21 July 2016

Sustainable House Day - 11 September

Sustainable House Day will be on September 11 this year. There are six houses in southern Tas open for visits this year.

Wouldn't it be great to have one in West Hobart!?  If you're proud of your green home and would like to share your experience and knowledge by opening it to the public on the day, register it at the Sustainable House Day website.

12 July 2016

A Community Bank in the Foothills of Mt Wellington?

WHEN has been approached by the South Hobart Community Bank project team, asking if West Hobart would like to be included in a possible broadening of their project across the Foothills of Mt Wellington.  Below is their email. 

If any WH resident is keen to attend this workshop on 22 July obo our community and is happy to provide a report back for our blog, that would be great!  Pls go ahead and register for the workshop and drop us a line to let us know.


Over the past year, the South Hobart Community Bank® Steering Committee has been working hard to raise sufficient interest from the local community to establish a Community Bank® in South Hobart.

Community Bank® branches are making contributions to communities across Australia which go beyond simply banking.  Owned by local people and backed by Bendigo Bank, the national network of branches has contributed more than $148 million to their communities.  These funds have helped provide much-needed financial support for community groups, clubs and not-for-profit groups that are the backbone of local communities.  They have helped artists, students, sporting enthusiasts, musicians, conservationists and many others to achieve great things.

Through the process of working to set up a Community Bank® we have realised that we need to expand our reach beyond South Hobart and engage with a wider community.  

So, we are asking for your help. The South Hobart Community Bank® Steering Committee invites you, as a leader in your local community, to come along to a workshop on Friday 22 July 2016 from 2pm – 4pm to help us expand our reach and re-energise our efforts to establish a Community Bank® in the foothills of Mount Wellington.

The newly constructed Lady Gowrie Child Care Centre has kindly offered to host us for the afternoon.  We will hear from Bendigo Bank staff and from Community Bank® representatives who have successfully set up branches in their local communities.

Half of the profits from every successful Bendigo Community Bank® is returned to the local community - that’s one powerful reason to help make it happen! 

The Workshop Details are:

Friday, 22 July 2016 from 2pm – 4pm
Lady Gowrie Child Care Centre
Davey Street entrance (next to Barrecode, 269 Davey Street) in South Hobart
Afternoon tea will be available


Please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/south-hobart-community-bank-workshop-tickets-26290157569
***Please note that numbers are capped at 30.

For more information please call Jane on 0427 810 966 or Keri on 0409 793 406 or email us at: southhobartcbproject@gmail.com

We hope to see you there!
South Hobart Community Bank Project Steering Committee


30 June 2016

Gardening notes - July

Margaret writes:
Definitely winter now. I've had the annual visit of the currawongs laying waste to the remaining apples and making a great mess and noise. I do quite like them though.

Keep warm and don't forget to vote!

JULY Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Broad Beans (2nd planting) Takes a month to show x x x x
English Spinach (no punnets - direct seeding only) x x x x
Shallots/Spring Onions x x x x
Small Cabbages - punnet into ground x

Small Cabbages - direct seeding x

Mini Cauliflower "Garant" - punnet into ground x x x x
Lettuce - direct seeding x x x x



Lettuce - punnet into ground when ready x x x x

16 June 2016

Have your say - refurbishment of West Hobart Oval

The City of Hobart has prepared a draft West Hobart Oval Management Plan 2016. Some key stakeholders were consulted in the process  - local sporting clubs and Lansdowne Crescent Primary School.  The Council is now seeking general community comment on the draft plan.

We are invited to submit feedback, using the online feedback form here, or by using a printed form, or by email or in writing.  Also at the above link you can download:
- an engagement information document;
- a draft West Hobart Oval management plan; and
- a draft West Hobart Oval lighting plan.

 The period for comment lasts a month, closing on 11 July.

 The primary recommendations include:
  • upgrading the oval with improved drainage, irrigation and lighting
  • refurbishment of the change room and public toilet
  • reconstruction of the car park to address congestion, parking and pedestrian safety issues
  • improved park and wayfinding signage and trail network.

On reading the draft management plan, WHEN notes some issues which don't seem to have been given consideration, such as:
  1. The need to improve safe access from Hamilton St for bike riders, given that many users of the oval (including children) either do ride there now or would like to (or would be given permission to by their parents) if it could be made safer.  Improving this part of the overall ride from home to the park should be done while these works are being done. Council has an agreed policy to always consider bike infrastructure when road improvements are being planned.
    • So, instead of widening the access driveway to allow two car lanes, add a generous grade-separated bike path instead.
  2. Lansdowne Crescent is earmarked for a future bikepath, so a generous bike path with an easy gradient, running from the southern Lansdowne Crescent access to the northern Crescent access and through to Hamilton St, and a ramp down at the northern Lansdowne Crescent end, would improve connections for bike riders. Connections such as:  city to oval, oval to Hill St Grocer, oval to Smolt Kitchen...  It could also be used as part of Ride2School options for school students.
  3. The need to include bike parking loops as close as possible to the oval and changerooms, so that bikes are safe from theft while kids and adult players are busy on the oval. 
  4. Would this be a good location for a shared community garden of some kind?  Is anyone living near the oval interested in this idea?  How about a shared productive patch?
  5. Here's an idea for the new plantings at the north end of the oval.  How about some productive trees such as walnuts or almonds - these would: provide shade in summer; let the sun through in winter; and provide edible food for kids and local residents to forage for in autumn.
  6. Could the oval be made more accessible for community events?
Feel free to use any of these ideas in your own feedback to the Council.
Other ideas? Share them here in the comments!

29 May 2016

Gardening notes for June

Well, cooler weather has finally arrived - I found the unusually warm nights of autumn a bit disturbing; maybe I'm obsessed with climate change!

The green manure is growing well - just have to remember to dig it in before it flowers. Garlic and broad beans are up - planted the beans in the front garden. Harvesting broccoli, leeks and lettuce and of course Tuscan Kale (even the chooks are fed-up with it!). Tomorrow I'm planning to make sauerkraut with the little cabbages and other vegies. And I'm in denial about the pruning. 

Best wishes and keep warm


JUNE Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Broad Beans (2nd planting)

Sugar Snap peas (2nd planting) pregerminate then sow

Snowpea (2nd planting)

direct sow and protect from birds until 100mm high

Garlic bulbs 

x x
English Spinach (no Punnets - direct seeding only)

x x

01 May 2016

Gardening notes for May

MAY Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Sugar Snap Peas  x x x
(1st planting -pregerminate and then sow direct)

Snowpea x x x
(1st planting -pregerminate and then sow direct)

Protect from birds until 100mm high.

Garlic x x x x

Lettuce (slow) Plant out in July

x x
Cabbages  (small species) Plant out in July
x x x
Cauliflower "Garant" - Plant out in July
x x x

12 April 2016

Smart Urban Futures & Walking Conference - FREE presentation

This is a great opportunity to hear what other communities and Councils are doing to improve the liveability and walkability of their towns.   Aldermen Anna Reynolds and Damon Thomas have recently been to a couple of  fascinating conferences, and have also had a look around at what is happening on the ground in Melbourne.  For example, what are other Councils doing with local area speed limits, pedestrian crossings, roundabouts, managing traffic and parking, etc...

Don't forget to RSVP!

The City of Hobart invites you to
 A presentation of findings from the Smart Urban Futures & Walking Conference

Presented by Aldermen Damon Thomas and Anna Reynolds

Time: 12.30pm – 1.30pm
Date: Tuesday 26 April 2016
Where: Elizabeth Street Conference Room, Town Hall 55 Macquarie Street, Hobart

RSVP to Michelle Hack by Friday 22 April 2016
Phone 6238 2721 or email hackm@hobartcity.com.au

Light refreshments will be provided.

09 April 2016

Update on improving road safety in WH

Our last update was on 12 March.

What's been happening since:
  • Council have formally advised us of the outcomes of the 7 March Council decisions.
  • WHEN has submitted a nomination of the intersection of Hill Street and Arthur Street to the state Blackspot committee, for consideration of funding for traffic lights here (as recommended by the external consultants hired by Council). 
  • Other stakeholders are considering putting in similar nominations for that intersection.
  • Residents and schools reps have consulted with the Department of State Growth about the installation of an "unsupervised children’s crossing" in Hill Street, near the intersection of Warwick Street and Caldew Park.  They are supportive and advise that it is a Council decision.  So we are talking to Council again...
  • We are awaiting confirmation that Council has actioned another "quick action" part of the 7 March decision  i.e. to request State Growth to develop statewide guidelines (or "warrants") for installation of pedestrian crossings such as Zebra and Wombat (zebra with raised platform).  

04 April 2016

In the garden in April

SOW                                         Week1      Week2      Week3     Week4
Broad Beans (1st planting)         x
Garlic                                          x                x
Green manures                            x                x                 x               x


02 April 2016

Sat 9 April - 3 to 4pm - Autumn food swap and Gardening catchup

West Hobart gardeners are invited to come along to an end of summer catchup, to swap seeds, fruit and vegies, and to enjoy a cup of tea.
  • Come along to 67 Newdegate Street, at 3pm on Saturday 9 April.

  •  Have a cuppa with us

  • Meet fellow gardeners and compare gardening notes.
  • If you can, bring some surplus fruit and veg from your garden or cellar to swap or share.

Afternoon tea will be provided (and you're welcome to bring along a contribution!).  Some of us may be rediscovering flax weaving (or not).

Your hosts will be Robert, Di and Margaret, and we're looking forward to seeing you there.

27 March 2016

Community Garden Competition this Spring - get ready!

Irrepressible West Hobart resident Cynthia Archer is organising a community Spring Garden competition for West Hobart.  Prizes will be awarded at a garden party to be held on Saturday 5 November, at Lawrenny Court, 131 Hill St.

Possible awards could include:
* Best Rose Garden
* Most Colourful Spring Garden (Large)
* Most Colourful Spring Garden (Small)
* Best Tasmanian Native Garden
* Most Productive Garden (Seniors)
* Most Productive Garden (Juniors)

The competition is supported by: West Hobart Neighbourhood Watch; Southern Cross Care, and WHEN.

Cynthia is keen to receive suggestions on other possible awards and any other ideas you might have for the event.  You can call her on 62310928.

I'm going to suggest Best Shared (Street) Productive Garden.

12 March 2016

Safer streets are coming

A broad coalition of West Hobart residents and community representatives made strong  presentations to the West Hobart Residents Traffic Committee on 23 February and also to the City Infrastructure Committee (CIC) on 24 February.  The Residents Traffic Committee and the residents who made representations to the CIC strongly supported the recommendations of the recent external consultants' report (see details here).   In addition, Cate Sumner (representing the schools community) noted that installation of an "unstaffed" children's crossing could be endorsed by the Commissioner Transport in the vicinity of the train park, where the speed limit is 40 kph.

The Aldermen of the CIC were generally sympathetic to the concerns of the residents, but several  had some concerns about installing traffic lights at the proposed locations.  The CIC's recommendation to the full Council was (in a nutshell) to accept the recommendations made by Council staff and to bring forward the proposed extra median lanes and improvements to existing crossing points along Hill St to the next financial year, and also to progress the installation of the children's crossing near the train park.

Example of a more pedestrian-oriented crossing.
 These recommendations went to the full Council last Monday 7 March for further discussion and a decision.  Alderman Anna Reynolds strongly advocated for the installation of traffic lights at the corner of Hill and Arthur Streets in order to provide safe crossing points for our older and younger residents, and was successful in getting approval for this.

The final approved motion was as follows:



1. The recommendations of the consultant report titled West Hobart Local Area Traffic Investigation – Final Report, marked as Attachment A to item 5 of the Open City Infrastructure Committee agenda of 24 February 2016, be supported in-principle and the following actions be undertaken:

(i) A workshop be convened with stakeholders in relation to the West Hobart pedestrian environment.

(ii) The Department of State Growth be requested to establish Statewide warrants for the installation of pedestrian crossings within Tasmania.

(iii) The Council write to the Department of State Growth requesting that consideration be given to the installation of an unsupervised children’s crossing in Hill Street in the 40km/h zone near Caldew Park.

(iv) Median lanes and median islands be installed in Hill Street between Allison Street and Patrick Street and between Hamilton Street and Warwick Street, in 2016/2017 following the development of concept designs and community engagement.

 (v) A review be undertaken following the installation of the median islands and pedestrian crossings in Hill Street.

(vi) Concept design development and consultation be undertaken with directly affected residents in 2016/2017 to provide more generous pedestrian crossings in Hill Street where refuge islands are already provided.

(vii) Approach the State Government to install traffic signals at the intersection of Arthur & Hill Streets and consider submitting a Blackspot Program application in 2016 to support the installation of signals at this location.

(viii) That temporary treatments be used in the short-term to test the pedestrian crossing and median island measures (ie tactical urbanism).

2. The West Hobart Resident Traffic Committee, Lansdowne Crescent Primary School, The Friends School, Taroona High School, Lawrenny Court, businesses along Hill Street and those people who participated in the consultation conducted by MRCagney, be advised of the Council’s decision.

29 February 2016

The garden in March

Here are Greg's March planting notes - can't believe it is time to plant broad beans already!  Might wait a bit for mine. 
My tomatoes are still going; they are yummy though there are not enough to bottle. I'll buy some local tomatoes for that - it's a point of honour for me to use my bottled local tomatoes in soups and pasta sauces over winter. The basil is going to seed so I'll save some and try growing from seed next year. 
Greg is selling yum toms for $3.50 /kg and slightly blemished ones for sauce etc for $2.50 /kg.
Contact him on email sumbodyelse@bigpond.com  or phone 62310707

And don't forget Elizabeth Lelong's wonderful seedling and plant sales every Sunday, in Petty Street, in Eve's Garden.

If Greg sells out, you can also get sauce and heirloom tomatoes from Anne-Marie Mobbs, a market gardener at Cambridge.  Contact her on  0428 444247.
Have you had a good summer in your garden?

Cynthia from Lawrenny Court is keen to organise a West Hobart Spring garden competition for some community gardening fun. She needs some help so if you would like to join a planning team, email me at the WHEN GAF address with your phone number and I will pass that on to Cynthia.

Best wishes

MARCH Week 1 Week 2 Week 3      Week 4
Broad Beans (1st planting) x
Spinach x

20 February 2016

West Hobart Local Area Traffic Investigation (take 2)

We shared some info about the report by MRCagney in our last blog post.

As an update, the report is coming back to the Council's Infrastructure Committee this coming Wednesday 25 Feb (5.30pm, Lady Osborne Room, Town Hall).

WHEN's submission to Council in respect of the report, in summary is:

The West Hobart Environment Network represents West Hobartians who love their quiet, attractive, friendly community.  People love the quiet pace, the views, the proximity to local schools and popular corner stores, the proximity (easy walking and cycling distance) to the CBD for work and shopping.  We have celebrated West Hobart as a walking precinct in our map “Walking West Hobart’.

However the combination of a relatively high speed limit on the roads (50 kph) and the slow but steady entrenchment of a “rat-run” through the middle of the community from the northern suburbs to the CBD is starting to fray the integrity of the community, creating stress for parents of school age children and inducing fear for older and less agile residents.  

On Tuesday 16 February WHEN members made a manual count at one location on this route, to get a better sense of the nature of the problem.   This was on the south side of the roundabout at Lansdowne Cres/Hill St/Patrick St.  These are the results:

All vehicles passing
Pedestrians crossing
Morning commuter peak hour
After school period

We didn’t count the evening commuter peak (1630-1730) but would assume that it is similar to the morning commuter peak.   

For comparison, our manual one-off count on an ordinary week day is of the same order as the count quoted in the MRCagney Report and based on data provided by the Council (i.e. 1308 AM peak hour, 1335 PM peak hour).   

Our views on this are:

-         This volume and speed of traffic is totally inappropriate for a quiet residential area, where we would like to be able to encourage children to walk and cycle to school and where older residents with declining acuities need to cross the road to get to the shops and back.

-         The noise, smell and sense of tension around this fast moving stream of traffic creates an undesirable environment in a residential area.

-         Many of these trips by car could be eliminated if commuters had better options via public transport, bike paths, and if parents could safely let their children walk or ride to school on their own.

It was these issues that Steve Burgess was asked to consider and propose some solutions for.  Of the recommendations of the MR Cagney report “West Hobart Local Area Traffic Investigation”, we support:

1.       The main recommendation i.e. the installation of traffic signals at the corner of Hill and Arthur Streets, and at the corner of Lansdowne Cres, Hill St and Patrick St.  Because:

o   These will create clearly visible and attractive safe crossing points for pedestrians both old and young at two important and busy crossing points on Hill Street.

o   The resultant “platooning” effect on cars traversing Hill Street will create regular quiet traffic patches along the route so it will be easier and safer for children, parents with prams, and older citizens to pick their opportunities to cross the road.

o   Controlled traffic lights provide a safer intersection experience for cyclists, who are intimidated and squeezed off the road by faster moving vehicles at roundabouts.

o   The “subjective safety” experience for pedestrians and cyclists will be improved all the way along Hill Street.

o   The proposed lights will also improve the safety for car drivers at each of these locations, given the difficult sight lines down Arthur St at the Hill/Arthur St intersection and the propensity of drivers at the Hill/Patrick intersection to maintain high speeds through the current roundabout.

2.       The installation of improved, safer pedestrian crossings at other points along Hill Street, which create a stronger invitation for pedestrians to cross and signal more strongly to drivers that people have a right to cross at this point.  The design to be as described in the Local Retail Precincts Project report. 

3.       The development of local guidelines on the installation of Zebra and raised Zebra (or Wombat) crossings.

4.       Increased mixed use in residential areas such as West Hobart, to create local employment and more destinations for people to walk and ride to.

5.       Increased residential density in residential areas such as West Hobart, to reduce urban sprawl and make active transport (walking & cycling) and public transport more viable.

It would be great if other residents could make written submissions to the Committee members about the MRCagney report and its recommendations. If you would like to, and need any assistance, pls contact Di at whenvnet@gmail.com.  

If you would like to come to the Committee meeting and make a verbal presentation to the Committee, we strongly encourage you to do so, as these personal representations can be very powerful. You will need to seek the permission of the Chair of the Committee in advance.  Once again, contact Di for assistance with how to do this.

31 January 2016

West Hobart Local Area Traffic Investigation

Regular blog readers may remember our last update on traffic and road safety issues in West Hobart (10 November).  Council asked consultants MRCagney to investigate the issues the residents were raising and to provide a report.

The MRCagney report “West Hobart Local Area Traffic Investigation” [22 December 2015] was included in the agenda for the City Infrastructure Committee meeting of Wednesday 27 January, together with some recommendations in response from Council staff.  

You can find the agenda and print out the report (pp41-69 of the full agenda) from this link.  We strongly encourage you to take a close look at the analysis and recommendations of these Melbourne-based urban planning and transport consultants.  There are some important findings and recommendations made. If you have trouble printing the report, contact us as we may have some hard copies available.

Following approaches from WH residents, the City Infrastructure Committee agreed to defer consideration of this report until the next meeting of the Committee, which will be on Wednesday 24 February.  Between then and now, they will seek to have the principal consultant involved, Steven Burgess, present and explain his findings to all Aldermen.

The report’s main recommendation aimed at making it safer for residents of all ages to cross  busy Hill St is to install traffic signals at two points:  at the Hill and Arthur St intersection, and at the Hill and Patrick St intersection (currently a roundabout). Importantly, the signals will provide inviting, formalised crossings at the signalised intersections themselves, “where current pedestrian outcomes are poor”.

In addition, establishing these two sets of signals would break up the flow of traffic into “platoons” along both major and minor roads.  Breaking up the continual flow of traffic would offer quiet periods in which pedestrians could cross Hill St more easily, especially during peak times.  The mid block crossing points could also be improved to become more attractive and feel a lot safer than the current “pedestrian refuge” crossing points.

Installation of the traffic signals would also create a safer environment for cyclists in West Hobart.

The consultants provided guidelines used in Victoria and Queensland for installation of zebra crossings.  Interestingly, the report identifies that there are intersections along Hill St that approach the pedestrian demand levels required for a zebra crossing at peak periods (MRCagney Report 3.3.2). This issue deserves greater consideration as an interim solution during peak hour traffic.

Strangely, the consultants do not appear to agree with the residents’ view that West Hobart is a residential area and should not have a connector route running through it and a general speed limit of 50kph. Given that Council has undertaken to look at reducing speed limits in residential communities across Hobart, in line with regular practice in communities in Melbourne for example, this advice should cause some concern.  

It is also of concern that the report does not agree with the Council’s decision to reduce speed limits in the vicinity of Caldew Park.   We are a little alarmed that this decision may be reviewed and retracted.

Another disappointment was the failure to support the inclusion of a bikelane around the relatively level transit line through Cavell/Hill/Lansdowne/Hill Streets.  Similarly, there is no advice that improvements to the pedestrian crossing points should not be to the detriment of bike riders by forcing them into pinch points with the faster moving traffic.

If you have some concerns when you read this report, please share them as comments here or be prepared to contact your Aldermen to make representations.  You can also get in touch with WHEN via whenvnet@gmail.com.