With steep hills and Georgian architecture looking down into a green valley, Launceston is one of Australia’s most picturesque regional cities.
At the heart of that valley is the kanamaluka/Tamar River which, for the past two years, has been the source of heated public debate.
Mudbanks have started to build up since the practice of silt raking was banned in 2019, changing the face of the river which is central to the look, feel and enjoyment of Launceston, Tasmania.
And just a few weeks ago, 15-year-old local school student Ashleigh Dettmer found herself stuck in the mud while competing in a rowing regatta.
“It was like really weird. Like, I wasn’t expecting it to be so stinky. It was really stinky and squishy and weird,” she said.