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

What a thrill it was to learn last week that Launceston had been named Wotif's 2022 Aussie Town of the Year - a true reflection of the incredible city we know and love so dearly, and the first time a Tasmanian town has made it into the annual awards' top 10 since their inception in 2017.

The winner and top 10 is determined by Wotif data which examines destination trends, traveller satisfaction and length of stays, accommodation affordability and quality, and attractions and entertainment.

Launceston topped the list against stiff competition from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, beating some of the country's best-known tourist destinations in the process.

The win constitutes unbeatable recognition of what Launceston and Northern Tasmania has to offer the nation's tourism market.

Wotif's data revealed demand for our city has grown by more than 125 per cent, and that's a very strong indication that the rest of Australia recognises and values what makes Launceston so special, such as our iconic natural attractions, fantastic regional facilities, amazing local produce, and excellent variety of accommodation options.

This award is a credit to Launceston's hospitality and tourism businesses who collectively have been working for many years to put Launceston on the map, and to you, the members of our community, who make our city what it is.

On a much more sombre note, our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Australians faced with devastating flooding across NSW and QLD, and, further afield, all those who're suffering as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

From last night, Town Hall and the Seaport Bridge are being lit yellow and blue in support of the Ukrainian people.  

- Mayor Albert van Zetten

State of the City report identifies trends

CEO Michael Stretton

The City of Launceston recently released our State of the City report, which examined Launceston-specific data relating to population, employment, transport, digital inclusion, education, sport, recreation, culture, the arts, and development.

The report shows the municipality experienced positive population growth at 1.15%, or a net increase of 779 people, for the reporting year with the growth rate nearing the Population Taskforce Strategy's annual target of 1.2%.

According to the Regional Movers Index, Launceston was ranked fourth among regional cities nationwide, with a 34% increase in regional migration from capital cities.

A number of employment sectors saw increases to full time equivalent jobs, with the largest increases in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector (an increase of 656 full-time equivalent local workers), and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (an increase of 201 full-time equivalent local workers).

The report found Launceston was the region's employment hub with 37% of people who worked in Launceston living outside the Launceston municipality.

Development in the municipality continued to boom, with the Council approving 771 planning applications worth $383m in the reporting period.

In the environmental sector, the report found Launceston was performing better than most cities in the National Cities Performance Framework Report with 11.1 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per capita per year.

The report also identified challenges for the municipality, including unemployment rates, a lack of indoor sports facilities, poor air quality levels, and high levels of disadvantage in some suburbs.

The State of the City report is part of the City of Launceston's Four Year Delivery Plan and helps the Council prioritise initiatives and aids in strategic decision making for the municipality.


Have your say: $250 vouchers up for grabs

Preparing the Annual Budget is an essential part of Local Government operations, and we want to give our residents the opportunity to understand what goes into building the budget.

To do this we are using an interactive budget tool that will help grow your understanding of the budget process, alongside Council’s financial limitations and available resources.

Complete our online Balancing Act survey and go into the draw to win one of two $250 vouchers for use at a Launceston municipality hospitality venue of your choice, which have been during it tough throughout the COVID pandemic.

Voucher winners will be notified by email after the consultation closes on March 18.


Exploring the history of Kings Meadows

Residents from OneCare's The Manor Gardens Retirement Village are leading a community art project with a difference.

As part of the City of Launceston's ABCDE Learning Site project, the facility's residents association is seeking help from the broader Launceston community to create a photographic exhibition exploring the history of Kings Meadows.

The exhibition will be displayed at The Manor's Bruce Davison Centre, the facility's communal hall and regular meeting place. The Manor Gardens Residents Association President Steve Coull said the residents had chosen "It's about time" as the title of the exhibition.

"Recently we had the Bruce Davison Centre repainted and the thought among the residents was that we'd put a call out to the Launceston community for old photos of Kings Meadows and nearby areas to put on display," Mr Coull said. 

People who would like to submit photographs or find out more about the project can email


Amorous arachnids caught on tape

WATCH: Valentine's Day has come and gone, but that hasn't stopped QVMAG researchers playing cupid in the name of science. Last month, QVMAG Honorary Research Associate John Douglas set himself the goal of capturing the mating display of the male peacock jumping spider on film.

New learner motorcycle license program

Young people from Launceston's Northern Suburbs are being given the opportunity to obtain their Learner motorcycle license through a new program facilitated by the City of Launceston.

Utilising a $35,000 Community Road Safety Grant, the Council is rolling out the free Full Gear motorcycle training program to young people who've encountered barriers to obtaining their motorcycle license.

Mayor Albert van Zetten said motorcycles were a relatively cheap and convenient form of transport, but motorcycle riders continued to be over-represented in crash statistics in Tasmania.

"We're hopeful this program will make a real difference by ensuring participants keep safety front of mind at all times," he said.

There are 14 training places available and participants can attend the six-week course at either Ravenswood's Starting Point Neighbourhood House or Rocherlea's The Shed.

Applications are open to Ravenswood, Rocherlea, Newnham and Mowbray residents aged between 16 years & nine months, and 25 years old.

PHOTO: Mayor Albert van Zetten, Full Gear coordinator Jon Evans and City of Launceston Youth Development Officer Claudia Taylor. 


Opening of new UTAS building at Inveresk

The new Library and Student Experience Building at the University of Tasmania’s Inveresk Campus was officially opened on February 22, signifying an exciting step for students and the communities of Launceston and Northern Tasmania.

The new building is part of a $130 million investment by the Federal Government under the Jobs and Growth for Tasmania project to support construction of three facilities at UTAS’s new Inveresk campus in Launceston.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the Government was continuing to deliver important community infrastructure through the City Deal.

“The opening of the new UTAS Library and Student Experience Building is an example of the significant city-shaping benefits of the $536 million Launceston City Deal,” Minister Fletcher said.

Mayor Albert van Zetten said the Launceston City Deal was helping to support local jobs and boost the economy.

“It's wonderful to see three levels of government cooperate and work towards a common goal,” he said.

The next two teaching and learning buildings under construction at Inveresk are the River’s Edge Building and Willis St Building, which are on track for completion in late 2022 and 2023.

PHOTO: Mayor Albert van Zetten and Deputy Mayor Danny Gibson at the opening of the new building.


William St $1.1M reseal project begins

The City of Launceston will next week begin work on the $1.1m reseal of William Street between Tamar and St John streets.

The majority of work on the 380m section of road will be undertaken at night and is expected to take four weeks to complete, weather dependent. Motorists are advised that detours will be in place.

In a first for Launceston, a 220m section of the existing road surface will be recycled and re-used as road base material.

This is achieved by milling the existing asphalt and base course - an estimated 1200 tonnes of material - and mixing it with a foam bitumen stabilisation additive.

The recycled material is then reapplied to the road base with a compactor, before a new layer of asphalt is applied to the surface.


Tas Bike Week 2022: March 6 - 18

Whether you're a regular rider or need some encouragement to dust off the bike and hit the road or track, Bike Week is the perfect opportunity to prioritise your health and fitness - and the environment.

Visit Bicycle Network Tasmania and the Tamar Bicycle Users Group for a range of local events and rides to suit all ages and fitness levels.


Connecting with your neighbours

Neighbour Day on Sunday, March 27, provides the perfect opportunity for people to increase social connection in their local areas.

You can celebrate in a variety of ways including hosting or supporting events, or by taking simple neighbourly actions that assist and engage your communities.

You'll find plenty of information, ideas and free resources on the Neighbour Day website.


COVID booster shots

If you’re aged 16 or over and had your second dose of vaccine before December, you're now eligible for your booster shot.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family and the community, and getting a booster will ensure your vaccination status is up-to-date.


APPLY NOW: Grants & Sponsorship

Applications for the City of Launceston's Event Sponsorship and Community Grants for Organisations programs close soon. 

For more information, to check eligibility and to apply, please visit our website.

Grounded: Place is Space @ QVMAG

On show at the Museum at Inveresk from March 12 to July 3, Grounded: Place is Space gathers a collection of works from queer and queer ally artists, craftisans and poets from across Northern Tasmania.

Grounded: Place is Space explores the theme of 'Place' for our Northern Tasmanian LGBTIQA+ and ally community, including what this means to artists as experiential, as performative, and as sanctuary.

This exhibition provides an opportunity for queer culture to be shared throughout our community, while discussing the limits of the LGBTIQA+ and ally community’s past, alongside perceptions of the future.

Grounded: Place is Space is an exhibition proud to support emerging creatives from across Northern Tasmania to gain experience and to further their artistic careers. Artists are members of the Queer Artists Collective and FamiliQ.

Image: Stella Blackwell, (detail of) 'The Invisibility', 2022, acrylic on canvas 

Celebrating International Women's Day

Three days, three free immersive workshops - join QVMAG in the lead up to International Women's Day at the Art Gallery, Royal Park (register via the links):


  • Every Friday
  • 5pm - 10pm
  • Civic Square
  • March 5
  • 1.10pm
  • Devonport Oval
  • March 5
  • 7.30pm 
  • Albert Hall
Encore Theatre Company
  • March 10 - 26
  • Princess Theatre
Harmony Week Launch
  • March 13
  • 11am - 3pm
  • Civic Square

  • March 19 - 20
  • Northern Athletics Centre
  • March 20 
  • 1pm 
  • Balfour St

  • March 21 - 27 
  • Multiple locations
  • March 26
  • 10am 
  • Launceston CBD
  • March 26 - 27
  • Symmons Plains Raceway

Quick links


Council meetings

March 10 & 24 | 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.