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  1. Interesting reading, Bob. I thank you for at least taken the time to sit down and have a chat over coffee.

    As you know I am like so many people in OUR valley, both passionate and committed to it, and I strongly believe we can bring people together.

    Posted by Mike Wilson  on  15/02/18  at  12:32 PM
  2. #1. Mike, you know as well as I do that you are (as I am) a divisive member of the Huon Valley community. Each of us, in our way, is passionate about the welfare of the valley; and each of us is a source of provocation to one side or the other of the political argument. If we stood aside from the disruptive maelstrom of differences that I fear might lie ahead, I think we would both be making the best possible contribution towards getting a healing process under way — and to lessening tensions between reactionaries and progressives. Sadly, we both believe we are progressives, so I don’t suppose there’s much hope on that front.

    Posted by Bob Hawkins  on  15/02/18  at  04:33 PM
  3. Not that I for one moment consider myself in the same league as the infamous Bob Hawkins ... but on reading your post Bob, it does appear as if your recent coffee mate, and once again aspiring Huon Valley Mayor, is just doing the rounds.

    But I must first off mention I just cannot get the published picture of this try hard but now sacked HVC councillor who took it upon himself to park his car in the HVC car parking bay reserved for Mayor Peter Coad http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/huon-waits-on-the-real-umpires-call/ out of my mind.

    In the Huon Valley News January 24th 2018, Mike Wilson offered an opinion letter which in part read:

    Dear Editor, It was very disappointing to read in last week’s Huon News that two people, both of whom have not lived in the valley for very many years, can sit in judgement of someone they have never met. I again invite both Ms Kyne and Mr Swan to meet with me and have a chat over a coffee, something that they have both refused to do in the past.

    For a wee moment I wondered - is this even worthy of a response? I wondered how to best inform the readers of the Huon Valley News that this person, who aspires to be the Mayor of the Huon Valley and who, despite trying for some 15 years, has not quite made it to the top job is simply telling porkies. Who would believe me after all? I have lived in the Huon Valley for only 10 years. I mean ... a number of the now sacked former HVC Councillors famously decreed they do not like the changes these “newcomers” want in the Valley.

    The former Senior Sergeant of Huonville Police personally told my wife and I (following the incident when our 18 family-friendly geese were shot, wounded and slaughtered because they dared to cross Lonnavale Road from my 5 acre property onto my neighbours 3,000 acre property and who was apparently desperately concerned they would eat him out of house and home) ... that the “locals do not like blow-ins like you”. Quote/unquote. (He also said “If you are considering relocating from Lonnavale ... don’t move to Pelverata ... it is much worse there”)

    But ... because my values and principals are all about truth, transparency, and hopefully justice, I responded with my letter to the Editor of the Huon Valley News which was published February 7th, 2018:

    Dear Editor,

    Perhaps Mr Wilson’s comments in the HVN Jan 24 should have been verified before his letter was published, although you would expect that he was telling the truth.
    I have lived and worked in the Huon Valley for 10 years, and yes, I am a blow-in, but Mr Wilson has never invited me for coffee or a chat – never phoned me or spoken with me.
    Never.
    I find his observation, “that two people, both of whom have not lived in the valley for very many years, can sit in judgement of someone that they have never met”, quite ludicrous.
    He is correct that I have never met him, and I have no desire to do so, but I cannot see how me doing so would be of any relevance.
    I haven’t met with Queen Elizabeth, nor has she invited me for tea, but I have a fair idea of her moral standpoint on a number of topics. I have observed Mr Wilson in action on no less than fifteen occasions at the Huon Valley Council meetings.
    I firmly believe that the public forum is the best place to canvas any issues of public concern, and that private meetings lack the necessary transparency. 
    All I have sought from Mr Wilson in the past, when he was a councillor, and to no avail, is a written response of substance to questions that I have posed in the public interest.
    I have only ever received an acknowledgement of receipt.
    I am not sitting in judgement of anyone. I am merely pointing out that a person who aspires to the role of Mayor of the Huon Valley is not telling the truth when he claims that he has invited me for coffee and a chat.
    This is a fact, and the length of time I have lived in the Huon Valley in no way changes that.
    Geoffrey Swan
    Lonnavale

    Given Mr Wilson at #1 is obviously a reader and contributor to TT ... perhaps he will now offer me a public apology for this porkie. There was no such thing in this week’s edition of the HVN.

    Posted by Geoffrey Swan  on  15/02/18  at  09:41 PM
  4. I still cant get over that ugly building that looks like an oversize farm shed across the road from the Kermandie Hotel.

    At the time, who from council approved that obscene structure that onto what was once a lovely natural landscape alongside Kermandie Creek

    Even Spec Clark’s mud caked old log trucks parked opposite the Kermandie Hotel in the 1960/70’s were are far more acceptable part of the everyday working landscape.

    The former APM Mill and loading wharf, the rocket station as it was affectionately known by the locals blended in perfectly among the local landscape with the Hartz mountains as a backdrop which in fact was always a pretty sight around Hospital Bay environs where the yachts are moored.
    The approach to the Kermandie Creek environs deserves better by considering relocating the Sports Centre to a more suitable site not as prominent, perhaps to the Kermandie Football Grounds would fit the bill.

    I love the Huon landscapes, as most forestry operations fit in with the environment bar a few plantation developments which should have remained as farmland or as native forest.

    The Huon has a lot going for it apart from the wet and cold winters, many of its landscapes remain intact spared from ugly development, that bloody monsterous tin shed / Sports centre and also the Huonville tip on the main drag south of Huonville on the way to Franklin both require removal.

    I would hope that eventually when a new council is elected with a coordinated leadership, some respect is shown for the natural environment in what is potentially a spectacular region for its scenery, both for locals and attracting tourists to enjoy.

    Posted by Robin Charles Halton  on  15/02/18  at  11:58 PM
  5. 2 important observations from the photos:

    1) franklin were having a big win over the struggling visitors the day of the image with kids hanging out of the windows. Quintessential country footy.  I wonder who the opposition was ?

    2) Hard to believe none of the building materials were salvaged/recycled ? It just appears to be totally smashed up.
    Such a waste of all those weather boards.

    Halton - interesting you say the former APM mill and wharf blended into the landscape beautifully, yet we’re now to believe from the protagonists a similar development further south will destroy the Esperance Bay vistas.

    Perception is very subjective, don’t you think ?

    Posted by MjF  on  16/02/18  at  07:57 AM
  6. #5 Others like Bob will know more - but I am told the polished timber floor boards were to die for

    Posted by Geoffrey Swan  on  16/02/18  at  09:46 AM
  7. From my understanding the BOI report deemed the entire Council was dysfunctional justifying the need to be sacked.
    We’ve had a Commissioner who was charged with the responsibility of calming the waters and sorting out the governance…...restoring integrity.
    It would appear that one member of that dysfunctional team claims not to have been part of that dysfunctional team.
    Can’t have it both ways. Either he WAS a Councillor and therefore part of the problem.  Or he wasn’t!
    Mr Wilson you need a reality check…...and the ratepayers need to elect, and require, a future council with an unblemished administrative profile.  Someone to lead the team with integrity to restore community confidence and pride.

    Posted by Helen Walne  on  16/02/18  at  01:04 PM
  8. $6
    Whoever in council authorised such an exercise in wasteage should have been sacked on the spot.

    Even a community cracker night with bonfire would’ve been more useful.

    Posted by MjF  on  16/02/18  at  04:40 PM
  9. #1 ... you are being very quiet all of a sudden, Mr Wilson.

    I again draw your attention to my comments at #3.

    ... perhaps he will now offer me a public apology for this porkie.

    I repeat ... I have NEVER been invited by you for a coffee and chat - yet you proclaim you have previously done just that. Time to man up Mr Wilson, and confess you have uttered an outright lie.

    Posted by Geoffrey Swan  on  18/02/18  at  10:14 PM
  10. The list and timeline provided by former councillor, deputy mayor and acting mayor of Huon Valley Council Mike Wilson makes for interesting reading.

    In my view, it is also noteworthy for what it omits.

    There is no mention that the community so valued the building that an application (from around 2006) was before the then Heritage Council for listing on the Tasmanian register.

    Nor is there any mention that the community petitioned council for a 30-day moratorium on demolition to enable federal stimulus funding to be obtained, and that the community undertook to take responsibility for the restoration costs.

    We are not told that the council ignored a separate costing from a registered builder for repairs obtained by the Franklin Progress Association of less than $150,000. (This quote would likely be reduced further as it assumed there would be no donated labour or materials.)

    There is no explanation of why the then Franklin Township Committee was told that there was no alternative to a hasty demolition because the roof trusses were rotten when an inspection found them to be made of steel and in good condition.

    The list doesn’t explain why council backtracked from its undertaking just days before demolition that the building would be safe if the community came up with a range of future uses. (Which, of course, it did.)

    There is no mention of the fact that Council overlooked the presence of asbestos in the building and that this asbestos is now buried just below the surface on the Franklin foreshore.

    We are also not told about the advanced discussions between the Franklin Bowls Club and Franklin Rowing Club and plans for a proposed 2-storey re-development of the bowls club just 50 metres from the former clubrooms.

    There is no mention that the building lay in the path of one of the proposed routes for the planned Huon Valley Regional Water Scheme (which was designed by Council) or that the actual site was later considered for the location of the controversial pump station.

    There is no explanation of why council had stored unsecured tin sheets and other materials on the roof right up to demolition, yet at the same time telling the community that loose roofing tin presented an imminent danger and that, for this reason, demolition could not be delayed.

    It is clear that council demolished this building with as much haste as it could muster, to the point that it did not even undertake an effective asbestos assessment.

    The sad legacy of this period of council governance in this example is twofold: the former clubrooms were demolished unnecessarily and a valued asset has been lost, and that this iconic location has been turned into a toxic dumpsite.

    Posted by Shane Johnson  on  19/02/18  at  08:22 AM
  11. #6, Geoffrey. Yes, the floorboards were pretty special. Over 50 years of spilled grog and tears meant that they were probably well nourished. A small section still remains as on the night before the demolition I asked if the area containing the large Franklin FC lion could be cut out and saved. It was and it proved that the floor and joists were in terrific condition.

    #8, Martin. The lack of recycling of materials was a disgrace although someone in the know did manage to ‘recycle’ the meter board shortly after the electricity was disconnected.
    Council were so keen to get the old girl gone that they left the kitchen cupboards full of crockery, glassware and cutlery. In the ceiling space were several unopened bags of pink batts fibreglass insulation. These will all still be in the ground together with the smashed asbestos.

    I am unsure what future archaelogists will make of it all. Perhaps one day Council records will show us if there are any secrets buried with the asbestos.

    p.s. I did also manage to alert Council to the presence of an antique turned table and it received a reprieve from the excavator.

    Posted by Shane Johnson  on  20/02/18  at  05:23 PM
  12. Thanks for those snippets, Shane

    Do as I say, not do as I do, hey ?

    Posted by MjF  on  20/02/18  at  07:04 PM
  13. #9 ... Mr Swan, you are SHOUTING in here too, I see ... chortle chortle ...

    On topic now ... Clearly from the letter in the story every effort was explored over at least three years with the old derelict building. It’s a pity it took heavy machinery moving in to get a few interested.

    Now the Pallais ... what a great example of how a community can come together and save something special. Clearly the community including the progress association never felt the same way for the fifty or so year old club rooms. Demolition of this obviously allowed the maintenance budget to be spent on the now current club rooms at the under-used sports oval.

    Posted by Ian Lovell  on  22/02/18  at  07:38 PM
  14. #13 ... I can only presume our posts have crossed ...

    I earlier explained in the “Taylor Made” post that bold text is used to highlight the topic ... or in this case to elicit a response from Mr Wilson to accept that he has told lies and to man up and apologise. It did not work. Mr Wilson has simply gone to ground - as to be expected.

    To shout is to use CAPITAL LETTERS Ian ... I am not shouting.

    Posted by Geoffrey Swan  on  22/02/18  at  10:20 PM
  15. Ian #13 ... please do not make the mistake of believing that this building was unloved and unwanted, that it could not be saved or that the motives for removing it were simple.
    Council were desperate to pull this building down despite reasoned arguments and heartfelt protests for it to be saved.
    Mike Wilson’s lists barely begin to tell the story.
    The community believed that it was protected and that it would be retained.
    It had no idea that it would become a asbestos dump site and a place for hooning drivers.
    Sadly, these are issues that a new Council still needs to resolve to try to clean up the past legacy.

    Posted by Shane Johnson  on  22/02/18  at  10:29 PM

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