Council meeting news – March 2022

Glenorchy City Council’s ordinary meeting for March 2022 was held on Monday, 28 March. The meeting was held via video link and streamed online due to COVID-19 safety requirements. Council meetings will return to being held in-person in the Council chambers from April.

Council to release land to ease housing crisis

Glenorchy City Council will begin public consultation around a potential sale of two large parcels of Council-owned land to help support increased housing supply in the city.

The parcels of land in question – 23A Norman Circle, Glenorchy, and 261 Main Road, Austins Ferry – have been identified based on their size, location, zoning and other characteristics that give them the potential for significant multiple dwelling housing developments.

The decision to investigate the sale of the lots was made in response to the current housing accommodation shortage in Greater Hobart, and follows a decision made at Council’s December 2021 meeting to begin a strategic review of land suitable to be sold to increase housing as part of Council’s efforts address the crisis.

If developed, the land would collectively add almost 10 hectares of residential land supply to the Greater Hobart area, with the Austins Ferry site being over 7 hectares in area and located close to the existing large-scale subdivisions at being built at Whitestone Point.

Council will now begin a preliminary public consultation process to identify any significant concerns about the potential sale, before making a decision on whether to proceed with the sale process later this year.

CBD security measures to continue

Council voted unanimously to support the continued presence of security guards in the Glenorchy CBD to help address ongoing problems with anti-social behaviour in the area.

An initial trial began in November last year, with guards working five hours a day on weekdays, at a cost of $2200 a week, or $48,400 by the time the trial ends on April 14.

Council heard that the trial had been successful in reducing bad behaviour in the Council forecourt (including daytime violence, public urination, vandalism, littering and profane language), but that behaviours typically returned when the security guards left for the day.

Council Aldermen expressed disappointment that Glenorchy ratepayers had to foot the bill for keeping the area safe and family friendly but were encouraged by the success of the initial trial and significant reduction in poor behaviour.

The cost of continuing the security presence for the next financial year is estimated at $24,200 for the rest of the current financial year and $52,800 for the 2022-23 financial year.

Council will also continue to lobby Tasmania Police and the Tasmanian Government to continue to increase police patrols in and around the Glenorchy CBD area.

Glenorchy to be declared a Refugee Welcome Zone

Glenorchy City will join 166 other Australian Councils (including 11 in Tasmania) in declaring itself a Refugee Welcome Zone.

A Refugee Welcome Zone is a Local Government Area which has made a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.

The decision, moved and supported by Alderman Angela Ryan, and unanimously supported by Aldermen, also saw Council declare its support a resolution made by the City of Hobart in January, to voice support and advocate on behalf of the refugees stranded at the Park Hotel in Melbourne.

Council will officially sign the declaration, with the support of the Refugee Council of Australia, during Refugee Week in June this year.

Support for BMX track move

Council received a report on the recent decision to relocate the Southern City BMX Track from its current location at Berriedale to to Pembroke Park in Sorell.

A similar report was presented to Council at its February meeting, however had to be considered in a closed session while negotiations about the potential move were taking place.

However, with negotiations now complete, Council released information previously unable to be made public, in the interests of transparency and keeping the community informed.

The report detailed Council’s efforts to find a suitable alternative location for the relocated BMX track in the Glenochy municipality, with the search having to be broadened to other regions when a viable location was unable to be found.

Council heard that other locations investigated included Tolosa Park, Collinsvale Recreation Ground, Goodwood Park, Abbotsfield Park, Jim Bacon Reserve and Poimena Reserve, with all being ruled out due to them being too steep or having underground services or other unfavourable conditions.

Council had previously voted, at its February meeting, to redirect funds from its Economic Recovery Program to Sorell Council to help facilitate the BMX Track’s relocation.

However, the report noted that the $433,000 currently set aside was a small price to pay compared to the estimated $2.1 million cost of constructing a new facility at Tolosa Park, and the economic benefits that will flow to Glenorchy as a result of the development of the existing site on the Berriedale Peninsula.

Sorell Council is currently investigating the final cost of the proposal before it makes a final decision on whether to proceed with the project.