Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


The (lack) of mountain road maintenance


Our property is located at 87 Mountain Road Liffey (previously labelled as 12474 Highland Lakes Road Golden Valley).

I understand from a substantive review of Trove documents dating back to almost a century ago that Mountain Road is designated as Crown Land (reserved road).

Currently, the DPIPWE website defines a ‘reserved road’ as follows – ‘A reserved road, also known as a surveyed road, is a strip of Crown land usually 20.12 metres wide which has been retained by the Crown for future road access by private landowners to their private property. The general public does not have a right to enter upon, or use a reserved road.

They do however suggest that Forestry Tasmania has a right to use the road due State Forest precincts on either side and to the south up Mountain Road 1.

MVC also indicated that Mountain Road is not, nor likely ever to be, a Council maintained road.


In the period that we have resided on our property I have had numerous exchanges with FT re road access and related forestry issues. The last such exchange is described in this link.


During that time I have had direct input from FT employees, inter alia, Bob Gordon, Peter Rowlands, Alan Dodds, and James Shevlin as to the status of Mountain Road.

All of these interactions have been aggressive and have explicitly stated that Mountain Road is a FORESTRY ROAD full stop. Indeed Alan Dodds suggested in 2010 that I needed to get a Right of Way easement over the road to allow me access to my own property. Of course that easement would be at my cost. My solicitor did not pursue that option.

In 2011 FT commenced the proposed logging of Coupe BA388D accessed by Mountain Road and Mountain Road 1. They have since stopped and much of that coupe is now WHA.

In that process they graded Mountain Road and REMOVED all the gravel that had been placed there by the previous owners, widened the access, and destroyed adjacent trees including special species.

As a result of the gravel being removed the road has degenerated since then due substantive rainfall and stormwater runoff. Vehicular traffic has been minimal (two resident cars and limited visitors and heavy vehicles). See photos below.



In addition the extension of Mountain Road through my property to its junction with Riversdale Road is in a deplorable state. See photos below. This would be an emergency access road in the event of bushfire from the north and west and at least two tourist 2WD vehicles have been bogged trying to use it to access Liffey Falls.

In addition Google Earth and Google Maps show this is an access to Riversdale Road and thus Liffey Falls and tourists are consistently entering my property as a result. Most turn around when confronted with the road condition shown above



Messrs Gordon and Rowland INSISTED this was also a Forestry Road in verbal and email communications


By all of the above commentary it is clear that FT has responsibility for maintenance of the ENTIRETY of Mountain Road from Highland Lakes Road to Riversdale Road.

I hereby request that, due to the poor state of the access road that this activity be completed PRIOR to the start of the next fire season and I copy this message to not only FT but also to the Minister Guy Barnett and the Premier. Meander Valley Council will also be copied.

When FT is due to start this remediation I would ask that responsible officers contact me by email to ensure I might be able to undertake all due safety and precautionary measures.

John Powell was born in Rushworth Vic, in-law of Sergeant Kennedy killed by Ned Kelly at Stringybark Creek, taught by Barry Jones (Pick a Box fame) at Dandenong High School and graduate of Monash University (PhD), Nasho during Vietnam. experience in oil &gas industry including Bass Strait North West Shelf and PNG Gas plus water industry and Rosebery (love the Top Pub). Bird watcher and environmentalist. In Tassie for 8 plus years. Devils on the property …



  1. Russell

    October 9, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Disgraceful, but that’s Tasmanian forestry isn’t it? – “if I can’t have it, then either can anyone else!”

    I bet if you were a Meander Valley Councillor or Mayor it would get done – maybe a lot of other things too? 😉

  2. O'Brien

    October 9, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    The following link is a good place to start when it comes to establishing the facts of land tenure in Tassie;


    Try putting location in search box, adjust scale/zoom, then tweaking the ‘Layers’ menu on the right. Should provide the tenure. A quick map recce shows some areas of the road are FT and some are not.

    Keep in mind most other public servants will be reluctant to make any waves at all. Being an educated mainlander f’kn greenie c*@t won’t help your case either. Good luck dealing with Tassie bureaucracy. It generally takes a few years for the penny to drop. Best dispense with any notions that the public service exists to serve the public. You are nothing more than a noisy potential threat to most public servants. Also dispense with any notion the bureaucrats you’re dealing with have any qualifications or ability in their field. They’re probably more concerned with accruing travel and meal allowances for the fortnight than helping with public inquiries. With road maintenance the first though that occurs to your average bureaucrat is which brother/cousin can be awarded the contract/work. The only language they understand is greed, bullying, force and threat. Lastly, be very careful pushing our elected representatives to do their job. You may find yourself handcuffed by vicious cops and locked away on manufactured evidence, these things happen. Welcome to Tassie 🙂

  3. Simon Warriner

    October 9, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    John, I have had a couple of wins over dissonant public administration, one in somewhat similar circumstances. Several options seem available in your case, depending on details not yet known.

    Get Linz to flick me your contact details and I will share what I have learned and get the needed details.

  4. Leonard Colquhoun

    October 11, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Just as one price (aka cost) of peace is eternal vigilance, the major cost of infrastructure security is eternal maintenance.

    Just try telling that to a pollie, and see how far you get.

    Judging by the pics, the most utterly basic elements of road-building – drainage and foundations – are 99% absent.

    Wish those ‘responsible’ for these tracks could learn from the men of Legio XII Victrix and Legio XIII Gemina, both commanded by a bloke who gave his name to the German & Austrian Kaisers and the Russian Czar.

  5. MjF

    October 11, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    A very strange story.

    The first two images depict a road surface completely suitable for light residential traffic.

    Unless, of course, the landowners daily ride is a road train. In which case the road pavement would be a little underdone.

    Maybe the images aren’t actually representative ?

    Certainly wet and showing a few minor potholes but nothing a coupla loads of good quality quarry fines and a square mouthed shovel wouldn’t fix Mr Powell. If you get the opportunity and have the motivation.

    Why waste time waiting for STT to do something which they won’t ?

    Why would you expect them to upgrade an old, waterlogged, unwanted sawlogging track through the bowels of your property which would serve no purpose for them but plenty for you and even the adjacent landowner ?

    Why not construct your own connecting track across your block but to the north of the old Mountain Rd alignment on to Riversdale Rd, for the purposes of fire access ?

    I believe there’s another road reserve there jutting into your property to link up with, which would get you across the short distance of State Forest between your northern boundary and Riversdale Rd.

    How does Geoffrey Williams access his property or is he an absent owner ?

    I notice your address as property owner is listed as 500 MUNDOOLUN RD JIMBOOMBA QLD 4280.

    In which state are you enrolled to vote Mr Powell if I may ask ?

    Re tourists trying to access Liffey Falls through your land, why not erect a sign on your western boundary advising no access and that a tow out fee applies to those dumb enough to try. That should fix any problem.

  6. George Harris

    October 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    I no longer put comments on this site, but I have made a comment on my Facebook page about how this guy has brought it all upon himself…

  7. GJ

    October 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    The forestry area that this road serves is no longer available to FT for use.
    FT is not getting any subsidy money any more.
    FT has been told to stand on its own two feet financially.
    Why would they maintain a road they can no longer use?
    Sorry, but it looks like you can maintain it yourself or put up with it how it is…

  8. John Powell

    October 13, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Martin #5 tell my wife about the state of the road and see what she does to you. 1km long and as a pensioner not able to sort out the problems and as @ShTiT says it is THEIR road,and as for the northern connecting road and other access roads suggest you have a Nant ir two. As for geoffrey Willimas suspect Bronwyn Williams might have a comment. And your google comment about Jimboomba is garbage, left there in June 2009 to come to TAS
    Do you consult to the forestry industry perhaps>

  9. MjF

    October 13, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    The List displays your former Qld address in owner details and the Williams block’s registered owner is Geoffrey W.

    Not my data but the governments.

    Just trying to be helpful. My advice – hire a contractor to patch up the track.

    So who drives the family B double to the shops, you or Mrs Powell ?

    Re nant, in a bit of a mess there too hey ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top