Published: 18 November 2021

 Legislative Council, Wednesday 17 November 2021


With regard to the recent removal of a popular and well utilised barbecue shed on the Western side of the Black River near Spionkop in Circular Head:

1. Who, or which department, made the decision or was responsible for the removal of this shed;

2. Why was the decision to have it removed rather than restored made;

3. If maintenance could have addressed any safety or upkeep issues, why was it not maintained rather than removed;

4. Were members of the community who use this shed consulted; and
a. If so, who was consulted;
b. If not, why weren’t members of the local community consulted;

5. Will the shed be replaced;
a. If not, why not?


Q1. The Black River Picnic Site and Spion Kop Road were transferred to the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) in 2013 from Forestry Tasmania through the Tasmanian Forest Agreement. The land is classified as Future Potential Production Forest Land. The decision to remove the shelter was authorised by the PWS Regional Manager Northwest, on the basis of specialist engineer advice (see below in Q2 for reason).

Q2. The area consists of picnic sites on either side of the river, each with a small shelter and a concrete ford across the river as part of Spion Kop Road. In response to community concerns about the condition of the road and the facilities at the site, the Government committed $35 000 to improve the road and facilities at the site in collaboration with the local community. The PWS completed improvements to the road in early July.
An engineering assessment was also undertaken of the shelters. The assessment found the shelter on the eastern side of the river was basically sound but required re-roofing. The shelter on the western side was found to be in poor condition, dangerous, and the engineer recommended demolition as soon as possible due to the unacceptable risk to public safety. The structure was deemed to be unrecoverable.

Q3. As per Q2

Q4. The PWS has been working with the Smithton Rotary Club regarding improvement of the shelters and the site overall. The Smithton Rotary club was aware of the engineering assessment, the outcome, and the plans to remove the shelter.

Q5. Discussions are ongoing between the Rotary Club and the PWS regarding detailed planning of the works to improve the site. Current works proposed will include re-roofing the shelter on the eastern side, and the installation of a concrete slab with picnic tables on the western side. The works will be undertaken jointly by the Rotary Club and the PWS. Materials from the demolished shelter are planned to be used by the Rotary Club in the new development works (i.e. picnic tables etc).


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