City of Launceston workshops new by-law after court loss to Christian preacher Caleb Corneloup

The Brisbane Street Mall is one of the locations which would be managed by the proposed by-law.
The Brisbane Street Mall is one of the locations which would be managed by the proposed by-law.

Issues with public speaking permits, as well as powers regarding abandoned cars and shops, are the key reasons behind a potential new by-law being discussed the City of Launceston.

The council is in the process of workshopping the proposed Facilities and Local Highways By-law, which would repeal four other by-laws including the Malls By-Law, which was used to challenge the council in the Federal Court of Australia.

Christian preacher Caleb Corneloup questioned the validity of the council’s decision to deny him a permit in March 2015.

The court overturned the council’s decision on the basis that the denial of the permit was not made by an authorised officer as required by the Malls By-Law.

According to the council’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee agenda the main objective of the proposed by-law is to regulate, control and protect designated malls, parks and gardens and in some instances local highway areas in the municipal area. 

This would not just include malls but the Launceston Leisure and Aquatic Centre as well as the University of Tasmania Stadium. 

“The by-law is also to promote safe and user friendly areas for the public,” the report said.

“The controls set out in the by-law are intended to provide a behavioural framework for members of the public when visiting the council's land and facilities.”

One of the goals of the new by-law will be to provide “more clarity and simplicity around who is authorised under the by-laws to exercise the powers”.

The next step would required the council record its intention to make the new by-law, which requires an absolute majority vote at a council meeting.

It will then be assessed and certified by the Director Local Government, a notice published in The Examiner and a public submission period would begin.

Those statements and suggestions from stakeholders would then be considered and any revisions the council deemed necessary would be made.