From the Mayor

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

It was an honour to welcome 63 new Australian citizens to the Northern Tasmanian community at a ceremony at the Albert Hall last week. With citizenship ceremonies temporarily postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's been wonderful to see these back in full swing. Our newest citizens come to us from many countries including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Canada, China, India, Iran, France, Nepal, and the United Kingdom.

I was also delighted by the support for the Essendon and Hawthorn clash at UTAS Stadium last month, which saw a COVID capacity crowd of 15,000 people in attendance. Launceston's streets were awash with gold, brown, red and black and there were thousands of people out and about enjoying everything our city has to offer.

We're deeply appreciative of everyone who helped make it happen at relatively short notice, and I want to thank all the footy fans from across Tasmania and interstate who came to Launceston to support the match. We look forward to the next game at UTAS Stadium as the AFL charts its course through the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape.

On another note, I was pleased to learn Launceston has become one of the most popular destinations for people looking for a 'tree change' - those leaving big city living behind for a more balanced and rewarding lifestyle. A new report from the Regional Australia Institute shows our city is the fourth most popular location for regional migration nationwide, with a 34 per cent increase from capital cities over the past three months.

We're extremely fortunate to live in such a beautiful and prosperous part of the world, and it's no surprise more and more people are waking up to the fact Launceston is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.

- Mayor Albert van Zetten

City of Launceston in enviable position

CEO Michael Stretton

With planning approvals at record levels in Launceston and strong investor confidence resulting in new projects across the city, there are many opportunities ahead.

Launceston has been fortunate to benefit from the Launceston City Deal which, among many other things, has resulted in the establishment of the Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce and has supported the University of Tasmania's Northern campus expansion at Inveresk.

More recently, the City of Launceston has been examining the future needs of the city through initiatives like the Launceston Transport Strategy and the UTAS Stadium Future Direction Plan.

The City of Launceston manages important community facilities such as the Princess Theatre, Launceston Leisure & Aquatic Centre and QVMAG, and it's important we continue to renew and improve these facilities to keep pace with community expectations and to ensure they are fit for purpose for the future.

We're progressing projects including the second stage of the Launceston City Heart Project which will see a renewed focus on the vibrancy of our CBD, and a redevelopment of the Albert Hall's 1980s-era eastern wing to make it more functional and to improve accessibility.

Strong investor confidence, priority projects flowing from the Launceston City Deal, and projects from all levels of government put the City of Launceston in an enviable position compared to other regional cities across the globe. 


In this edition: 


New rules for using Check in TAS app 

From today (July 7), the requirement to be at relevant locations for at least 15 minutes before having to use Check in TAS has been removed - you must now check in regardless of how much time you'll spend at specified premises.

From July 31, relevant locations requiring the use of the Check in TAS app will be expanded. These will include:

  • shopping centres & retail premises including pharmacies and supermarkets;
  • certain medical facilities;
  • schools that provide kindergarten, primary or secondary education;
  • residential aged care facilities & child care centres; 
  • accommodation; 
  • food courts & mobile food vans;
  • veterinary & animal care services;
  • certain mobile service providers;

Exceptions apply. For more information and the full list of new relevant locations, click here

Businesses can register for the Check in Tas app QR code here.


Launceston records development boom

The City of Launceston has approved more than half a billion dollars in development in the past two years.

The Council approved 771 planning applications worth $383,657,211 in the 2020-21 financial year, smashing the previous record - set the year before - of 673 planning applications worth $215,005,934.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the scale of the development boom across Launceston was unprecedented.

"Despite the global pandemic, or perhaps in part because of it, investor confidence in Launceston is at an all-time high," Mayor van Zetten said.

"These planning applications run the gamut, from homeowners building an extension or a new deck, to large industrial and retail premises. 

"For Launceston to be in a position where we have record developments in train is fantastic news."

Of the 771 applications approved last year, 549 were for residential purposes worth a total of $167,133,796.

"As these various projects are built in coming years it will create an enormous amount of economic activity, new employment and new opportunities.

"This will be extremely important as we look to a post-pandemic future, and will set Launceston in good stead as it continues to chart a path to becoming one of the most liveable regional cities in the world."

Circular Economy initiatives recognised

Almost $200,000 has been awarded to seven Northern Tasmanian businesses to support their move from a 'take it, make it, break it, bin it, bury it' lifecycle to one that reuses, repairs, repurposes and  recycles. 

The Northern Tasmanian Development Corporation and the Northern Tasmania Waste Management Group have been working on behalf of local government to oversee the grants.

Grant recipients include Stillwater, Brady's Lookout Cider, The Udderway, Tamar Hearing, Envorinex, Isaac Williams Design Objects and City Mission.

Watch the video (above) to find out more!

New CBD toilets and parenting facility

A major redevelopment of the public toilets and parenting facilities in the Paterson St West multi-storey car park is close to completion, with the facilities expected to open to the public later this month.

The Paterson St West upgrade project has involved three elements: the construction of new parenting facilities, the replacement of the public toilets fronting Paterson St, and the construction of a new accessible 'Changing Places' bathroom.

The new parenting facilities include updated fittings and provide more a contemporary changing experience for Northern Tasmanian families with private nursing areas, play areas and pram parking areas.

Secure access to the new Changing Places facility will be provided through the Master Locksmiths Access Key system; an initiative that allows people with a disability to have secure access to dedicated public facilities.

Changing Places was launched in the UK in 2006, and today includes more than 150 accredited accessible public change rooms across Australia. Changing Places toilets are different to standard accessible toilets and provide extra features.

The Changing Places bathroom includes an ambulant toilet, shower, hand basin, change table and ceiling hoist. 


Myrtle Park to fully reopen in October

North-East campground Myrtle Park will fully reopen to the public in October.

The ever-popular family camping area opened in a limited capacity last holiday season due to COVID public control measures put in place by the Federal Government in 2020.

City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said that despite the restrictions put in place, the limited opening was hugely successful, with occupancy rates at near capacity for most of the four-month period.

"We had a lot of positive feedback from the community last year around how the park was operating and for our new booking system," Mayor van Zetten said.

"Given the restrictions in place, we weren't in a position to open the park up for day use last year. However that won't be the case later this year - the park will be fully operational for day use as well as for camping."

Bookings for the upcoming summer holiday season will open in September through the Council's online booking portal BookEasy, which is managed by the Launceston Visitor Information Centre.

"The site will be managed by an on-site caretaker, who will also operate the kiosk, and we'll be able to provide the public with further updates as we get closer to the reopening date," Mayor van Zetten said.

The Council expects the park to remain open until the end of May next year, before closing for three months over winter.

WATCH: Using our new parking machines

New parking meters being rolled out across the CBD allow motorists to pay for parking with coins, cards, and the Easy Park app.

The new meters will allow for a significant rationalisation of on-street parking infrastructure with 82 older meters being replaced by just 46 of the new models. The ageing meters have also experienced regular breakdowns and mechanical issues and replacement parts are no longer available. 

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 - but this is the first time they're being utilised in the CBD.

Watch the video (above) for Parking Technician Duan's how-to demo.

Get your rates notice by email & win!

Sign up now to receive your rates notice by email and go in the draw for a free family pass to the City of Launceston Leisure & Aquatic Centre.

Getting your rates notice by email is fast, reliable & environmentally-friendly - and makes paying online easier than ever!


Reminder: dog registration renewals overdue

City of Launceston dog registration renewals were due by July 1 - if your renewal is outstanding, please pay now to avoid an unnecessary fine. 


New Councillor Krista Preece sworn in

City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten and CEO Michael Stretton congratulated and welcomed new Councillor Krista Preece at her official swearing in ceremony at Town Hall on June 21.

Councillor Preece won a countback undertaken by the Tasmanian Electoral Commission last month to fill the vacancy left by outgoing Councillor Janie Finlay.

"We look forward to the skills, knowledge and expertise Councillor Preece will bring to the Council table," Mayor van Zetten said.

Councillor Preece said she was looking forward to helping shape the city's future post-COVID, and believed she would bring accessibility and relatability to the Council table.

"I'm excited at the opportunity to represent the people of Launceston and give back to my amazing community," she said.


Deputy Mayor to represent Northern region

City of Launceston Deputy Mayor Danny Gibson has been elected to the Local Government Association of Tasmania's General Management Committee for the next two years.

The committee is made up of two Council representatives from each region of the State. Cr Gibson was elected to the position of Northern representative (population >20,000). 

Cr Gibson, who has served as a City of Launceston Councillor for the past 10 years, said he was honoured to represent the Northern Tasmanian region on the new committee, which began its term on July 1. 

Opening soon: Waste NoT Awards 2021

Have you, your school or your business made an effort to change the way you manage your waste? Entries in the Waste NoT Awards 2021 open online on July 12 in a variety of categories.

The annual awards celebrate and recognise those within our community who've made the effort to change the way they manage waste over the past twelve months. From waste avoidance, waste processing and education initiatives, to recycling, re-invention and upcycling, the awards showcase better waste management practices to the broader community. The winner of each category receives $250 and a trophy.

Entries close August 13.


Be starstruck by world-famous Planetarium

Looking for something to do with the kids these school holidays? The newly-refurbished Launceston Planetarium, located at QVMAG Inveresk, is open from Tuesday to Saturday every week and Mondays during school holidays.


Launceston's Great Winter Cake Battle 

Winter is a whole lot sweeter this year, with the launch of Cakealicious, Launceston’s Great Winter Cake Battle - run by Cityprom, the competition has 16 hospitality businesses competing throughout the month of July to be crowned Launceston’s best cake maker.

“We’ve got some mouth-watering cakes on the menu and are encouraging workplaces, friends and family to get together and taste test their way around the city as part of Winterlicious,” Cityprom Executive Officer Amanda McEvoy said.

Vote for your favourite to go in the draw for a Winterlicious high tea for you and five friends! Cakealicious runs for the entire month of July as part of Cityprom’s Winterlicious campaign.


Aquatic Centre school holiday discount

The school holidays are here and it's the perfect time for a family day at the pool! Take advantage of the City of Launceston Leisure & Aquatic Centre's special $16 family entry for the duration of the holidays, and relax while the kids enjoy our interactive play area and awesome inflatables.

Free For All community music sessions | Sundays @ Sawtooth Gallery | 4pm - 6pm 
Hawthorn v Fremantle | July 10 @ UTAS Stadium | 1.45pm - Ticketmaster
Winter Niche Market | July 31 @ The Tramsheds | 9am - 3pm
Tamar Peace Festival Community Walk | August 1 @ Royal Park | 11am - 1pm
agriCULTURED | August 5 - 8 | Launceston - multiple locations/times
Launceston Night Market | August 6 @ Civic Square | 4pm - 9pm

New & unique Launceston-made products

The Launceston Visitor Information Centre in Cameron St has a fantastic range of unique Tasmanian products available to purchase for that special gift or souvenir. 

Featured this month is a selection of beautiful Tasmanian timber products made by the talented members of the Kings Meadows Men's Shed. Priced from $20 to $40, the range includes pens, salad utensils, coasters, and board & knife sets.

Gardening top tip: planting bare root trees

 Green thumb advice from City of Launceston horticulturalist extraordinaire Matt Jordan 

July is a great time to pick a new deciduous tree for the garden. Whether it be a fruit or ornamental tree species, this time of year they can be purchased in bare root form from your local nursery.

Fundamental tips to give your tree the best chance at good health:

  • It's crucial you prune your bare root tree just after or prior to planting. These trees have had a significant root prune when prepared for the nursery & canopy pruning is required to balance this and promote new root development;
  • Dig a hole twice as wide as it is deep and big enough to comfortably fit the tree's bare root ball;
  • Most bare root trees will require staking - so you don't damage the root system installing stakes, it's a good idea to place them at the outer edge of the dug hole before planting;
  • Make sure the roots are well distributed in the hole and backfill with soil and FOGO compost;
  • Ensure the tree is planted just above the roots and water in well.

Quick links


Council meetings

UPCOMING: July 15 & 29 | Launceston Town Hall | 1pm 

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.