From the Mayor

Welcome to the June edition of Your News, the City of Launceston's monthly newsletter.

Last month the Council farewelled Janie Finlay, who was elected to State Parliament as a member of the Labor party in the recent State Election.

Ms Finlay first served on the Council between 2000 and 2007, before returning to the Council table in 2014.

Her departure has created a vacancy at the Council table and, as a consequence, the Council has written to the Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner to formally request that a recount be undertaken to fill that vacancy.

This process will involve the Commissioner contacting the unsuccessful candidates for the 2018 City of Launceston local government elections and asking if they would like to be considered as a candidate in a recount for the vacant position.

A count will then be undertaken of Ms Finlay's preferences to elect a new Councillor from the list of nominated candidates.

This process can be undertaken in relatively short order, and we should therefore know in the very near future who Ms Finlay's replacement at the Council table will be.

Janie Finlay has been a prominent and passionate voice for the City of Launceston for many years and we wish her the very best in her new role.

I also look forward to working with a new face around the Council table and wish all candidates the best of luck in the upcoming recount.

- Mayor Albert van Zetten

Major projects update

CEO Michael Stretton

In August 2019, Councillors voted in favour of a motion to acknowledge the urgency created by climate change.

As part of the motion, the Council agreed to a set of goals and objectives aimed at limiting the organisation's impact on the natural environment, noting that the science of climate change made it clear that action was necessary at all levels of government, including local government.

These included commitments to achieve carbon neutrality for corporate emissions by 2025, and to source 100 per cent renewable energy for all Council-owned buildings by 2025.

Some 18 months on from that decision, I thought it worth sharing with you some of the steps we've taken to address this challenge.

In November of 2019, the City of Launceston finalised and published its Sustainability Strategy, the road map to help us become a more sustainable organisation. The Sustainability Strategy details the organisation's direction forward, and outlines an initial implementation plan.

In July last year the Council completed an audit of its greenhouse gas emissions, which allowed us to establish our emissions baseline and to identify priority areas for future action.

The Council joined Climate Emergency Australia, a network of more than 100 Australian councils, as well as the City Power Partnership, which is the nation's largest local government climate network.

We've launched new energy efficiency projects, including new solar panel and heat pump installations which are currently underway at the Launceston Leisure and Aquatic Centre, and which will ultimately see the facility transition away from natural gas.

In June last year the Council committed to cease purchasing single use plastics at Council-operated buildings, and to ban single use plastics at Council facilities and at sponsored events on Council-owned land by 2022.

Our landfill facility is an area where we've undertaken some interesting work. For example, the Council has introduced a GPS-based guidance system in our heavy compactor to allow drivers to easily identify which parts of a landfill cell require compaction and which parts don't. This initiative alone has resulted in our compactor using 20,000L less of fuel annually.

We've replaced 4800 street lights with more energy and cost efficient LED globes and installed 1294 solar panels across 12 different Council-managed facilities.

Meanwhile we're continuing work on a Towards Zero Emissions Plan, utilising United Nations sustainable development goals, and exploring automated irrigation systems to limit water consumption.

We're also reviewing our procurement policy with a view to future consideration of environmental and socially sustainable principles.

In short, the City of Launceston is undertaking a lot of work in this area as we seek to make our organisation more sustainable into the future.


Quick links: 

Simple and convenient parking roll-out

More parking meters with electronic payment options will be rolled out across Launceston's CBD in coming weeks, making it simpler and more convenient to pay for a park.

In recent years, the City of Launceston's parking meter replacement program has steadily replaced ageing parking machines - some more than 20 years old - with newer models which accept electronic payments.

Since 2019, the machines have been operating in all Council-managed off-street car parks, as well as in on-street metered spaces at Bridge Rd.

This year a further 50 of the machines will be rolled out across Launceston, meaning motorists will no longer need to rely on coins to pay for on-street parking meters.

The City of Launceston's Parking Team Leader Geoff Stick said the new meter roll-out would allow for a significant rationalisation of parking infrastructure.

"We're effectively removing 82 meters and replacing them with only 46 new models, so - along with the convenience factor - we're also reducing the amount of infrastructure cluttering the streets," Mr Stick said.

"Anyone who has parked in a City of Launceston off-street car park over the past couple of years will be familiar with these new meters and how they operate, but we'll have clear instructions on each machine for those who may not have used them before.

"The biggest difference with the new meters is that motorists will enter their vehicle registration number rather than a parking bay number, and they'll also be able to pay with a debit card or continue to use coins if they prefer.

"It just adds another option for people and - as we've seen with the popularity of the EasyPark parking app - people are increasingly looking for electronic payment options these days.

"In fact, since the launch of EasyPark app in Launceston in 2019, we’ve seen more than one million parking transactions take place electronically."

The new parking meters are expected to be operational in various parts of Launceston's CBD by August, and older machines will continue to be replaced in coming years as they reach the end of their operational lifespan.

Have your say: Draft Transport Strategy

Public consultation is currently open on the City of Launceston's new draft transport strategy.

The draft strategy is designed to prepare the city for the transport challenges and opportunities that will arise over the next two decades, and to help assess, prioritise and guide future transportation projects.

"The draft transport strategy is not about specific transport projects, but instead about setting a vision and strategic framework for transport projects over the next 20 years," City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said.

"It's about trying to identify the opportunities Launceston is likely to encounter in coming years in areas like active transport, public transport, micro-mobility transport alternatives, autonomous vehicles and more.

"This consultation is an opportunity for Launceston residents to look at the draft strategy we've developed and to provide their feedback or suggestions on how we might do things differently."

Consultation closes 5pm, Monday, June 7. 


UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy bid

The City of Launceston has agreed to a request for financial support as part of a bid for greater Launceston to nominate as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

Councillors approved the request from the Launceston Creative Cities Steering Group for $25,000 to support the bid, subject to the final approval of the Council's 2021-22 Annual Plan and Budget.

Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to strengthen cooperation among cities and help guide economic, social, cultural and environmentally sustainable development.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the project sought to cement Launceston's identity as an internationally recognised region for food and beverage production.

"The UNESCO brand is one that is recognised the world over and is a marker of high quality," Mayor van Zetten said.

"Over many years, the Northern Tasmanian region has consistently demonstrated its expertise and skill in the development of our agriculture, food processing, wine and beverage production, tourism and agri-tourism sectors.

"The two seem like a natural fit and becoming a world recognised UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy is likely to contribute to our regional economy and create new jobs in food-related industries and activities over coming years."

Cultural Advisory Committee: apply now

The City of Launceston is seeking applications for voluntary positions on the new Cultural Advisory Committee.

The primary purpose of the Cultural Advisory Committee is to work in collaboration with the Council to provide Councillors and employees with strategic advice and informed feedback on matters pertaining to cultural development in the City of Launceston and the implementation of the Cultural Strategy.

Applications close 5pm, June 21.


Dog registration renewals due by July 1

Annual dog registration renewals for City of Launceston residents will be sent out in the first week of June and must be paid by July 1.

Dogs above the age of six months must be registered in our municipality. This is not only a legislative requirement but it helps us return lost or stray dogs to their rightful owners. The annual fee which owners must pay will vary depending on factors such as the dog's reproductive status, and this year we've streamlined the process and the categories available. We also offer a one-off lifelong fee for dogs that are microchipped.

Registered dog owners who would like to switch to a lifelong registration should contact us before paying their due fee. If your registered dog has passed away or you've changed your address, please contact our Customer Service Centre as soon as possible on 03 6323 3000 to avoid an unnecessary fine.


Free weekly musical sessions @ Sawtooth

Launceston residents with musical talent - and those with no musical talent at all - are being invited to take part in a free new weekly music program.

The Launceston Improvised Music Association, with support from the City of Launceston and Arts Tasmania, is expanding its Free For All music program at Sawtooth ARI between June and October - and everyone is invited.

Free For All is held each Sunday from 4pm at Sawtooth ARI in Lindsay Street, and involves participants creating improvised music using instruments they've never played before. No musical experience is necessary.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said Free For All was a fun event for people of all ages and backgrounds.

"If you're looking for a free weekly activity to keep the cold at bay this winter, Free For All at Sawtooth will warm the spirits," Mayor van Zetten said.

"It's a great opportunity to meet new people, immerse yourself in the creativity of Launceston, and have a blast."

Check out the above video to see what it's all about.

Possum skin storytelling @ QVMAG

Learn the artistic tradition of creating a possum skin cloak with 'Wrapped in Culture' artist Vicki West.

QVMAG invites you to join renowned artist Vicki West at this special workshop on Saturday, June 12 (10.30am to 12.30pm), where you will pyrograph your story onto a diamond-shaped possum patch.

Possum skin cloaks are traditional to many Aboriginal families - these cloaks are often inscribed with personal and family stories. Launceston is home to many culturally-diverse communities and QVMAG would like to hear their stories too.

The patches will be sewn together to form a community cloak in time for NAIDOC week.

Ticket price ($9.53-$11.64) includes a possum skin kit.


Launceston Running Festival registrations

The Launceston Running Festival is back on Sunday, June 13, with an event to suit all ages and ability levels. This year’s race will start and finish at Riverbend Park. This fantastic location will also host an Expo on race day, offering food and beverages from local producers and entertainment for the kids.

The main event attracts not only the best local and national athletes, but has also attracted many international athletes throughout its history.

Registrations are now open.


Launceston Walk Against Elder Abuse

Too many older Tasmanians are still being harmed by people they trust. This World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, show you care by taking part in the Launceston Walk Against Elder Abuse.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 15
WHERE: Meet at the St John St end of Civic Square at 9.45am for a
10am start
REGISTER: Please email or call 6231 3265 by June 10 for essential planning purposes

Participants are encouraged to wear purple and join us for refreshments at Town Hall after the walk.

If you or someone you know is being harmed by a trusted person, please call the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 441 169 for free, confidential information and referrals.

This event is proudly supported by the City of Launceston, the Council on the Ageing Tasmania, and the Tasmanian Government.


Solstice Swim funding emergency relief

Take the plunge into the cool waters of Cataract Gorge to mark the Winter Solstice and raise money so Loaves and Fishes Tasmania can deliver more emergency food relief to those doing it tough this winter.

WHEN: 9am, Sunday, June 20
WHERE: First Basin, Cataract Gorge

Register individually or as a team and raise a minimum of $50 to participate.


Good gardening: pruning your roses

 Green thumb tips from City of Launceston horticulturalist extraordinaire Matt Jordan 

June is the time of year to get brutal with your roses - heavy pruning now ensures good plant health and beautiful blooms next season. However, if you live in an area prone to significant frosts, it's best to wait until the end of July.

The correct technique really depends on the variety. The most common rose people have in the garden is the Hybrid T. With this rose we're looking at reducing its height by about half. Mostly all Hybrid T roses have been grafted onto a root stock - this means that you'll need to take care in identifying any new branches that are growing from the root stock and remove them.

When pruning look for the outward-facing bud and cut just above it, and prune your rose to open up the centre - we refer to this as the vase shape. This assists with air flow and reduces fungal disease. Remove dead branches and any crossing or rubbing branches. Keep water shoots or new branches that have grown last season to ensure your rose stays healthy.

Hygiene is a must when pruning roses so make sure you wipe down your equipment with mentholated spirits. Happy pruning!

Quick links


Council meetings

Launceston Town Hall | 1pm | June 3 & June 17

Current Development Applications

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The City of Launceston makes every effort to ensure the content of this newsletter is accurate but makes no warranty as to its accuracy and does not assume legal liability for its content. The inclusion of a person, organisation, activity, event, or website link does not imply endorsement by the Council.