West Tamar Council launch bid for city status

Peter Kearney
Peter Kearney

A bid to make the West Tamar area a city will be proposed at the region’s council meeting.

Councillor Peter Kearney will move two motions at the meeting on Tuesday.

The first asks the council to request the Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein to consider the council as a municipal area.

The second asks the council to hold an elector poll at the local government elections in October to see if the region supports the city proposal.

Cr Kearney said action to acquire city status for the area should start now. 

“The Local Government Act states the criteria a municipality must meet before city status. So if a municipality can meet those criteria, I believe that seeking city status is a smart move,” he said. 

An area must have a population of about 20,000 for at least five years prior to the motion, have at least 60 per cent living in an urban area and an elector poll to determine if the community supports the idea.  

“Currently we meet the first two criteria for becoming a city. To meet the third will require us to hold an elector poll,” Cr Kearney said. 

“The current population of the West Tamar is 23,721 … that indicates steady growth with the effects of the Legana development just starting to kick in, it meets the five-year criteria.”

Cr Kearney said the cost of becoming a city and holding an elector poll was “very little” if the vote was held in conjunction with a local government election.

“Holding an elector poll gives our residents the chance to decide if they support the proposal, and if they do, we then meet the third criteria,” he said.  

“[The proposal] needs to be raised now if we are to have the chance to hold an elector poll in conjunction with the October elections.”

Cr Kearney said there were a number of benefits of becoming a city and would confirm the area was a “significant and important” part of Northern Tasmania. 

“The move to become a city would be the most amazing chance for the West Tamar to sell ourselves in new ways to the region, the state, the country and the world,” he said. 

“It would confirm the pride of our residents, better reflect and improve our standing with government, confirm our image as a good place to settle, develop a business build a career and raise families.” 

There has not been a city created in Tasmania for more than 30 years, Cr Kearney said. 

“Leading up to the bicentennial, Clarence left Hobart to became a city in 1988 with 45,000 people, and Burnie in 1988 with 23,000 people,” he said. “Those are the last cities created in Tasmania.”

The West Tamar Council meeting will be held on July 17 at 1.30pm at the Windsor Community Precinct.