In early 2016 Mr Kim Peart and Dr Jennifer Bolton applied for the Ross Bridge to be included on the National Heritage list.
They thought it would be a shoe-in.
They were dead wrong.
At this year’s Ross Bridge Festival, participants are being invited to consider the value of the Ross Bridge to Tasmania, to the tourist industry, and to Australia’s heritage.
If the people of Tasmania would like to see the Ross Bridge promoted to the National Heritage list, then they will need to beat the drum to make this happen.
Our politicians need to hear heritage rhythm.
Does the Northern Midlands Council need to pull their sox up when it comes to the heritage of Ross?
Instead of funding a heritage consultant to lodge the application in Canberra, the Northern Midlands Council claimed to be broke, then paid out money for a heritage consultant to prepare a report on a new town park in Ross, which has absolutely nothing to do with the history and tourism of this heritage town.
What should come first, a photo opportunity with a new town park, or caring for the heritage of Ross?
Ross needs a public car park, and the land purchased for a new town park would be ideal for this use.
This would also serve the business needs in Ross.
Thousands of people are attracted to Ross at present, but sometimes there is no place to park, especially for tourist coaches.
As part of this battle for the Ross Bridge, we call on the Council to allow the old Ross Clinic to be used as a battle HQ in the fight for National Heritage listing, and every Northern Midlands councillor needs to be on the front line of this battle.
The Council can also do a lot more to develop the extensive public lands north and south of the Ross Bridge, along the Macquarie River, shown on the map below.
People love to be by the water, and here is the parkland and walking trails for Ross, which people will love more.
Success with National Heritage listing of the Ross Bridge will open the gates for significant grant funding, only available with National Heritage listing.
We also call on the Council to engage a heritage consultant to investigate the Convict Garden, to the south of the Ross Bridge, to determine whether this site should be included on the Tasmanian Heritage Register.
The Convict Garden once provided food for the Convict Female factory in Ross, covers about 6 acres, and is surrounded by the remains of a stone wall.
We wonder if a new National Heritage list application can include all the convict sites in Ross, including the Old Military Burial Ground, where convicts are buried.
If a new National Heritage list application in Ross is to include the Convict Garden, then this will need to go onto the Tasmanian Heritage register first.
It is clear to us now that a heritage consultant must be engaged in preparing any application for the National Heritage list.
It would also help to have the support of all Tasmanian politicians to lift the bridge over the line.
It would also help greatly if the Northern Midlands Council could work out exactly how they feel about the unique heritage of Ross.
At present we find the actions of the Council to be confused and puzzling.
10am ~ Meet at the Ross Bridge, admire the stone edifice crossing the Macquarie River, then come for a walk around the old Convict Garden. Should this historic place be granted Tasmanian Heritage listing? ~ Wear strong shoes.
1pm ~ In the Ross Town Hall
Report on the National Heritage list application by Dr Jennifer Bolton.
Consideration of a second application for National Heritage listing.
Who would like to help make this happen? ~ It is a very political process.
Request for the use of the old Ross Clinic as an HQ for the Ross Bridge battle.
Mr Kim Peart will share some of the amazing stories of the Ross Bridge.
Do you have a story to share?
Does anyone have any old photos of the Ross Bridge?
Any photos of the old viaduct?
*Kim Peart lives in Ross