Candidate reveals grand ideas for Devonport

Advocate, p.4 – 26 Sept 2014

FIRST-TIME Devonport mayoral candidate Kyron Howell says he has an “unshakeable belief” in the future of Devonport. He said he was presenting himself for election as what he called a “new and true” breed of politician.
“I wish to serve my community with my only goal being the betterment of my city for all of its citizens,” Mr Howell said. He is standing as an alderman and mayor in the October poll.
Mr Howell, a musician and Japan expert, ran at the state election as a Liberal candidate.
Yesterday he quoted a former Labor prime minister on leadership. “Paul Keating noted that: ‘the job of the leader is to nourish the government with ideas. You run the debate, you set the framework and push on’,” Mr Howell said.
“Times are tough right now because our leaders have let us down; they have not planned well for the future and they haven’t been able to provide the essential framework that leads to growth in the key areas of employment and education.
“I have an extensive list of ideas to make our city the cultural gateway to Tasmania that it deserves to be; a business incubator project, a fully fledged university campus [in Devonport], a grand statement in place of the shoebox design currently proposed for the Living City project, incorporating a five star hotel-casino and world-class art gallery and museum, a ‘virtual retail environment’ to lead the world in new and innovative ways to shop.”
Mr Howell said the Don River Railway should be extended initially to Roundhouse Park.
He said the “artists walk” presented in the Living City master plan was “non-functional, ugly and expensive”.
“Rather than making a ‘loop to nowhere’ the first thing that catches the eyes of visitors to our city, the building behind it should be the shining gem that says: ‘welcome to Devonport, the city that has one eye on its heritage and the other firmly locked on the future’.”
Mr Howell said the Harris Scarfe site had amazing potential and should not be held back by what he said was the “unimaginative and generic designs on offer”.
Mr Howell would like to see Tiagarra relocated and Devonport Jazz reinvigorated by adding a “jazz train” to the event, running the steam trains between Burnie and Devonport, ferrying patrons to venues with food and live music on board.
Mr Howell said by installing sculptures along Victoria Parade to the Bluff, Devonport could hold an event like “Sculptures by the Sea” in Sydney as a drawcard.
Mr Howell said Devonport could present an international artist exchange and residency program culminating in a large event, with artists visiting.