A community working bee on 14 January saw the culmination of a year-long project to upgrade the Kettering Oval Walking Track. A small army of volunteers, comprised of 14 members of the Lions Club of Kingborough together with 18 locals representing the Kettering Community Association(KCA), Kettering Walkers and Friends of Kettering, finished off the job.

Elspeth Haughie, co-ordinator of the Heart Foundation Kettering Walkers and instigator of the track project is delighted and said “Kettering can now be proud of having a safe, flat walking track — suitable for those with mobility issues and walkers of all fitness levels — and it complies with Heart Foundation walking standards. Thanks to all the volunteers who were just great!”

Earthmoving equipment and operators were provided (at 'mates' rates) by Lion's Club member Rob Batchelor of Batchelor Civil Contracting. Rob provided a 5-ton excavator which scraped out the track, and a bobcat which, loaded a small mountain of red gravel onto trailers. The gravel was then dispersed and spread by the volunteers using trailers, barrows, shovels, rakes and lots of hard work.

Morning tea and BBQ lunch was provided by both Lions club and the KCA ladies.

A great community effort demonstrating what can be achieved with commitment and persistence.

KCA Treasurer, Sue Hoyle, said  “KCA wishes to publicly record their appreciation to Kingborough Council for their tremendous support in making this track a reality – Council not only allocated the $5000 grant to fund the project, but also provided an additional truck load of gravel.   We were also fortunate this week, to have one of the Council staff here with a roller to go over the track and provide a better surface finish for what is an important part of  the much needed pedestrian linkages in Kettering”.

For a summary of the project milestones click here.

And here's a map which shows where the newly completed track goes:

Aerial view and map of the Kettering Oval Walking Track

John Quinn from the Coningham and Lower Snug Community Association has produced a short treatise on the topic of Council amalgamations. We should all be interested in this issue.

He concludes that:

The case for the amalgamation of the five councils is out of line with contemporary thinking. The financial justification for the amalgamation is very questionable and the benefits can largely achieved through other less disruptive, costly and risky forms of consolidation. The ratepayers of Kingborough face higher risks because their council is relatively low cost and without debt. Kingborough Council need to look hard at the strategic positioning of Kingston. They need to talk openly with other councils, including Huon Valley, and the State Government. The future of the Channel and Bruny Island should be tied to Kingborough.

Click here to read his discussion paper.

The General Manager's report to the Council Meeting of 23 January notes that the government will not fund underground power as part of the Ferry Road Upgrade Project. A response from the Premier advises that she supports the response previously provided by Minister O’Byrne insomuch as underground power will not be included in the scope of the Ferry Road project, unless Council itself can provide the necessary funding.

The General Manager reports that:

A response has been received from the Premier, Lara Giddings MP responding to Council’s request for consideration to be given to providing funds to underground the power on Ferry Road, Kettering as part of the
upgrading works proposed.

Council’s resolution at its meeting on 24 October 2011 was :

That Council:

(a) advise the Premier of Tasmania of its disappointment of the Minister of Infrastructure’s decision (as conveyed in his letter to Council dated 31 August 2011) of not approving the Department of Infrastructure and Energy Resources (DIER) to undertake the undergrounding of overhead power lines as part of the reconstruction works at Ferry Road, Kettering;

(b) request the Premier to consider the provision of funding for the undergrounding of power as part of the Ferry Road reconstruction project in view of the following:

(i) Kingborough Council provided land at Alonnah for no consideration when requested by Health Services for the building of a Health Centre;
(ii) Kingborough Council purchased land at market value from the Margate Primary School, to allow the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Channel Highway and Beach Road, Margate (the roundabout is DIER’s preferred treatment option at this intersection);
(iii) DIER and Kingborough Council each agreed to allocate $700,000 to design and construct Channel Highway and Beach Road roundabout at Margate. Total preliminary design has been completed by Kingborough Council and has resulted in an estimated total cost of $400,000. This is a savings to DIER of $500,000;
(iv) Ferry Road, Kettering is a tourist Gateway to Bruny Island, and as such maybe suitable for consideration by Aurora under their Special Area Policy (areas of significance) which offers a subsidisation of infrastructure costs, should DIER make application to complete underground power supply works;
(v) State Government and Kingborough Council have co-operatively worked on other unbudgeted capital works programs in the past where it has been demonstrated to provide long term community benefit;
(vi) This is an example of such long term community benefit that also enhances a tourists experience to the  region.

Last year the Kettering Community Association(KCA) obtained a grant from Council to extend the Kettering Oval Track.  Some preparatory work has already been done but on Saturday 14 January a working bee will be held to try to finish off the rest of the work which will involve removal of some earth and replacement with gravel.

Kingborough Lions Club  will be providing mechanical assistance. But still  KCA need as many volunteers as possible.  Many hands make light work and all that.  Bring your 4WD, trailer, rake, shovel or just yourself and help turn the Kettering Oval Track extension into reality.

Kick-off is 8.00am. For more information please contact Project Co-ordinators Ray Haughie 6267 4642 or Eric Baldwin 6267 4426.

The Kingborough Safer Speed Demonstration was commenced in September 2007. Click here for a memory jogger.

According to an article on the ABC today the government is pondering a recommendation from the Road Safety Advisory Council (RSAC) to permanently reduce speed limits on rural roads.  Click here to find out why the RSAC think its a good idea.

In a media release issued in March 2011 the RACT  says “it supports a reduction of speed limits on gravel rural roads to 80 km/h, but sealed 100 km/h rural roads are an integral part of everyday mobility needs”.

Where do you stand on the issue? Click here to vote in our poll.

Channel Cruise and Charters are now operating out of Kettering.   The J-LEE-M is a 20 metre motor vessel built entirely from Huon Pine.  Skipper Alan Morrison offers morning cruises on request and evening cruises with light snacks are also available. The vessel can be chartered for small weddings, family reunions or corporate functions.  For details visit channelcruises.com.au.

The Kettering Yacht Club and the Wooden Boat Guild of Tasmania invite you to join in a rally of wooden boats on the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Sailing vessels, motor boats and dinghies are all welcome to join the fun, but all participating vessels must have wood as their principal construction material. This time we'll be including a special event for Derwent Class Yachts. For more details visit the KYC website.