Consultants’ reports cost a small fortune

Advocate p.14, 29 April 2015

THE money Devonport ratepayers have forked out over the years for consultants and reports that have gathered dust is a lot more than small change.
It could have built and maintained another bronze statue somewhere or gone to a good use, such as to pay for what’s needed to reopen Tiagarra Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum.
Perennially the consultants looked at how to revive the fragmented city and create more drawcards to bring people to Devonport.
How to get passengers disembarking from the Spirit of Tasmania to stay rather than head straight to Launceston and Hobart.
To the Devonport City Council’s great credit it has stopped the rot by adopting the Living City Master Plan.
Meaningful work has gone into the Living City Master Plan that will chart the way forward for Devonport. The job-creating project deserves to receive the federal and state funding that it requires.
The Living City plan will correct old wrongs such as fixing the fragmentation of retail areas.
It promotes inner-city housing and acknowledges that it’s people enjoying riverside activities and those things that will support an enviable lifestyle that will revive the city’s heart.
Mainly it focuses on the Mersey River as Devonport’s best asset.
A new idea to create a nightly light and sound show on the Mersey has a lot of merit and should be pursued.
As the new gets ushered in there are also the things that are critical to the Devonport story that should be protected.
Gems like the historic Torquay ferry which used to shuttle passengers from the Eastern side to the Western side for about 160 years until recently.
No new water taxi that is faster or any number of buses can replace the old ferry and how dear it is to Devonport’s heart. It should never have been taken off the river and we live in high hope it returns soon.
The popular Harbourside Cafe that opened a few months ago inside an empty piece of waterside history is a good example of what can be achieved without reinventing the wheel.
The newest good idea deserves hearty congratulations to members of the Rotary Club of Devonport North for the visionary plan to build a Mersey Bluff Sea Walk.   (NOT ! website author’s note ! )
On Monday it received the council’s unanimous support to progress to a feasibility study and the club has spoken to the state government about funds for the study.
It is infrastructure done well that can boost tourism and enhance the lifestyle of locals.
Meantime, even with an understanding of how it has happened it still remains a shame that this city has allowed a tourism and cultural jewel like Tiagarra to remain closed for more than two years.
The recent education forum in Burnie raised the issue of Tasmania’s Aboriginal history and how it is of immense untapped value to the state.
This Devonport resident not long ago was at Tiagarra site at the Bluff and saw tourists that were disappointed it was closed. Others viewed landmarks outside and craved to see and know more.

Regarding the Bluff sea walk, the Rotary Club has had an initial meeting with the Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation about the history of the area.
If the sea walk is taken to project ready stage there are often funding opportunities that tend to come up around election time. The service club used the case study of the Magnetic Island Walkway in North Queensland.
It was built after the community campaigned for federal funds.