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MEDIA ~ 24 September 2018

Kim Peart
running for Mayor
Northern Midlands Council

0400 856 523


Anger is a driver of action, and Mr Kim Peart is angry with the Northern Midlands Council for failures in planning that are destructive and expensive.

It is this sense of outrage that has prompted Mr Peart to run for Mayor, to shine a light on planning failures in the Northern Midlands.

In this Council election Mr Peart has a running mate, with Dr Jennifer Bolton standing for Councillor.

Mr Peart believes that Dr Bolton would make an exceptional Councillor, who has demonstrated her talent for research and planning.

When Dr Bolton addressed the Council about the need for a flood plan for the Ross Bridge, to protect the carvings, the elected Councillors responded with immediate action, now on-going, calling on the Tasmanian Government to take action ~

Heritage and Flood Plans Needed at Ross 
Dr Bolton was later featured in a follow-up story on the ABC News ~
During the Council election Mr Peart and Dr Bolton will be attending the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Bremen, Germany, 1-5 October, where they will be seeking opportunities with the global space industry for Tasmania, flying out of Hobart on Thursday afternoon, 27 September ~
Mr Peart ran in two Tasmanian elections earlier in the year, during which he developed the concept of TasSpace, which includes suggestion for a youth activity with a space focus ~
If successful in this election, Mr Peart will be seeking space industries that could set up in the industrial park by the airport, agricultural opportunities with space, and the prospect of an educational space camp being established in the Northern Midlands.
Looking ahead a year, Mr Peart has booked a booth at the next IAC in Washington, D.C. in October 2019, and hopes to see fellow Tasmanians engage in this mission to bring space to Tasmania.
COMMUNITY MEETING ~   As soon as Mr Peart returns from Europe, he will hold a community meeting, to share news of the tour from the global space industry, and discuss planning and community concerns in the Northern Midlands.
What has made Mr Peart angry enough to run for Mayor?
In 2015 the Council advertised the design of new public toilets in Ross, which were to include sandstone in the construction.
Mr Peart and Dr Bolton wrote a submission in support of the use of sandstone in a new building, in an historic heritage town like Ross.
At the night of the decision, the Councillors approved the sandstone design.
It was the General Manager who decided to switch sandstone for concrete blocks, without reference to the elected Councillors.
As representors, Mr Peart and Dr Bolton were told by the GM that they could make an appeal in the Tribunal: a hostile environment requiring planners and lawyers.
Peart and Bolton were not prepared to enter this financial black hole.


The new Public Toilets in Ross


Look closer, and the switch from sandstone to concrete blocks is very visible.


A nearby sandstone house in Ross.

Mr Peart believes that General Managers have far too much power under present arrangements, which undermine decisions of elected Councillors, and these powers need to be handed back to elected Councillors, so there can be truth in planning.
Mr Peart would like to know if there are any other instances in the Northern Midlands of the General Manager switching plans away from the decisions of the elected Councillors.
While Councillor-voted decisions can be changed by the General Manager, without reference to elected Councillors, the mandate given to elected councillors is undermined, and democracy in Tasmania is greatly weakened.
At present the Northern Midlands Council has district committees, formed under the provision for Special Committees in the Local Government Act 1993.
The special committees are not elected, and can be selected by a committee of Council officers, should there be too many applicants.
Mr Peart believes that all special committee member applicants for the towns should stand in an election, so that the members serve with a mandate from their community, and answer to their community for their decisions.
The present secretive arrangements make the Committee members more beholden to Council officers, than accountable to their local community. 
This arrangement undermines the health of democracy in Tasmania.
Mr Peart raised the prospect of bringing back an historic road name in Ross, which on old plans is called Torres Vedras Road, near the Convict Female Factory.
The General Manager informed Mr Peart that the matter would be considered by the next meeting of the Ross Local District Committee.
This did not happen.
Mr Peart was at that meeting, and raised the matter, but because it was not on the agenda, the committee would not look at it.
When contacted, the GM apologised, and assured Mr Peart that the matter would be on the agenda of the next Ross Local District Committee meeting.
Mr Peart alerted the Ross Local District Committee directly about the matter.
At the next meeting, Torres Vedras Road was again, not on the Agenda, and was not raised by the committee.
Mr Peart wonders if this suppression of democracy happens with the other special committees for the towns, with Council officers managing unelected committee members, who provide advice for Council decisions. 
A 2003 Tasmanian Government planning report on the Ross Bridge addressed the need for a car park and greater protection and improvement of the surrounding environment along the Macquarie River.
There is a considerable amount of public land around the Ross Bridge and along the Macquarie River.
The Ross Bridge is a significant attraction for Ross and the Northern Midlands, with 186 convict made stone carvings along all the arches.
Instead of improving the environmental surrounds of the Ross Bridge, and developing heritage parklands, the Council purchased other land in Ross to develop a town park, which has nothing at all to do with the heritage of Ross.
There needs to be an interpretation installation of the Ross Bridge near the Bridge, so visitors and school groups can know what they are seeing.
This year the Council applied for the Ross Bridge to be included on the National Heritage list, but the Ross Bridge has not been included on the list of places being assessed.
Mr Peart wonders if it is the lack of Council vision for the Ross Bridge, which has undermined their application.
If there is to be a future hope of National Heritage listing of the Ross Bridge, Mr Peart suggests that work needs to be undertaken by both the Northern Midlands Council, and the Tasmanian Government, in partnership, to greatly improve the environmental surrounds and interpretation of the Ross Bridge.
That will be very hard now, with around a million dollars redirected to the creation of a new and totally unnecessary town park in Ross.
Mr Peart sees the need to consider the Ross Bridge in the context of all the convict heritage in Ross, which includes a convict garden, where food was grown for the convicts at the Female Factory, and an old burial ground on the hill, where convicts were buried.
There is an Isle of the Dead on the hill in Ross.
After the old Ross School was closed in 1999, the school and oval was given to the people of Ross as a gift.
This property would have been an ideal town park, next to the Town Hall and the public toilets in Ross.
Instead of working with the Ross community to develop this community asset as a community centre, history rooms, art gallery, tennis club and community parklands, the Council totally neglected the school buildings, and sold them in 2014.
The oval was subdivided off and retained for the community.
The oval was still quite large enough for a community park.
The real and recommended need for parkland developments was around the Ross Bridge.
In 2015 the Council purchased a large area of land in Ross for a new town park, which will have a second set of public toilets in Ross.
Mr Peart sees this new development as incredibly ill judged and totally extravagant.
Ross is a significant heritage and tourist town, and needs a public car park, not a new town park ~
There is no development or business plan in existence for Ross.
As a consequence, there is no vision to guide the development of Ross.
Councillors stumble in the dark, with no vision for Ross, and no business plan to guide decisions.
Development Plans were made for five towns in the Northern Midlands in 2012, but not for Ross.
Before any further blunders are made in Ross, Mr Peart calls for a Development Plan to be made for the town.
When the Council advertised to rezone the old Ross Clinic, so the property could be leased for a business, Mr Peart made a representation calling for the public use of this public building.
Mr Peart called for the old Ross Clinic to be used for the interpretation of the art of the Ross Bridge, and appeared in a Commission hearing to assess the rezoning application. 
The Commission acknowledged Mr Peart’s points, and retained the community zoning, but allowed a commercial use.
Mr Peart could see the potential for a partnership with the Tasmanian Government, and use the old Ross Clinic as a place to present the art of the Ross Bridge, for visitors, scholars and the community.
Mr Peart could also see the potential for the building providing an art centre role in Ross, and a computer room, with VR headsets and a 3D printer.
This could happen because the Tasmanian Government own 3D digital images of all the carvings of the Ross Bridge, and the Ross Clinic would provide a place to present these images through VR headsets, which will require computers.
This would also lead to the potential of working with virtual worlds, and creating digital art in a virtual world.
This could have been an interesting youth activity, and connection for older members of the community.
Mr Peart repeatedly asked the Council to meet and discuss the fate and future of the old Ross Clinic.
The only reply that Mr Peart received from the Council, was a wall of silence.
Not even the courtesy of a reply.
The old Ross Clinic was advertised for a commercial lease.
How does democracy work in the Northern Midlands?
If elected, Mr Peart will work toward improved interpretation of the World War Two heritage in the central Midlands, which include an RAAF fuel depot near Ross, two military airfields north and south of Ross, a military hospital in Campbell Town, and army camps at Conara.
Earlier this year Mr Peart helped present this history with an exhibition and site visit of the fuel depot ~
And ~
And over at Mona Vale, where the military HQ was located ~
Mr Peart proposes a different approach to tourism in Tasmania, with a foot and cycle path running through Tasmania, which would run through Longford, and along the old convict road, now the Midlands Highway, to Campbell Town and Ross, and on to Port Arthur ~

If this foot and cycle way is created, visitors will bring more life and money to the towns along the way.
This approach to tourism could be combined with a mini coach service, connecting towns with the cities and airports, which would also benefit residents of the country towns.
If this approach works, the foot and cycle network could in time be extended to all towns in the Northern Midlands.
A new town is being created next to Evandale.
As climate change marches on, and Australia gets hotter, the Northern Midlands can expect an influx of mainland migrants seeking a cool change.
This influx could be rapid, and there needs to be a plan to be ready.
By providing services, with a foot and cycle network, followed by a mini coach service, it will be possible to direct any population influx throughout the Northern Midlands, see many old towns revived, and many new towns created.


IN 1811 Governor Lachlan Macquarie founded military posts at Brighton, Oatlands, Ross and Perth.
When Gov. Macquarie made a second tour of Van Diemen’s Land in 1821, he named Perth, Campbell Town, Ross, Oatlands, Brighton and Sorell.
If elected, Mr Peart would work toward a Tasmanian-wide remembering of the 1821 Macquarie tour, and the naming of the towns ~
Mr Peart was shocked to find that the housing crisis in Tasmania had arrived in country towns.
Mr Peart addressed a meeting of the Northern Midlands Council on this crisis, and offered ways for the Council to help fix the problem ~
Mr Peart has researched and written a number of articles exploring solutions to the crisis ~
Photo survey ~
Mr Peart concludes that the simple solution to the housing crisis, which is being driven by growth liberated of equality, with be to return to the Australian social value of a Fair Go, which could be delivered by building an inclusive economy.
This is a Federal solution to a national problem, which Councils can promote and States can push for.
If elected, Mr Peart will be seeking ways to ensure all residents in the Northern Midlands have work and a home.
There will be no housing crisis in Tasmania, when an end is drawn on the political vacuum that allows growth without responsibility.
Mr Peart will be keeping in contact with the voters in the Northern Midlands, via his FaceBook page ~
Follow reports of Mr Peart’s engagement in the International Astronautical Congress, and visit to Denmark and Norway, where he will be visiting Viking ships, and learn of the political ways of the Norse.
Voters will be able to comment and ask questions, and consider attending the community meeting, before casting their vote.
Mr Peart looks forward to the opportunity to serve the Northern Midlands community, bringing new space industries into the municipality, promoting space-based youth activities, improving the visitor experience, and raising the quality of life for all towns in the Northern Midlands.
Being surrounded by water, Tasmania should never know the impact of a drought.
By using solar power to desalinate and pump ocean water to any location in the Northern Midlands, there need never be another water shortage.
Providing water will be critical, as Australia enters dangerous years with climate change, and more people seek to move to Tasmania.
If elected Mayor, Mr Peart would seek to work with all fellow mayors to promote space opportunities in Tasmania, prepare for a climate change driven population influx, and help drought-proof the island.
Mr Peart's proposal for a foot and cycle trail to country towns, followed by a mini coach service, could in time be extended to all towns in Tasmania, which would help ease the population and traffic gridlock in the main population centres.


Mr Kim Peart ~ running for Mayor in the Northern Midlands


Dr Jennifer Bolton ~ standing for Councillor in the Northern Midlands

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