Track team – tracks and trails

Kingborough, located just south of Hobart, contains some of the most breathtaking country and sea walks in Tasmania.

Residents' and visitors' enjoyment of these beautiful areas has been greatly improved with the work of the tracks team from Kingborough Council who have just published the third printing of their acclaimed booklet on the trails of the municipality.

Councillor Flora Fox nominated the tracks team for a high achiever award for the manufacture of the booklet and their work in maintaining the tracks.

A first for Tasmania, the first edition of the booklet disappeared off the shelves in a few weeks and it is now into its third edition with preparations underway for the fourth edition.

Altogether, 8000 copies of the book have been printed and it can also be downloaded from the web.

She said the booklet was a superb publication that helped residents and visitors to enjoy the tracks around the area.

"It is easy to use and comprehensive," she said.

"It is estimated that 20,000 people have used the tracks since the booklet has been released in 2008."

The idea for the booklet began in 1997, when consultants to the Council who were developing the Kingborough Recreation Sport and Open Space Plan identified tracks as a high priority for the area.

It was further developed in 2006, when Council in conjunction with the Kingborough Landcare advisory Group, of which Councillor Fox was the chair, held the Kingborough Tracks and Trails Forum.

Following this the Kingborough Tracks and Trails Advisory Group was formed. Approximately 200 proposals for the development of new or existing trails across the area had been identified through the forum and the Tracks and Trails Advisory Group used its own criteria and then the State Government Trails Tasmania Strategy to prioritise the top 50 tracks for development and maintenance, 37 of these tracks have been described in the booklet as ready to use.

The booklet tells the reader if they can walk a dog, ride a horse or cycle along its length. It advises people if it is easy, moderate or demanding walking.

The booklet lists how long the walk will take, the distance and information on parking and toilets. It also provides warnings about potential dangers for walkers.

Flora Fox also complimented the team for maintaining the tracks to help make them safe and for the proper signs throughout the region to assist people.

"We have a wonderful variety of landscapes including beach and cliff walks.

"Within these places live a fantastic range of birds and animals, including some very special threatened species."

The book has attracted many people to the region.

"One copy of the booklet was recently sent to people in Canberra and they liked it so much they came down and walked every marked track," she said.

Parks and Reserves Co-ordinator, Jon Wisbey said there were many walking tracks in Kingborough, ranging from short, easy strolls to full day challenging walks, with some also suitable for horses, mountain bikes, and dogs on leads.

"As people explore, they'll come to appreciate all that Kingborough offers, including its great cultural features such as Aboriginal middens and convict and mining relics."

Leigh McCallum Executive Officer, Corporate Projects, CEO's Office, Moorabool Shire Council

The Bacchus Marsh Community Learning Centre – The Lerderderg Library - was just an idea about ten years ago, but it is now a living and breathing reality for the community.

The impact of the library has been immense since it opened recently.

In a short time, the library memberships have increased from 35 new memberships in June 2011 to 183 in September 2011.

It is easy to see why it is so popular. The centre is a multipurpose building with a state of the art library, IT lounge, community meeting places, a visitor information centre and space for community functions; it has become a vital hub for the society.

To meet the growing needs of the community, the centre includes a larger children's area than the previous facility and improved digital technology and multimedia resources.

One of the reasons for the success of the project has been the work of project manager Leigh McCallum.

Appointed by the CEO, Leigh was given the job of managing the many elements of the project and she has delivered the goods.

Moorabool Shire Council Mayor Pat Griffin nominated Leigh for the high achievers award because of her passion, strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and her ability to keep the project on track.

"As project manager for the new centre, Leigh has managed the development of a comprehensive community asset, under budget and on time," he said.

"With multiple stakeholders and interest groups, she also ensured that the social and community elements of the project were a focus. She really was the right person for the project."

It is the first major municipal building in 50 years in the Bacchus Marsh township, so it was appropriate that her work involved a great deal of community consultation.

From very early on in the project the community, funding bodies, and internal stakeholders were invited to contribute their ideas, thoughts and aspirations into the design and operational elements of the building.

"Through one on one interviews, forums, reference groups, surveys, and submissions, the community, service providers and library users all came together to provide input into the design for the community hub" said Leigh.

Located at the end of the famous Avenue of Honour, and taking much inspiration from the Avenue itself, the centre is now part of a precinct that will meet the growing needs of the Bacchus Marsh community.

Leigh said it had been a satisfying project because of the results for the community.

"I am always focused on achieving a greater result than the last," she said.

Leigh has worked in State and Local Government and the not-for-profit sector during her career. She has held management positions in training and development, recruitment, and corporate and customer communications, has a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and has spent the last 8 years in project based roles, but Leigh is certain this has been her most rewarding challenge.

"There is no doubt in my mind that working for Local Government provides great satisfaction. By its nature, State Government is more focussed on policy, while in Local Government; you can see the benefits to the various communities that your hard work brings."

It may be only the first of Leigh's major projects as Bacchus Marsh now faces the prospect of continued strong growth. It is estimated that the population will increase from 18,000 to 26,000 in the next few years.