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From the Mayor 

It is with a heavy heart I write to you today as we all struggle to come to terms with the news five young souls have tragically lost their lives in the devastating jumping castle accident in Devonport yesterday.

On behalf of myself, the councillors and our staff at the City of Launceston I offer my most sincere and deepest condolences to the family and friends of the five beautiful children from Hillcrest Primary School whose lives were taken far too soon.

Our hearts break for the staff and students at Hillcrest Primary, and all those impacted by this unimaginable tragedy.

And to our amazing emergency service personnel and first responders, the people of Launceston stand with you and offer you our love and support at this most difficult time.

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you all, and my door is always open to anyone who simply needs to talk - it's so important we're aware how far-reaching the impact of a tragedy such as this can be, and how deeply it might affect ourselves and those around us.

At a time like this the Tasmanian community comes together and I know you all join me in pledging to be there for the people of Devonport, and for each other.

- Mayor Albert van Zetten

Celebrating 2021: the year in review

CEO Michael Stretton

The past 12 months have been incredibly busy and exciting, with the City of Launceston working in partnership with the community on a huge range of initiatives.

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

Throughout the year the Council continued to undertake important strategic work, reviewing the future of UTAS Stadium, developing a Cultural Strategy, and working with a range of other stakeholders as part of the Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce.

At the Council's recent AGM, we screened this short summary (video below) of the Council's work in the 2020-21 financial year, which I hope gives some insight into the variety of work our staff are engaged in.

We're anticipating an action-packed 2022 in Launceston, and we look forward to communicating to you through our e-newsletter when we return in January next year.

2021 Year in Review

Enjoy Christmas festivities in CBD

Thanks to Cityprom's Love Launnie Christmas promotion, visitors to the CBD are being treated to a variety of festive entertainment, roving performers, Christmas installations and decorations and much more in the lead up to December 25.  

"Launceston’s city centre has an incredible number of independent and locally owned and managed retailers which are complemented by an ever-growing number of national chains," Cityprom Executive Officer Amanda McEvoy said.

"By supporting our local economy and shopping in the city, you not only get amazing customer service and variety, but there's also music, entertainment and Christmas competitions to enter which make it a great day out as well."

This season sees the return of the much-loved Find Santa’s Reindeer competition and the Christmas Window display competition, and Santa himself will be making some appearances at the Christmas Grotto - located at the back of Balls n Bumpers - which is also home to Santa’s Mailbox.

The Rotary Club of Tamar Sunrise will be in the Brisbane Street Mall each Saturday wrapping gifts for a small donation, accompanied by carolers singing traditional and modern Christmas songs.


Free Community Christmas lunch

The Launceston City Community Christmas is an opportunity for the community to come together on Christmas Day.

This is a free event open to anyone in the greater Launceston community. Held in the beautiful Albert Hall, a traditional Christmas lunch is served to attendees and children's activities and entertainment are provided.

This is a COVID-safe event - numbers are limited and registrations are essential.


Music in the Park returns for 2022

Launceston's annual concert program Music in the Park will celebrate its 15th anniversary when it returns to City Park for 2022 in January.

Music in the Park is a free concert series held in Launceston's City Park on Sundays throughout summer, featuring live music from talented local performers and free train rides for the kids.

This summer's Music in the Park features six concerts with the first, featuring Apache, kicking off on Sunday, January 9. Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the annual Music in the Park series was supported by a loyal crowd of followers.

"City Park is a magnificent setting for events like this, and there are some great musicians taking part," Mayor van Zetten said.

"If you love taking advantage of the summer weather, getting outside with friends and family, and live music, then Music in the Park is for you."

Visit our website for the full program and dates.


Mobile animal shelter wins awards

Tasmania's first purpose-built mobile animal shelter for use in natural disasters has had a 'December to remember', with the project being recognised twice on the national stage this month. 

The City of Launceston constructed the shelter, based in a 40-foot shipping container, to house the most at-risk animals in emergencies like bushfires and floods. 

The shelter - which is designed to be easily transportable to any part of the State - boasts animal care facilities, insulation, air conditioning, LED lighting, extraction fans, running water and an administration area.

Earlier this month, the shelter won the national prize in the innovation category at the Companion Animal Rescue Awards, followed by the Tasmanian local government award at the Resilient Australia Awards. Last week the project was also recognised as a finalist in the local government category of the national Resilient Australia Awards in Melbourne.

Watch the above video for a tour!


Launceston Tool Library initiative 

Earlier this year, City of Launceston street-sweeping veteran Ross Brent discovered a set of tools, estimated to be worth more than $6000, on the side of the road near Kings Bridge, before handing them in to Tasmania Police.

Last month police invited Mr Brent to take possession of the tools as the original owner had not been located. Mr Brent has instead opted to donate the tools to the Launceston Tool Library, a new initiative being developed in partnership between the Youngtown Rotary Men's Shed and the City of Launceston.

Late last year, as part of the Council's Kings Meadows Learning Site program, the Men's Shed and the Council began discussing the establishment of a Launceston Tool Library; a place where tools could be lent out to the general public in the same way books are borrowed from a library. 

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said that when complete, the Launceston Tool Library would provide a new service to the community, reduce resource consumption, and divert waste from landfill. 

"Tools can be expensive and it often doesn't make good financial sense to spend money on buying a tool you may only need for a five-minute repair job around the home," he said.


Movember effort causes close shave

Staff from across the City of Launceston did their bit to help promote and support important men's health initiatives as part of Movember last month.

Check out the video above to see Team Leader Jarred Ranson bid goodbye to his famed red beard at the hands of the The Kingsway Barbershop's Alex Toscan - helping the team raise more than $3600!

Tasmanian Disability Festival exhibition

The Tasmanian Disability Festival Art Exhibition & Prize was launched recently with the finalists' amazing artwork on show to the public at Woolmers Estate throughout the month of December. 

The artwork can also be viewed online and you can vote for your favourite piece in the People's Choice Awards. 


Keep Australia Beautiful recognition

The City of Launceston was thrilled to be named the winner of the 2021 Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns (15,000+ population) Award in the recent Keep Australia Beautiful Awards.  

In addition to the major award, the City of Launceston also received Certificates of Recognition for the following projects and initiatives:

  • Zero Carbon Emissions by 2025
  • Riverbend Park
  • Supporting Circular Economy projects
  • Lilydale Recycling Trailer
  • CBD Mobile Bins Project
  • FOGO Partnerships
  • Mobile Muster
  • Recycling Hub
  • QVMAG Natural Sciences

Photo: Waste & Environment Officer Jess Nesbit

Protect yourself and our community

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and the wider Launceston community from COVID-19.

Walk in to a State-run clinic without a booking, or make an appointment online or by calling the public health hotline on 1800 671 738. Vaccinations are also available at participating GPs and pharmacies - contact your local GP or visit to make an appointment.

QVMAG Art Gallery launches new exhibition

Tao Sublime is the latest temporary exhibition to feature at the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery at Royal Park, bringing together the vast knowledge of painting practice from internationally-renowned Tasmanian artist Tony Smibert. 

Built from refined skill and dedication to landscape painting spanning a career of 40 years, Tao Sublime showcases a collection of emotive and striking works by Smibert; many of which will be revealed to the public for the first time.

Tao Sublime is on show at the QVMAG Art Gallery, Royal Park, until November next year.

LAUNCESTON NIGHT MARKET | December 17 | Civic Square
NEW YEAR'S EVE | December 31 | Royal Park
SWIMRUN | January 8 | Cataract Gorge
WORLD STREET EATS | January 9 | Civic Square
BIG BASH LEAGUE | January 10 | UTAS Stadium

Prepping for when you're away

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

If you're planning on going to the beach over the holiday period, here's a few simple steps you can take to help maintain your garden while you're away: 

  • If you haven't already, installing an irrigation system set to a regular automated timer will help keep plants watered. Set your watering schedule to longer run times to ensure a deep soil watering. This irrigation system could be as simple as a tap timer and soaker hose;
  • Top up mulch around veggies and ornamentals and consider applying mulch to potted plants - this will help to retain moisture and cover any surface roots that may have formed from direct sunlight;
  • A liquid feed of organic soluble fertiliser is exactly what plants will benefit from this time of year - this helps to maintain enrichment and increase vigour against pests and disease. Apply as a foliage feed over the plant;
  • Hand-weeding your patch will ensure your plants aren't competing for available nutrients and space, and you won't return from your break relaxed and tanned to a jungle of weeds.

Merry Christmas and happy gardening!

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