Collaboration helps create connections

THE Tasmanian Early Years’ Foundation (TEYF), in conjunction with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s (TMAG) AccessArt educators, recently launched Creative Connections in the Early Years (Creative Connections).

Creative Connections is a 12-month project, funded through the Myer Foundation and the TEYF, which will investigate opportunities to increase creative and arts experiences for children in the first six years of life.

Creative Connections TEYF project consultant Leigh Tesch, three-year-old Claudia Todd, TMAG art educator Rosie McKeand and Jemma Voss, also three, engage in drawing.
Creative Connections TEYF project consultant Leigh Tesch, three-year-old Claudia Todd, TMAG art educator Rosie McKeand and Jemma Voss, also three, engage in drawing.

Continue reading “Collaboration helps create connections”

Rates law far from perfect

BRIGHTON Council says the State Government-proposed local government legislation, promised to clear up any questions surrounding Brighton’s fair rating system is workable but far from perfect.

The proposed legislation lacks flexibility. It would only allow councils to set one minimum rate and restrict this to only 35 percent of total properties in a municipality. As well the legislation clearly states that rates are a form of taxation and the value of a ratepayer’s land is the key indicator of capacity to pay, so relying on the outdated Assessed Annual Value (AAV) system. The Government’s legislation is based on the questionable Access Economics findings. Continue reading “Rates law far from perfect”

Doors open for Pontville detention centre

THE first stage of the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre is ready for use to cater for up to 400 clients. The first clients arrived earlier this month.

The clients, all single adult men, are being accommodated in the former Brighton army huts that originally were located on the site.

The huts have been refurbished to provide dormitory-style accommodation with each one sleeping up to 20 people.

Inside one of the accommodation buildings at the Pontville immigration detention centre.
Inside one of the accommodation buildings at the Pontville immigration detention centre.

Continue reading “Doors open for Pontville detention centre”

Retention rates lift is target

THE new Jordan River Learning Federation, with construction almost complete and students already settling into the $40 million campus environment, is targeting a dramatic lift in the retention rate of its senior students.

Currently only 15 per cent of students in Brighton municipality attain Year 12 level or embark on a sustainable career path – well below the national average of 80 per cent and the State average of 70 per cent.  The gap will begin to dramatically close next year with the Federation offering Year 12 studies on its senior school campus, built on the site of the old Bridgewater High destroyed by fire in 2007. Continue reading “Retention rates lift is target”

Community kept informed as detention centre progresses

CONSTRUCTION work on the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre began at the end of June and is progressing well.

Several local businesses have won tenders to supply goods and services for the site, including Park Homes which is providing transportable buildings to be used for accommodation, administration and recreation at the centre. Continue reading “Community kept informed as detention centre progresses”

Learning the value of reconciliation

By STEFANIA CEFOLA

STUDENTS from the Gagebrook, Herdsmans Cove, East Derwent, Middle and Senior school campuses of the Jordan River Learning Federation, together with The Smith Family and friends and families within the community, joined to celebrate the recent Reconciliation Week. The reflective week marked the launch of The Smith Family’s Reconciliation Action Plan held at the Brighton Civic Centre in Bridgewater.

Students from the Young Persons in Action Group who assisted in the celebrations by conducting the important flag-raising ceremony.
Students from the Young Persons in Action Group who assisted in the celebrations by conducting the important flag-raising ceremony.

Continue reading “Learning the value of reconciliation”

Highway answer to bridge?

BRIGHTON Mayor Tony Foster says the development of a four-lane East Derwent Highway should be investigated as an immediate alternative to the replacement of the Bridgewater Bridge.

Cr Foster said duplicating the East Derwent Highway from East Risdon to Bridgewater was feasible, less costly and would take the pressure off the Bridgewater crossing so the best possible bridge option could be developed some time in the future. Continue reading “Highway answer to bridge?”

Technology alliance a boost for Microwise

A BUSINESS alliance between Tasmanian information technology firms Microwise Australia Pty Ltd and Point Duty Pty Ltd has been established to market and develop Tasmanian software solutions and ITC services throughout Australia and overseas.

From left, Tony Foster, Greg Davoren (Microwise) and Stan Kaine (Point Duty).
From left, Tony Foster, Greg Davoren (Microwise) and Stan Kaine (Point Duty).

Continue reading “Technology alliance a boost for Microwise”

State pledge on our rates system

THE State Government has promised to legislate before the end of this year to confirm its support for Brighton’s fair rating system.

This follows a major lobbying effort by Mayor Tony Foster and the Council to protect Brighton’s system that has provided rate stability for the community and ensured that rate increases are kept at or below the rate of inflation.

The Government had introduced amendments to the Local Government Act that could have undermined Brighton’s rating system. It was unclear under the legislation, if Brighton’s system based on a flat residential rate, with a differential based on capacity to pay, would be allowed to continue.

However, after strenuous representations lead by Mayor Foster, the Government has provided verbal assurances that it supports the approach taken by the Brighton Council to rating and its outcomes. It has undertaken to legislate before the end of 2011 to clear up any uncertainty.

Cr Foster said the outcome was a victory for common sense and it would ensure that Brighton’s fair rating system was placed on a firm legislative footing.

“Brighton Council has been employing its fair rating methodology for the past five years, having first introduced it in the 2007-2008 financial year,” he said.

“We have, in fact, maintained annual rate increases at, or below, the rate of inflation for the past 15 years, an achievement no other Tasmanian council can boast, with a differential for the Bridgewater, Gagebrook and Herdsman Cove suburbs, in recognition of capacity to pay.

“Our rates for 2011-12 will increase by just 2.9 percent, at a time when other municipalities are imposing increases up to three times this. Brighton’s rate increase represents $20 a year or 40 cents a week for a residential property.

“Our fair rating system enjoys the overwhelming support of Brighton ratepayers and having now maintained this system for some five years, we are determined to continue it into the future.”

Cr Foster said despite Brighton’s representation, the Local Government Act amendments passed the House of Assembly with the Labor Government and Greens combining to defeat a Liberal amendment introduced by Lyons Member Rene Hidding that would have confirmed the Brighton fair rating system.

When the Brighton amendment was introduced in the Legislative Council and strongly supported by Liberal Vanessa Goodwin and Independents Ruth Forrest and Jim Wilkinson, the Government was forced to concede that it needed to bring in new legislation to clear up any concerns.

The Leader for the Government in the Legislative Council, Doug Parkinson provided a commitment to address Brighton Council’s concerns.

Mr Parkinson said the Government supported the outcomes of Brighton’ rating policies for its community.

“We want to make sure that it is placed on a firm legislative foundation. The current amendment does not do that, but the bill we bring back before the end of the year will,” he said.

Cr Foster said the issue was of great importance to Brighton Council and its ratepayers.

“We will now wait on the Government to develop the promised appropriate legislative amendments to clear up any uncertainty.

“The Government’s commitment provides some comfort that it supports our rating policy and we will continue to promote what we have established is the best and fairest rating policy for Brighton.”

Cr Foster said he was sure other Tasmanian councils would look to follow Brighton’s lead once the Government enacted its legislation.

Competition brings out the best in DIY pizza

IN the Autumn edition of Brighton’s Uncle Chris mailout there were a number of featured DIY pizzas to encourage healthier eating habits in the community.

A competition seeking the best DIY pizza recipes resulted in some fantastic recipes and so Brighton Community News is reproducing these for our readers.

Kirra Youd (11), of Brighton at work on another prizewinning pizza.
Kirra Youd (11), of Brighton at work on another prizewinning pizza.

Continue reading “Competition brings out the best in DIY pizza”