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

In Launceston, homelessness has often been a less visible social challenge, one that has bubbled beneath the surface but has rarely risen to widespread community attention.

That’s changing.

At a recent Council meeting, the Council heard from members of Launceston's homeless community about a very wide range of issues relating to homelessness.

There was a clear plea for the City of Launceston to take more action in this space.

Homelessness has many causes and it's a really complicated issue - the levers local government can pull are pretty limited compared to other tiers of government who can enact, for example, public housing and mental health initiatives.

There's also some conflicting expectations from our community - on the one hand, we field complaints from some community members who want us to move homeless people on, or crack down on people sleeping rough, and on the other hand we have some community members who want us to provide facilities and assistance for those who are experiencing homelessness.

There is clearly a role for us as a Council to play in addressing the challenges of homelessness, and there are opportunities for the State Government to step up its homelessness response in our region as well.

Personally, I’m also hopeful of seeing the State Government supplying additional crisis beds as a priority in Northern Tasmania.

As an immediate measure, the City of Launceston has introduced some short term assistance for those sleeping rough, including the roll-out of fully serviced portable toilets, portable shower units, bins and waste management services at designated locations across the city.

This is a small first step on what is likely to be a much longer journey, as we seek to collaborate with the State Government and other stakeholders on this complex social challenge.

- Mayor Albert van Zetten

Council's key election priorities outlined

CEO Michael Stretton

The City of Launceston's key priority projects have been identified in our strategic Four Year Delivery Plan, and the Council has been in discussions with the major political parties regarding these projects for some time.

In addition to the six key projects outlined below, we're also seeking continued support for the implementation of the Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce's long-term vision for the kanamaluka/Tamar Estuary, and the Northern suburbs community hub project which the Council is developing alongside the State Government.

UTAS Stadium redevelopment: This project seeks $209m in funding to continue work with the State Government to establish a new operating entity, Stadiums Tasmania, and to provide a significant upgrade of UTAS Stadium by increasing seating capacity, constructing new community-based indoor sporting and entertainment facilities and developing a new show court to accommodate basketball, netball and other sporting events. 

Launceston City Heart Project - Stage 2: This project seeks $8.6m in funding to provide a contemporary redevelopment of Paterson and St John streets in Launceston's CBD. Through enhanced urban canopy greening, sustainable lighting, wider footpaths, public art and street furniture, this project aims to create a pedestrian-focused CBD in all seasons.

City traffic flow improvements: This project seeks $5m to develop strategic plans for a freight transfer hub on the fringe of Launceston's urban area, with the goal of reducing the amount of container-based freight travelling through central Launceston to access inner suburban depots.

NTCA Ground master plan: This project seeks $3.1 million replace the playing surface and wicket block on Ground 1, including new drainage and irrigation systems, and to refurbish the change rooms, toilets and other ground facilities.

Princess Theatre modernisation: This project seeks $13.3 million to modernise the 1911-built Heritage-listed Princess Theatre, including improved safety, enhanced accessibility, and upgraded theatre spaces to allow a greater range of touring shows.

Recreational and residential growth opportunities: This project seeks $19.75 million to improve recreational opportunities on the outskirts of Launceston, which will in turn encourage future residential development to the south of the city.

Have your say: Northern sport & recreation 

The Northern Tasmania Development Corporation and Northern councils are seeking your feedback to help create a shared strategic vision for a new Regional Sports Facility Plan.

So far we've heard from nearly 1,300 people representing more than 2,600 athletes in the Greater Launceston area.

With one week to go before the consultation closes, don't miss your chance to provide input into the upgrading and development of sporting facilities in the Northern region over the coming years and ensure your chosen sport is well-represented in the results. 

Respondents also go in the draw for great prizes including $250 vouchers and free Hawks AFL tickets! Survey closes May 20.

ONLINE SURVEY

Council support for those sleeping rough

The City of Launceston has begun rolling out of fully serviced portable toilets, portable shower units, bins and waste management services at designated locations across the city, to help provide dignity to those sleeping rough.

Following discussions with members of Launceston's homeless community at a recent Council meeting, the City of Launceston has moved to implement a range of short-term assistance initiatives as winter approaches.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the Council would also transition its existing Homelessness Response Committee to a formal Council Committee and had commenced an audit of Council-owned infrastructure to identify potential spaces for service providers to utilise in the provision of support initiatives.

"The City of Launceston is committed to playing a constructive role in the provision of short, medium and long-term solutions for the homeless community, in collaboration with other tiers of government and key stakeholders," Mayor van Zetten said.

"Our immediate goal is to provide basic amenities to those who are sleeping rough, and to work with service providers to assist people to find permanent accommodation options."

Future of Local Government submission

The City of Launceston is advocating for the establishment of a greater Launceston metropolitan council in a submission to the State Government's Local Government Board Review into the Future of Local Government in Tasmania.

Last year, the State Government announced the Future of Local Government in Tasmania review, with the objective of creating a more robust and capable system of local government. Tasmanian Councils have been asked to provide written submissions exploring the optimal future design for Tasmania's local government sector.

The City of Launceston's submission was prepared by Councillors and Council staff and endorsed at last week's Council meeting.

Mayor Albert van Zetten said the City of Launceston's position in the Northern Tasmanian region was unique among all councils in Tasmania.

"The submission proposes a metropolitan Council model be explored for the Northern Region so that the costs of regional assets are more equitably dispersed across the communities which benefit," Mayor van Zetten  said.

"In addition, it suggests cost savings should not be the primary goal of future local government reform; rather the goal needs to be determining how we create a more robust and capable system of local government."

Community members can also provide feedback by completing an online survey which closes 5pm, May 15.

ONLINE SURVEY

Event sponsorship

The City of Launceston Event Sponsorship Program provides funding support to events that deliver a range of community, social, cultural, tourism and economic benefits to the Launceston community.

Applications close June 15. 

LEARN MORE

Waste concessions

The City of Launceston's annual Waste Concession Program helps eligible charitable and not-for-profit organisations make more eco-friendly waste disposal decisions, with subsidised entry to City of Launceston waste transfer stations.

Applications close May 31.

APPLY NOW

Tell us what you think: CCTV roll-out

The City of Launceston is currently developing a strategy for the roll-out and operation of Closed Circuit Television cameras.

The Council currently operates 373 CCTV cameras across the city. To help inform the strategy, we'd like to know how you think CCTV can better provide for the health, safety and welfare of our community. 

ONLINE SURVEY

Launceston Place Brand free resources

Launceston is a place of undercurrents. There’s something that lies beneath the surface here that defines us as a city. You may not see it at first, but the moment you step foot here, you feel it. You sense it in the streets, out in nature, by the waterways, and between the people - an undercurrent - born from generations of hard work, curiosity, community, resilience, independence.

This is the story of Launnie, and the Launceston Place Brand can help you share it: sign up as a Place Brand Partner and gain free access to brand photography, illustrations, design system and social stickers.

SIGN UP

What would you like to see at QVMAG?

The Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery has launched a new community survey to learn about the style of exhibitions, programs and events you would like to see more of at the Museum at Inveresk and Art Gallery at Royal Park in 2022 and beyond.

The survey explores everything from how often you visit, what content you would like to see more of, and what modes of travel you use when visiting the Art Gallery at Royal Park and the Museum at Inveresk.

Survey results will help to inform future planning for QVMAG and guide the development of experiences available to communities across Northern Tasmania. 

Complete the five-minute online survey to go in the draw for one of three $100 prize vouchers to spend at the QVMAG Shop. Survey closes May 27.

ONLINE SURVEY

Portable outdoor dining deck trial

The City of Launceston has advertised an Expressions of Interest process for local hospitality businesses to take part in a trial of a portable outdoor dining deck.

Thanks to a $50,000 'Ready for Business' grant program supported by the Tasmanian Government, the trial will see a dining deck constructed to provide outdoor dining facilities in areas where it has not previously been possible.

Businesses registering their interest in the trial will be assessed against a range of criteria in order for the Council to select the successful trial participant or participants.

Mayor Albert van Zetten said the 12-month trial would provide data on usage, economic activity, and street vibrancy, as well as identify challenges and opportunities for future parklet projects.

Submissions close 9am, May 23.

LEARN MORE

Join Launceston's Living Library

Previously known as the Human Library, Launceston's Living Library is one of the oldest human libraries across the world. 

Our human 'books' are 'reserved' to tell their stories to community or school groups to promote inclusion and diversity by challenging stereotypes and discrimination.

2021/22 marked the retirement and relocation of a some of our Living Books, and the passing of long-time book Sara Strong. A book drive was launched late last year, with six new volunteers joining the library so far including Jacquie, who escaped a cult, Maz, a former drug addict who's now a social worker, and Deborah, a survivor of family violence. 

If you're interested in becoming a reader, a book or a librarian, please visit our website for more information and to apply.

LEARN MORE
Seasonal markers drawing with Vicki West: QVMAG Workshop Series

Join Vicki West, pakana artist and QVMAG Aboriginal Education Facilitator, to learn about and draw seasonal markers.

Starting with a tour of the Aboriginal garden at the Museum at Inveresk, participants will sketch plants within the Aboriginal garden and compare drawings with the group, while learning about the way Bush Tucker plants can be used throughout each season.

At the end of the workshop, participants can submit their drawings to be included in a community art project at QVMAG. 

QVMAG Inveresk - click to book: May 14, 10.30am - 12.30pm 

WHAT'S ON @ QVMAG
LAUNCESTON BUSKING COMPETITION
  • May 14
  • 10am - 4.20pm
  • Brisbane St & Quadrant Malls
 
DINNER & DISCUSSION
'Launceston: a city for everyone'
  • May 17
  • 6pm - 9pm
  • Alida Restaurant
BOFA 2022
  • Online to May 31
  • Multiple films

MILLION PAWS WALK
  • May 22
  • 10am - 1pm
  • Royal Park

HAWKS V BRISBANE
  • May 22
  • 3.20pm
  • UTAS Stadium

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News@launceston.tas.gov.au | 03 6323 3000
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.