Published: 01 September 2021

Legislative Council, Tuesday 31 August 2021

Ms FORREST (Murchison) - We hear a lot about placemaking these days, a process centred on the community's assets, focusing on its people and capitalising on their needs and aspirations with the aim of creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness and wellbeing.

This process relies on strongly on community participation. Waratah-Wynyard Council has been doing some really wonderful work in this space in recent years and residents will be aware of a number of beautification projects taking shape, including improved walking tracks, more public art, beautiful seasonal garden tubs adorning the main street, and a new plaza complete with excellent facilities and beautiful public art in the town centre and almost opposite my office, which is lovely.

A number of strategies, plans and policies have evolved including the Livable Waratah-Wynyard Settlement Strategy. This strategy looks at ways to create a sustainable, inclusive and nurturing environment in which to live, work and visit.

An online survey invited people to put forward their ideas on what they thought would most improve the vitality of their particular town within the municipality. This survey identified a number of priorities such as the importance of landscapes and streetscapes and the importance of walkways in all places that make it easy and convenient to enjoy the social and health benefits that come from walking.

The World Health Organisation and the National Heart Foundation recommend that 10 000 steps per day, or approximately 8 kilometres, should be walked to improve general health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The strategy states that, according to Care Australia, 93 per cent of Australians are walking less than the recommended daily distance for general health and wellbeing. The average Australian only clocks up 3.2 kilometres per day.

Wynyard enjoys a beautiful landscape, beaches, the Inglis River, Fossil Bluff and mostly flat topography, perfect for walking.

One recommendation to come from the community survey was integrated themed walks and to identify small stories at different locations within the town of Wynyard and to add a layer of history to the building or a site that residents see every day and may take for granted. These snippets of history contribute to making Wynyard the town it is today. The Discover Wynyard project was developed through the council’s public art advisory group. The council’s support to view the public art in Waratah Wynyard municipal area can express the community’s positive aspirations for its future, based on its unique attributes, heritage and people.

Public art can also contribute to the vibrancy of public spaces for the enjoyment of locals and visitors, enhance community identity and enrich cultural life. Waratah-Wynyard Council has shown its commitment to public art by including a funding provision in the annual budget, developing a public art policy and associated procedures, and also includes a public art advisory group that will operate at a strategic level to assist council to implement their policy.

In early 2021, the public art advisory group released a public art commission seeking an illustrated map to be created by a Tasmanian artist, thus combining walking and art. All members have a copy of this. The illustrated map is intended to communicate information about the Wynyard location, enabling a visual dialogue between the community, artist and the viewer. The resulting product is intended to be reproduced, used as a guide and to educate as well as to be enjoyed as an attractive keepsake.

Whilst decorative in its own right, the map sits alongside text communicating facts, portraying a sense of place and pointing out geographic properties, native flora and fauna. The map is practical and serves to guide visitors and community members along the attractive walks Wynyard has to offer. Tasmanian artist Susan Irving-White was a successful applicant and her beautifully illustrated map has delightfully captured the architecture as well as the varied flora and fauna native to Wynyard. Whilst this map is a geographical guide to the walks in the area, it also offers an informative, intimate insight into the town and its features. Stories and legends are represented alongside factual elements, just as they coexist in the makeup of our town.

Waratah-Wynyard Council is to be commended for this work and the difference it is making in our region. Wynyard is a vibrant town. There are no empty shops in Wynyard and it is a wonderful place to visit. Other towns in the municipality, including Somerset, Sisters Beach, Boat Harbour, Yolla, Waratah and many other small communities in between have had beautification projects or other works done to enhance the livability of these communities.

It is a wonderful place to live and work and an equally lovely place to holiday. With your new map in hand, I hope to see many of you enjoying the area in the not-too-distant future.


Go Back