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From the Mayor 

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

Spring is here and there's so much to celebrate this month, starting with the ever-popular Junction Arts Festival which launched last night and runs through to Sunday. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the festival, which has become a staple on the Launceston events calendar and is a credit to the organisers and volunteers who work so hard to make it happen every year.

Prince's Square is the hub for a jam-packed program over the next few days, and I encourage all Northern Tasmanians to go along and support Junction in its 10th year.

September 17 is another great date for the diary, with international swimming superstar Ariarne Titmus coming home to Launceston for a very special celebration in Civic Square at which I'll present her with the Key to the City. You'll read more about this in the Latest News section below, and I look forward seeing you all there on the day. 

On a much more sombre note, Town Hall will be lit red and green from tomorrow night as a mark of solidarity and support for the Afghani people and Launceston's many Hazara community members with friends and family members facing significant danger under Taliban rule. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones. 

Finally, happy Father's Day on Sunday to all of us lucky enough to have been blessed with this title, and my best wishes for the month ahead.

- Mayor Albert van Zetten

CBD data shows remarkable rebound 

CEO Michael Stretton

It goes without saying that the COVID pandemic has impacted all of us in many and various ways.

It's affected how we travel, how we interact with our friends and families, how we go about our daily lives - and the economic impact is the worst our nation's seen since the 2007 Global Financial Crisis.

For our business owners and all those who work in Launceston's retail, hospitality and service industries, the impact of last year's lockdowns was sudden and hard-felt. The CBD was hit particularly hard with the number of vacant shops rising to 154 out of a total of approximately 600 ground floor premises. 

A year on and the green shoots of Tasmania's business revival are in full bloom with the latest data showing vacancies have dropped to 57, with 93 per cent of the CBD's commercial space occupied and open for business.

The City of Launceston has and will continue to play an active role in this economic recovery through our $10m Community Care & Recovery package, which includes $465,000 in business fee relief, $700,000 in business grants, and six-month rates remissions for eligible businesses.

These proactive measures have helped businesses modernise and adapt to new modes of trade, and jobs have been saved.

The fact our CBD has bounced back to this degree so quickly gives us very good reason for optimism going forward.

Launceston to honour Olympic superstar

Mayor Albert van Zetten will present homegrown Olympic superstar Ariarne Titmus with the Key to the City at a special ceremony in Civic Square at 12pm on September 17.

Councillors last week voted unanimously in support of a motion to award the dual gold medal winner the city's highest civic honour, rename Launceston Aquatic Centre's 50m competition pool, and establish the Ariarne Titmus Swimming Scholarship for talented young swimmers.

Titmus, who moved to Brisbane to further her Olympic dream, will become both the youngest and the first female recipient of the Key to the City which has been awarded to just five others. 

"To be the best you have to beat the best, and Ariarne has now done this in every major competition culminating in the Tokyo Olympics," Mayor van Zetten said.

"She's a wonderful ambassador for the sport, a tremendous ambassador for her home city and a true role model for young athletes Nationwide.

 "I encourage all Northern Tasmanians to join us on September 17 to celebrate this inspiring young woman and all that she has achieved so far."

READ MORE

Heritage Awards 2021: entries now open 

The City of Launceston's Heritage Awards are back this year bigger and better than ever as part of our new Places of Launceston event series.

The Awards are an initiative of the City of Launceston's Heritage Advisory Committee, aimed at supporting awareness and celebration of local individuals, groups and businesses who are actively reimagining residential and commercial heritage built environments across the city.

Heritage Snap: This year we're inviting photographic entries from people of all ages with a new, all-inclusive category, 'Highlighting Heritage'.

The Heritage Awards 2021 categories are: 

  • Built Heritage Project Award: Works under $200,000 - For building and landscape works that retain the cultural significance of a heritage place
  • Built Heritage Project Award: Works over $200,000 - For building and landscape works that retain the cultural significance of a heritage place
  • Highlighting Heritage Award: For the production of photographs, video and other media, exhibitions, programmes, conservation and promotion of heritage collection items, concepts for heritage sites, and more. 

Entries close 5pm, September 15. 

ENTER ONLINE

Search for locals with stories to share

The Launceston Human Library is looking for community members with stories to share - those who actively defy a stereotype, challenge a narrative or have raw and unfiltered life experiences to talk about.

The Human Library is a global initiative creating a safe space for open dialogue, allowing you to share your story and have a meaningful impact on the way our community thinks.

Interested? Come along to an Information Session in the Town Hall Reception Room at 10am on Friday, September 17, or get in touch online.

GET INVOLVED

Kings Meadows community call-out

The City of Launceston's new ABCDE Learning Site is setting out to find what makes the community of Kings Meadows special.

The Learning Site initiative uses a grass-roots approach to foster community-led change and is currently celebrating its fifth year in Launceston.

After a successful 12 months in Youngtown, the program has now relocated to Kings Meadows to explore the people, places and facilities that make the popular suburb what it is.

The project's Community Connector, Sarah McCormack, said she was excited to work with the Kings Meadows community. 

"As part of this program we're asking the community why Kings Meadows is special to them, and what makes it such a great place to live, work and play," she said. 

"If you're a passionate local resident interested in making your community even better, we'd love to talk to you. The Kings Meadows Learning Site will be based at the Launceston YMCA in Blaydon St so please drop in or to give me a call on 0428 109 948."

Seniors morning tea and consultation

The City of Launceston is celebrating the lead-up to Seniors Week 2021 (October 11-17) with a special morning tea at Town Hall at 10am on Wednesday, September 8. 

Come along, enjoy a cuppa and hear about what the Council offers seniors living in Launceston.

You’ll also have the opportunity to share your feedback on the second stage of the Launceston City Heart Project, which aims to bring new vibrancy to our CBD.

Attendance is limited and RSVPs are essential - please phone 6323 3349 or email contactus@launceston.tas.gov.au by September 6. 

RSVP

Travelling exhibition celebrating 50 years

Travellers' Cloaks: Handweavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild of Tasmania is a community exhibition which celebrates the common threads of our Handweavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild communities throughout Tasmania.

The Handweavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild of Tasmania is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark this, the Guild's 350 members were asked to collaborate in the production of a travelling cloak, using their diverse skills to incorporate all modes of their various crafts.

Join us at QVMAG Inveresk (11am - 12pm, September 10) for a walkthrough of the exhibition with two HWSD Guild members and cloakmakers, who will talk through the process behind the exhibition - learn how it came about and the skills, techniques and materials used to produce the cloaks.

Registration for this free event is essential. 

REGISTER NOW
Junction Arts Festival | September 1 - 5 | Launceston
Launceston Night Market | September 3 @ Civic Square | 4pm - 9pm
Tassie Makers & Creators Festival  |
September 4 @ Launceston Conference Centre | 9am - 3pm
Free For All community music sessions | Sundays @ Sawtooth Gallery | 4pm - 6pm 
Marjorie Unravelled Tasmania's Fantabulous EdnaSeptember 9 - 18 | Earl Arts Centre
Rock Challenge Tasmania Final | September 10 | Launceston Conference Centre
World Street Eats | September 12 @ Civic Square | 11am - 3pm
Women's 5km Run/Walk | September 12 from City Park | 9.30am - 12pm
Youth Spectactular | September 16 - 18 | Albert Hall
Tamar Forum 2021 | September 21 @ The Boathouse Centre | 9am - 4.30pm
Singfest | September 22 - 23 | Albert Hall 
Festival of Dance | September 24 - October 2 | Launceston Conference Centre
REGISTER NOW: Run & Walk for Your Heart | October 3 @ Inveresk Precinct 

Simple steps for a summer-ready lawn

 Your monthly green thumb guide from City of Launceston horticulturalist extraordinaire Matt Jordan 

Spring has arrived and as the weather warms up it naturally stimulates all plant growth including turf - follow these simple steps now and your lawn will be the envy of your neighbours in no time: 

  • Check soil pH - turf performs best in a neutral pH or 6.5
  • Aerate your turf - this can be done by digging a fork into the soil to a depth of 100mm x 100mm spacing or by hiring a hand turf corer for larger areas
  • Scarifying - removing any build up of grass, leaf litter and organics from your turf to improve air flow, ensure water penetrates the soil, and reduce the risk of pests and disease 
  • Use a good granular or soluble fertiliser to speed up the recovery process
  • Remove weeds by hand or use a selective herbicide for effective control
  • Top dress to fill any unevenness in your lawn - mow and fertilise turf then apply course sand and smudge it across the surface (pick up turf smudge at your local hardware store or make it yourself) 
  • Finally, check and prep irrigation now so those sprinklers are ready to go when the summer heat hits us!

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18-28 St John St | Launceston | TAS | 7250

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.