George Town plan to cut rates for artistic window displays

George Town Council general manager John Brown and mayor Briget Archer in the main street.
George Town Council general manager John Brown and mayor Briget Archer in the main street.

A plan to bring more art and colour back into the main streets of George Town will be debated at Wednesday’s council meeting.

Councillor Peter Parkes has submitted a notice of motion which could see the owners of vacant buildings receive a rates remission if they helped to liven-up their premises.

He will ask for the matter to be discussed at a council workshop with council officers to formulate the policy.

“[It would] encourage owners of vacant shops to display art work or models in their windows ... that are in keeping with the immediate local region and its history,” Cr Parkes said in the council agenda.

“Window displays would need to be appropriate in nature and meet a high standard which could be outlined in the same policy.

“Window displays would also need to encompass all of the street facing window space.”

Cr Parkes has suggested the themes of the art or displays could include, but not be limited to history about convicts, colonial times, Tasmanian aboriginals, maritime and industrial history as well as flora and fauna.

[It would] encourage owners of vacant shops to display art work or models in their windows ... that are in keeping with the immediate local region.

Cr Peter Parkes

“A rate remission of around 20 to 30 per cent would be offered to those who’s shop windows met the policy requirements while their property was vacant and not conducting business,” he said.

“Unfortunately there are a number of vacant shops in the CBD and increasingly shop fronts are being boarded up which is unsightly and effects the look and feel of the entire area.

“A rate remission would assist owners and encourage Art and History displays rather than boards.”

The council agenda also includes items regarding the Northern Economic Stimulus Package and efforts to reduce the speed limit at Dalrymple Road. Two petitions will also be tabled regarding average area rates.