Ms RATTRAY (McIntyre) – Mr President, I add my welcome to the CWA ladies and let the House know I attended a CWA event last week in the north-east. It was high tea to celebrate Prince Charles’ birthday, so more food. The company was excellent and it is lovely to see you here today.
This morning I intend to share with the House another exciting event that took place over the recent northern Tasmanian long weekend in the McIntyre electorate. I know some of you are most probably thinking SteamFest Tasmania or the Tasmanian Craft Fair at Deloraine. Yes, they are both exciting and longstanding annual long weekend events that yet again receive great community support through high levels of attendance. I can attest, as I was a volunteer on the main gate on the final day of the craft fair at Deloraine, that scatterings of rain did not seem to deter those who were doing the rounds of the nine venues across Deloraine showcasing a huge array of arts and crafts. As an aside, the member for Hobart’s fine lady would have been in her element at the craft fair. I hope she goes there next year.
Mr Valentine – Deloraine?
Ms RATTRAY – Deloraine.
Mr Valentine – She went there.
Ms RATTRAY – Not on Monday obviously, I did not see her.
Mr Valentine – No.
Ms RATTRAY – I am pleased she went. I know she would have been in her element, as would the member for Derwent, AKA the member for trains, who would have been at SteamFest among all those beautiful old steam trains.
Mr President, I am certain you will be interested in this experience. The next stage of the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails experience officially opened on Saturday, 3 November on the banks of the Ringarooma River, where the new suspension bridge was part of the opening. The 63-metre bridge is the access to the 15 kilometres of new track. The jewel in the crown is the Briseis hole, now with its own beach, seating and a fire pit for non-bike riders to enjoy.
Adding to the experience at Derby is the new asphalt pump track. It has been referred to as a warm-up track for serious riders. The flowing track is connected by a wave-like design with different heights for all different skill levels. The state Government has certainly been a huge supporter of the mountain bike experiences at Derby in Dorset, stumping up $800 000 for this project, which was matched by Dorset Council. At the opening, Mr Gutwein, the Treasurer, did the honours and informed those who attended that this experience would help take tourism to the next level and provide an all-year-round experience in Derby. It is well known that during the winter months the original Blue Derby tracks need to be closed during times of heavy rainfall, for the safety of riders. This new 15 kilometres of track is designed for novice riders and will potentially be more accessible for riders in all weather conditions.
Those at the opening also learned that over the coming weeks a further 20 kilometres of track will progressively be opened, ranging in difficulty from the novice to the more experienced rider, such as yourself, Mr President.
The new tracks wind around what we locals affectionately call the Derby mine hole. More recently, it has been referred to by some as Lake Derby, but it is now officially referred to as the Briseis mine hole. It will be opened up for water sports. What those water sports look like is anybody’s guess – waterskiing, jetboat races and paddleboarding. The list could be extensive. One thing I do know is that the sleepy town of Derby has certainly been given a significant makeover in many ways and is no longer a quiet place on weekends. Homes are now mostly very smart looking and well-renovated accommodation places with good real estate values to match.
Perhaps one of the downsides to this development is that it has led to the loss of people living in Derby permanently, which has been hard for some of the long-term locals to come to terms with. We can only hope that the sense of community that has always been strong in Derby remains in some way, albeit a little bit differently from what we have known.
The trail designer, Glen Jacobs of World Trail, said that the project’s completion saw an end of four years in the community and now it is time to move on to St Helens after securing the contract to build the stacked loop network.
It looks like McIntyre is going to be known as the mountain bike capital of the world as Derby will again host the Enduro World Series for mountain bikers in March 2019. So, members, if you and your friends and family have not experienced the Blue Derby tracks yet, I encourage you to make your way to the north-east and do so. You will have a great time. Thank you.