While 2020 brought many challenges - many of which are still being felt in sectors like tourism - there's plenty for Launceston to be optimistic about as we head into 2021.
Planning applications in Launceston, for example, reached record levels last year - a solid indicator of strong investor confidence.
A record 900 planning applications were received in the 2020 calendar year, with 93 applications approved in November alone; the largest number issued in a single month.
Projects include everything from new home extensions from mum and dad developers, to new multi-million dollar hotels.
In the year ahead, the City of Launceston will continue to progress community infrastructure projects like the redevelopment of the Launceston Road Safety Centre, and significant upgrades for both Churchill Park and the historic Albert Hall.
We'll continue to progress CBD projects like the Launceston Bus Interchange and Birchalls redevelopment, and negotiate the next iteration of the Launceston City Deal.
As part of the council's Community Care and Recovery Package, more than $15m worth of infrastructure and improvements will roll out across the municipality in the first quarter of 2021. These projects include road improvements, footpath improvements, a new landfill cell and more.
In the private sector, there are some really exciting projects, including the redevelopment of the Gasworks site, and the recently-approved Fragrance Hotel as well as other unique projects yet to be announced.
The year's events calendar is already starting to fill up. While some favourite events may come in a slightly different format this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, it's been great to see so many Northern Tasmanian families out and about supporting events like Mona Foma and Beerfest over summer.
The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for many years, and there will still be many challenges we will need to work together to overcome.
However, there is every reason for Launceston to feel confident as it looks towards the future.
Launceston is blessed to count among its population so many people working across so many fields of human endeavour to make our city and region a better place.
Each of us plays a vital role in what makes Launceston such a special place to live and in making our community what it is.
With so many opportunities ahead of us, and with such a strong sense of community, I have every expectation Launceston will continue to grow and prosper in 2021.
- Albert van Zetten, Launceston mayor