19 Dec 2013
NEW SIGNS HIGHLIGHT THE TAMAR’S HISTORY AND NATURAL VALUES
A series of new signs have been erected along the foreshore in Launceston to
highlight the history and values of the Tamar River estuary and how communities
have lived with sedimentation throughout time.
The project has been developed as a partnership between NRM North’s Tamar
Estuary and Esk Rivers (TEER) Program, the Launceston City Council, the Launceston
Flood Authority and the Tasmanian Government.
It involved developing 13 interpretative signage panels for 6 locations extending
from the Seaport marina to Richie’s Mill.
The signage content covers the following major themes;
• European settlement of Launceston and its early industries;
• Floods and flood protection;
• Maritime history and dredging;
• Sedimentation process and drivers;
• Natural values, Aboriginal values and recreation; and
• Richie’s Mill and the Cataract Gorge.
NRM North’s Water Theme Manager and TEER Program Coordinator, Amanda
Locatelli, said the project aimed to inform visitors and residents about the history of
the Tamar and the process of sedimentation.
“Sedimentation, or siltation as referred to by the community, of the upper Tamar
River estuary has been a long standing issue of contention in the community for over
150 years for reasons of public amenity, commercial access and environmental
quality,” Ms Locatelli said.
“Although the focus of this project has been to inform the community about how and
why sedimentation occurs in the Tamar estuary, the project also communicates the
history and values of the Tamar.”
Environment Minister, Brian Wightman, said the signs were a valuable addition to
the Launceston landscape.
“Explaining these concepts in way that is easy to understand is no easy task. These
signs are not only entertaining but provide a valuable service to anyone wondering
why the Tamar River is the way it is,” Minister Wightman said.
The Chairman of the Launceston Flood Authority, Alan Birchmore, said the new
signage provided a valuable source of information on the estuary and past
“Sedimentation is a natural process and cannot be eradicated, but it can be
controlled and this year the Launceston Flood Authority has been able to lower the
mudflats so that they are no longer visible,” Mr Birchmore said.
“The Tamar now has greater capability for many recreational purposes and will be
further improved in future years with modest maintenance.”
The project has included significant consultation with technical, communications and
historical experts to ensure the information and content is accurate. NRM North has
also been granted permission from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre to use the
Aboriginal name for the Tamar River: kanamaluka.
Launceston Mayor, Albert van Zetten, said he hoped the signage would add to the
amenity of the Tamar foreshore.
"This is a great way to tell a story and I hope people will embrace it when they are
enjoying the boardwalk," Mayor van Zetten said.
"I think it's going to be wonderful for tourists and locals alike to find out more about
our river and its history, and the role it has played in the development of
NRM North Chief Executive Officer, James McKee, said telling a story about the
history of the Tamar was important so people could appreciate how unique and
highly valued the Tamar estuary and its rivers have been throughout time.
“The Tamar has shaped the way of life for the communities and people who have
lived alongside it and continues to be a much loved part of Launceston today,” Mr
“The need for this project and telling the Tamar’s story has been well recognised by
all partners involved and it is hoped communicating this story will inspire, inform and
add to the visitor experience to the Tamar foreshore in the years to come.”