stuck. Without a rescue they’d die an awful death and as Amanda points out – if an animal of that size can get in, what about a child? She recently spoke to us about her quest to make our urban areas safer for wildlife and everyone.

Amanda Sparkles and Teena Hanslow saving wildlife

How often are you attending to wildlife that have gotten stuck in storm water drains? Between myself and [fellow carer] Teena Hanslow we receive a couple of phone calls a week through summer about wildlife being stuck down drains. These phone calls are mostly from concerned members of the public. Due to more and more new areas being built up, our wildlife are finding it more and more difficult to access water. This causes desperation to cross roads, enter residential streets and back yards. These open ended storm water drains are a death trap for our wildlife. They go in looking for the water, not expecting the couple of metre drop at the end then not being able to get back out. They then are literally trapped. They have most likely suffered injuries and if not removed, they are left there to slowly starve to death.

Once myself or Teena have been contacted in regards to a trapped animal, we do all we can to remove it safely to rehabilitate it to be released back into the wild but unfortunately, it can often result in euthanasia. Our most recent rescues were three full size Bennett’s wallabies and a brushtail possum in a Glebe Hill open ended storm water drain.

Are you always able to get them out? The rescues are difficult, but so far yes. We have to get creative on how to remove them from the water pipes as safely as possible for us and the animal.

What generally happens to them? A lot are euthanised, others are checked over by a vet and are cared for and rehabilitated back into the wild by a registered wildlife rehabilitator like myself or Teena.

What do you think is the solution to this issue? The solution is easy. Grate all open ended storm water drains, and make it law that any new drains built must have the grate over them. Then if a plastic pipe free-standing rain catching wildlife water-feeder could be placed near each one, we could potentially save a lot of our wildlife from dying of thirst or having to get hit by a car or enter places that are dangerous just to get a drink.

What are you doing next? I wrote a post on our local Howrah/ Tranmere Facebook page asking members of the community to please contact me if they notice a non-grated storm water drain pipe in the area, and so far I’ve had six people come forward, each with their own horror stories they have witnessed of animals going in and not coming out. A general concern shared also was if a 15kg male Bennett’s wallaby can find itself stuck down one, a small child very easily can too. My goal is to visit these sites, document them, and present them to the Council in hope of grates being placed over them in a timely fashion and a free standing rain catcher water feeder at each point to support our wildlife with their thirst.

If anybody would like to get in touch with Amanda in regards to a storm water drain that’s not grated please do so on 0415991019.

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February 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
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Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!