Launceston's famous, or infamous, blockie route is one of those classic city stories - it's woven into the fabric of the city's tales.
The blockie route was born because of changes to Launceston's CBD streets, when the introduction of one-way streets created a unique block for car enthusiasts to travel and be social.
The route's significance to Launceston's cultural and social fabric is an example of how culture can be everywhere, not just in arts or theatre, City of Launceston creative arts and cultural services general manager Tracy Puklowski said.
And it's those types of stories, the grassroots cultural stories that the City of Launceston council is seeking to inform its new cultural strategy.
The cultural strategy has been on the cards at the council for a few months, however community consultation had to be put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The draft cultural strategy lays out five proposed strategic aims for the council:
- to respect Aboriginal culture;
- to realise the potential of our cultural places and assets;
- to foster creative practices;
- reveal our cultural stories; and
- build and extend partnerships.
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However, Ms Puklowski said now was the time to reengage in that conversation, and said the council was conscious of how the pandemic had impacted the cultural and arts scenes.
"Culture is inclusive, it can be found anywhere," she said.
The City of Launceston draft cultural strategy can be found online, but Launceston residents are being encouraged to give their feedback via an online survey to help shape the final draft.
Ms Puklowski said the strategy would be used to inform council's activities and how it used its cultural assets, such as the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and the Automobile Museum.
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She said a lot of hard work had gone into the draft strategy and the council was seeking to identify what parts of Launceston's culture was important to the community.
"There is culture in everything, it's in our car culture, our art, our theatre, but it's also in our food and sport," she said.
"It is emerging through the identities of the people who live here, which is diverse."
In other news:
Deputy mayor Danny Gibson said blockies was a pastime that had earned its place in Launceston's cultural lexicon, featuring in a recent web comedy series and even advertisements for National Pies.
"It's certainly become a part of that much broader identity of who we are as a city," Councillor Gibson said.
"Over the years the blockie route has caused the occasional problems with hooning behaviour, but it has also been a positive social outlet for many people growing up in the city."
Mayor Albert van Zetten said the blockie route had been identified as a cultural icon of Launceston, but said there were no plans yet to remove the route through traffic management.
Launceston's traffic management has been envisioned through the Invermay Traffic Master Plan and the recent Greater Launceston Traffic Vision plans.
Councillor van Zetten said no plans had been made yet on whether to remove Launceston's one-way streets, but that was part of the second stage of the council's City Heart program.
"We want to have a good understanding of what Launceston's cultural strengths are, which is why feedback from the community is important to us," Cr van Zetten said.
"That will allow us to begin work on the second phase of this project, which will be aimed at developing actions arising from the feedback we've received."
- The survey is available at www.yourvoiceyourlaunceston.com.au and closes on August 28.