It was a big year for Tasmania’s East Coast.
Between council shakeups at local government elections in October, to events and big developments calling the region home – it will be a year no one in the community will soon forget.
These are just a few of the things that made a big impact during 2018.
In Break O’Day, incumbent mayor Mick Tucker came out in front of Kylie Wright for the top position.
The two were the only candidates for the mayor role.
Long-standing councillor John McGiveron was re-elected deputy mayor, coming out in front of incumbent councillors Glenn McGuinness and Barry LeFevre, and newcomers Ross Quinn and Bill Manning.
With nine positions available on the council, 17 people nominated.
Councillor of 18 years, Margaret Osbourne, lost her position, and Hannah Rubenach-Quinn decided not to re-elect.
Two new councillors, Lesa Whittaker and Kristi Chapple, were successful.
Janet Drummond, Barry LeFevre, Glenn McGuinness, John Tucker, and Kylie Wright were all re-elected to the council.
GLAMORGAN SPRING BAY
In Glamorgan Spring Bay, close to half of the council consists of new faces.
Some of the biggest news to come out of Glamorgan Spring Bay regarded Cambria Estate, which caused contention within the community.
If it goes ahead, the development would include 139 villas and units at the Cambria Homestead Precinct, 161 units and villas along the river, an 80-unit health retreat, golf course, 20 accommodation units at the golf range, and a 150-room resort.
It would also include community meeting and entertainment facilities, crematoria and cemeteries, educational and occasional care, boating, sport and recreation facilities.
The first hearing took place on December 14 at Swansea.
However, the proponents – Cambria Green Agriculture and Tourism Management Pty Ltd – were asked to provide an economic impact study and more information about the proposal. They were given a deadline of February 1.
ST HELENS DISTRICT HOSPITAL
The transition into the new St Helens District Hospital is expected to take place in February.
The development at 10 Annie Street, will retain the existing services of the original hospital with acute beds, emergency response capability, and consulting rooms.
The upgrade was announced in May 2017 after a $12.1 million pledge from the state government.
Fairbrother began construction began in November 2017.
MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS
Construction began on the East Coast’s mountain bike trail network in December.
For the St Helens Mountain Bike Trail Network and the Bay of Fires Descent, $1 million in funding was provided by the state government, alongside $1.6 million in federal funds and $600,000 from the Break O’Day Council.
After the tender process, it was announced in October 2017 that World Trail would build the two new tracks.
World Trail director Glen Jacobs was thrilled for the opportunity and potential of both trail projects.
“Not only does the area offer beautiful beaches and an idyllic location, it also has the infrastructure to support a real mountain bike mecca of Tasmania,” he said.
“This really is going to be one of the most exciting projects we have worked on to date and we are grateful for the opportunity to play our part in what will be some of the best trails in Tasmania if not the southern hemisphere.”
The total project is expected to cost about $4.5 million, with more than 200 jobs expected to be created by the project.
ST HELENS HOLIDAY PARK
A $10 million holiday park at St Helens opened its doors at the end of October.
The NRMA St Helens Waterfront Holiday Park overlooks Georges Bay, and is the first NRMA park to be both independently owned and managed.
The holiday park features 26 cabins and 45 powered camping sites, alongside the new Parkside Bar and Kitchen and a function centre.
The cabins were built and designed in Tasmania.
Hotel manager Ryan Penderghast said the holiday park was much-needed infrastructure for that part of St Helens.
The East Coast was home to many big events, such as the Bicheno Food and Wine Festival and the Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival. However, one stood out.
ONE NIGHT STAND
The biggest event was without a doubt triple j’s One Night Stand. St Helens’ population grew by about 30,000 people on September 1 for the biggest party the seaside town had ever seen.
Big name Australian acts such as Vance Joy, Peking Duk, Tkay Maidza, Middle Kids, and Alex the Astronaut took to the stage at the St Helens Football Ground, with many joined onstage by special guest artists.
The concert also had a massive impact on the tourism industry, with thousands stopping in or staying at towns along the coast on the way to, or way back from the event. “Bicheno was packed, Swansea was packed, Bridport was packed,” Cr Tucker said.
It was decided the HMAS Darwin would not be sunk off Binalong Bay.
Lobby group No Dive Wreck for Bay of Fires, spearheaded by Break O’Day councillor Lesa Whittaker, held protests against the scuttling of the ship and raised issues with dumping a ship into the coast’s “pristine environment”.
The scuttling was welcomed by the St Helens chamber of commerce and the Break O’Day Council, particularly due to the tourism potential for the region.
Despite the many arguments for and against the dive wreck, it all came down to the cost.
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said it would cost in excess of $12 million, leading to the state government rejecting the offer.
Former Glamorgan Spring Bay mayor and prominent Tasmanian businessman Michael Kent AM died on December 6. Mr Kent was well-known for his positions as head of supermarket chain Purity, and later Woolworths in Tasmania.
He was also Glamorgan Spring Bay mayor from 2014 to 2018, and was re-elected as a councillor in October.