01 August 2018

In the Garden - August 2018

Here's Margaret's gardening update for the month, as insightful and encouraging as ever (thankyou!).

Dear gardening friends

The oxalis, sticky weed and forget-me-nots are making their annual comeback, the asparagus is up (late July is a record earliness for my garden) and the tomato seeds are hopefully quietly germinating in my sun-space.  The currawongs have visited to clean out the last apples on the trees. I'm eating my way through the many bottles of plums from the bumper summer '18 crop with the expectation that the coming summer will be a a much more sparse one. The chooks are one by one coming back into laying. The days are visibly lengthening. And there have been 3 planets in the night sky easy to see.

I love the seasons. But my email today had a stark reminder of how out of kilter we are on a global scale:

I reckon our gardens are one of the simplest and best ways of restoring the balance.
Here are Greg's Planting Notes for August. Lots of potential here!
AUGUST Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Parsnip - keep damp 3 weeks plus to germinate

x x
Carrot - keep damp for 3 weeks,  start picking mid Dec x x x x
Radish x x x x
Beetroot - not too many as often goes to seed Nov/Dec x x x x
Shallots/Spring onions x x x x
Celeriac - keep damp 3 weeks plus for Autum/Winter x x x x
Mini Cauliflower "Garant" - punnet into ground x x

Lettuce - direct seeding and punnet into ground x x x x
Sugar Snap Pea and Snow Pea - 3rd planting.  x

pregerminate then sow direct. Protect from birds to 100mm


Tomatoes - for greenhouse only x x x
Celeriac - keep damp 3 weeks plus x x

Capsicum - for greenhouse planting only
x x
Lettuce x x x x

09 July 2018

Next meeting of WeHo Residents' Traffic Committee

All interested residents are invited to come to these regular (but infrequent) Residents' Traffic Committee meetings.  Organised by the Council, they are opportunities to hear what is planned for the neighbourhood by way of improvements for pedestrians, bike riders and drivers. And you can raise any issues of concern with the Council's traffic engineers or with the Aldermen who attend.

Here are the details of the next meeting:

Meeting to be held on Wednesday 15 August 2018 from 5.30pm at the Lansdowne Crescent Primary School Library - Gourlay Street, West Hobart
Aldermanic Representatives:
Alderman Thomas
Alderman Briscoe 
Alderman Reynolds
Agenda Items
1. Welcome
2. Apologies:
3. Confirmation of Previous Meeting Notes
4. Business Arising
4.1 West Hobart Local Area Traffic Plan
4.2 Transport Strategy 4.3 Local Retail Precinct Plan
4.4 Community Engagement
5. Permanent Items
5.1 Potholes – please report any potholes to 6238 2836
6. New Business
7. Date of Next Meeting: TBA

27 June 2018

A lot happening in West Hobart atm

ICYMI, in the excitement of Dark MOFO, our next big event is the Love Our Streets street party. With help from the Community Development folk at the City of Hobart, a very varied and enthusiastic local group has been meeting at Smolt Kitchen Wednesday evenings to organise a winter street party, this Saturday 30 June. Do come along and be part of it!

Greg Summers (of the monthly garden notes) will be there promoting veggie gardening.  E-bike enthusiasts from WHEN will  answer all your questions about how e-bikes and how useful they are for flattening the hills. We'll be giving away the last of our Walking West Hobart maps. 
Elizabeth Lelong of Eve's Garden will have some plants for sale. 
There will be a children's play space, music, food, book and clothing exchanges and general neighbourliness.

This Saturday, 1 - 4 pm, corner of Hill and Pine Streets, between the pharmacy and the cafe. Bring some surplus seeds or produce to share, or just come! 

You may be concerned about the proposal to build a multi-storey hotel at 234-250 Elizabeth St in North Hobart. It will dramatically change the skyline and ambience of that precinct. If you want to make a submission opposing the development application go to this site Click here to have your say!

At its proposed 50 metres, it is more than five times the height of surrounding buildings.
The permitted height in this part of the Central Business Zone (Hobart Interim Scheme 2015) is 11.5 metres (which equates to about 5 stories)!
The planning scheme requires that buildings in this area should be sensitive to the transition between the CBD and surrounding zones.
These two towers would set a dangerous precedent if built, encouraging tall buildings outside the CBD proper where they are currently concentrated. It would transform one of Hobart's heritage streets into the beginnings of a Gold Coast boulevard.

Is this the future you want for Hobart? Make a submission to the Hobart City Council now and help save Hobart from these ugly towers!


Here's another campaign item.  
We've been contacted by CEDAMIA (Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation in Action).

They think Tasmania could well be the first Australian state to ban all NEW fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure projects.  We really don't need any!  Recently Tasmania's electricity grid has been meeting demand with 100% renewable electricity, so we are already leading the way. Even if some gas-fired generation is occasionally needed, there is certainly no need for NEW fossil fuel projects in Tassie. Banning new fossil fuel projects would be a relatively easy thing for Tasmania to do and it would set a wonderful example for other states and territories to emulate.

You might like to take a look at CEDAMIA's website and perhaps promote their Tas No More Bad Investments (NMBI) petition in some way. 


And here are Greg's planting notes for July. Wow! Margaret reports that she has already had daffodils in flower for several weeks. Very cheery but a bit early!

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


18 June 2018

Love our streets West Hobart - Street Party! - Sat 30 June

Come along to a celebration of living in West Hobart.  Meet old and new friends and neighbours!  See who's doing what, and join in!

Fun activities for all to enjoy include:  a kids' area (designed by local kids), gardening stalls, book & music exchange, yummy food, clothing swap, e-bike show and tell, plus a busking & performing stage. 

There will be stalls and activities presented by us (WHEN), Lansdowne Crescent School, the Council's Love Our Streets West Hobart team, and others.  

We'll be hosting a Gardening stall - bring any surplus plants or seed to share.  

We'll also be hosting an E-bikes Show and Tell  - have you been thinking about getting an e-bike to conquer West Hobart's hills?  Talk to people who do it and love it, to find out how.  If you already ride an e- bike, do bring it along and swap tales.

For updates follow the Facebook group 'Love our Streets West Hobart' or check out www.hobartcity.com.au/westhobartevent.


18 March 2018

Residents' Traffic Committee - next mtg Tuesday 20 March

If you are interested in what is happening with transport and traffic in our community, you might like to pop along to a meeting of the local Residents' Traffic Committee.  These are convened every few months by the City Council.  A couple of staff come along to provide info on what is happening on the roads, and a couple of Aldermen usually attend as well.  There is always room for more residents!

Here are the minutes of the last meeting.

Here is the agenda for the next meeting:



Tuesday 20 March 2018
5.30pm at the Library, Lansdowne Primary School, Gourlay Street, West Hobart

Aldermanic Representatives:
Alderman Thomas
Alderman Briscoe
Alderman Reynolds

Agenda Items:

1. Welcome
2. Apologies
3. Confirmation of Previous Meeting Notes
4. Business Arising
    4.1 West Hobart Local Area Traffic Plan
    4.2 Hill Street and Arthur Street Intersection
    4.3 Transport Strategy
    4.4 Local Retail Precinct Plan
    4.5 Parking at Lawrenny Court
5. Permanent Items
    5.1 Illumination of footpaths
    5.2 Potholes – please report any potholes to 6238 2836
6. New Business
7. Date of Next Meeting: TBA

08 March 2018

Hill Street improvements are on their way!

Some of us were starting to wonder what was happening with the Hill Street Improvements project. 

[If you came in late, you can see the history of this issue if you click on the red Transport Choices link at the top of this page - you will then see all the posts on this page that have to do with our Transport campaigns].

In the latest City News, the paper newsletter that goes to all residences in the City of Hobart, I spotted this welcome little item:

Yay!!!   It seems that the works will begin in April.  Of course, if the working teams required for this job are tied up on the Mellifont St improvements at the moment, there might be a delay...

Speaking of which, isn't it lovely not having all that rat run traffic streaming along Hill Street for a while?!  It's a lot more comfortable walking and riding around West Hobart at the moment (like it should be).


24 February 2018

Love our Streets West Hobart - community meeting

Many of us have heard about the Love our Streets West Hobart community project. This is a Council project aimed at fostering creative activities in our community in order to to enhance walkability and bring the streetscape to life with colour and fun.

Community members have suggested ideas via https://yoursay.hobartcity.com.au/westhobartconnect?tool=news_feed or have sent the coordinator, Amanda Midgeley an email.

Some of the ideas have included: a street party, more decoration of fences, urban art walls, seating, history conversations, intergenerational art project, project with the school, street market and more!

Amanda is now inviting us to a community meeting so we can hear more about these ideas and look at how as a community we can make them happen!   There are two sessions available, so that as many people as possible can fit it into their schedules.

Activities will be provided for children, and they are also welcome to join the conversation.
Please invite your neighbours!

Thursday 1st March

4pm – 5pm  and   6pm - 7pm 

Lawrenny Court meeting room, 131 Hill St, West Hobart.

17 February 2018

URGENT: Support the Wombat crossing in Hill Street, please!

Residents may recall that our City Council undertook to implement improvements on Hill Street in this current financial year.  These improvements were listed on this previous blog post.

As part of this implementation, Council has now advertised the trial Wombat crossing, on the north side of the Pine Street roundabout (from the pharmacy towards the school), for any public comment.  This is the advert (and apologies for the very late notice on this):

As you can see, responses are due in by Monday 19 February.  My understanding is that this means by close of business on that date, but this may be wrong (can anyone confirm this?).  Anyhow, best to get your response in ASAP.

Responses can be emailed to coh@hobartcity.com.au, marked to the attention of the Manager Traffic Engineering.  You could provide a copy to the General Manager, Nick Heath, to make certain of your message getting through:  heathn@hobartcity.com.au

Here are some thoughts you could use in your response:

I fully support the installation of a Wombat crossing (i.e. a pedestrian zebra crossing with a road hump) in the vicinity of 111 Hill Street, West Hobart.

This Wombat crossing, in association with the other changes being made at the same time which will moderate traffic flow along Hill Street, will assist in the slowing down of traffic on this busy street and will support the eventual introduction of a 40 km per hr speed limit in this residential area.  It will give legal priority to pedestrians crossing the street here, and this will help children and older residents to cross.  This improvement, with the other changes included in this package, is long overdue.

On 5 August 2015, the (listed below) 13 businesses, 6 schools and Lawrenny Court and Hamilton Place Residential Facilities for the Elderly located along Hill St and Lansdowne Crescent sent letters to the Hobart City Council on this issue

They requested that “the Hobart City Council consider the most appropriate placement of non-signalised crossings that allow for right of way to pedestrians along Hill St in the context of providing the necessary traffic infrastructure to implement the new 40 km/h zone.”

 On 18 November 2016 a community workshop held at Lansdowne Crescent PS- "Walk This Way" - highlighted some good ideas on how to make West Hobart more walkable.  Residents and schools reps at the workshop also came away convinced by the additional data and examples presented that the Council's plans for Hill Street should include:
  1. zebra crossings (which give pedestrians a legal priority under our current Road Rules)
  2. located at the two intersections at either end of Lansdowne Crescent
  3. and preferably on raised tables for additional protection.
Members of the Hobart City Council City Infrastructure team joined the West Hobart community and Lansdowne Crescent Primary School parents and friends in a count of students crossing Hill St on 16 March 2017.   These numbers of vehicles and pedestrians more than satisfy the minimum requirement accepted by the Department of State Growth for installation of a proper Pedestrian Crossing (i.e. zebra crossing).

It is wonderful to see that the raised traffic crossing is now happening, and I urge Council to install it as soon as possible to assist students crossing to school.

The local businesses and stakeholder signatories to the 2015 letter to Council:

1.               Hill St Grocer
2.               Hill St Gourmet Meats
3.              West Hobart Amcal Pharmacy
4.               Melt Café 
5.               Staley & Son Framers
6.               Christians Automotive
7.               Island Tyres
8.              Verde Karen Wagner Design
9.               Hill St Express/ West Hobart Post Office
10.            Marquis Hotel/ West Hobart Fine Wines
11.            Paesano Pizza
12.            Lansdowne Café 
13.           Lansdowne Physiotherapy
14.            Lansdowne Crescent  Primary School
15.            Taroona High School
16.            The Friends’ School
17.            St Virgils College Junior School
18.           Guildford Young College
19.            St Mary’s College
20.            Lawrenny Court and Hamilton Place Residential Facilities for the Elderly

13 February 2018

City Deal Transport Forum - this Thursday - 6pm, Town Hall


There are more details of the forum here.  The focus of this forum, with lots of expert advice from professionals in the areas of urban development and transport planning, will be on the northern suburbs transit corridor project and the housing development opportunities it will present
But of course if this takes off, there will be benefits for all, including West Hobart - we can expect some of the northern suburbs "through traffic" to switch to an efficient rapid transit option.

Do come along to the forum and hear the latest on the proposal.  Just ring up and book your seat/s:

09 January 2018

Cat Tracker

This information was received via Iona Mitchell, whose contact details are below.

The University of South Australia is running an innovative ‘Cat Tracker’ project Australia-wide.  The project tracks the movement of pet cats and interviews their owners.  The aim is to learn about the roaming behaviours of pet cats and to help cat owners make decisions about their cat’s care and welfare.  Even if you are not a cat owner, you can still fill out the survey to provide your views on cat ownership, part of this project's objectives are to find out more about social attitudes to cat ownership and cat management.

A light-weight GPS tracker (like the one in the attached photo) is placed on a cat’s collar or harness, and its movement over a 24 hour period is recorded.  The information is downloaded and displayed on a map - to show you exactly where your cat roams!  This enables you to check on your cat’s safety e.g. is it spending time near roads; identify its favourite sleeping, hiding and roaming places; and find out if it is entering other people’s homes to be fed!  Kids also love to learn where their furry-friends like to spend time.

The great news is that ‘Cat Tracker’ is coming to Tassie in early 2018 and the project is looking for cat owners to interview and cats to track.   Have a look at the Cat Tracker website http://j.mp/Cat-Tracker and to get started - you can fill in the cat owner survey.  You can fill out the survey even if you do not own a cat.  Pass this email on to anyone you think may be interested in participating.

If you are interested in finding out more about the project please contact the project team at the University of South Australia: discoverycircle@unisa.edu.au or (08) 8302 9999.

Here are some interesting findings from the South Australian project which tracked over 400 cats and interviewed more than 3000 cat owners:
  • Of the 428 cats that were each tracked for at least five days, the distance they roamed ranged from about 0.1 to 31 hectares, with a median of 1 hectare (approximately 10 average 1/4 acre residential blocks).
  • Male cats and non-desexed cats roamed the furthest, and 88% of the cats tracked had larger home-ranges at night.
  • They compared sedentary cats (roamed < 1 hectare) and wandering cats (roamed > 1 hectare). Wandering cats crossed more roads each day, showed more signs of being in fights and were more often seen with prey. Wandering cats were also typically younger and had less stimulation (e.g. toys, scratching posts, opportunity for play) provided by their owners.
  • 177 cats that were described by their owners as being kept inside overnight were tracked, and it was found that 39% of them roamed over 1 hectare at night.
  • Most respondents reported that cats roam in their neighbourhoods and 40% thought that these cats were a nuisance. The major concern was fighting with, or scaring their pets. 
  • The study compared the personalities of indoor and outdoor cats and found their personalities to be very similar, suggesting that there is no negative impact on a cat’s personality when it is kept indoors. 
  • The report gives interesting advice about cats with different personalities, for example, a ‘skittish’ cat may benefit from having hiding spots at home or an ‘outgoing’ cat (curious & active) may benefit from additional toys and play time. 

Iona Mitchell

Tasmanian Land for Wildlife Coordinator
Gardens for Wildlife Coordinator
Coordinator Community Engagement (Biodiversity)
Private Land Conservation Program
Natural and Cultural Heritage Division
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, 7001
Ph: 03 6165 4409
Mb: 0418545970

04 December 2017

Gardening notes - December

December planting notes

Sorry these are a little late, but then again we've lost a few days to incessant rain!

DECEMBER Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Silverbeet - punnet, pot to ground, or direct seeding x x x x
Brussel Sprouts - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding x x x
Kale - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding
x x x
Cabbage - punnet, pot to ground or direct seeding
x x x
Brocolli - for March
x x
Swedes x x x x
Shallots/Spring Onions x x x x
Lettuce x x x x
Kohlrai x x x x
French Bush Beans x x x x
Climbing Beans - Last chance as on the limit. x

x x x
Sweetcorn - last chance as on the limit. x


Lettuce x x x x
Brocolli - punnets or pots for winter
x x
Cabbage - punnets or pots for winter
x x
Cauliflower - punnets or pots for winter
x x

01 December 2017

Hobart's Climate Change Strategy Review


Climate Change Strategy Review

The City of Hobart is undertaking a review of its Climate Change Strategy and welcomes your input on how the City can work with the community towards a low carbon future and respond to climate change impacts. 
Please read the two background papers: Managing Hobart’s Carbon Footprint and Responding to Climate Change and complete the online survey before 5 March 2018 to have your say. The City will also host two community forums in mid-February 2018, we hope you can participate, RSVP here