Southern Tasmania:
Ready for change?

Download the Community Survey responses.

The Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority, with funding support from the Federal Government’s Local Government Reform Fund, has appointed an independent panel to work through the issue of what would be the best structure for local government in Southern Tasmania in the future.

The Independent Panel, has commenced its task of exploring options for future structures for Local Government in Southern Tasmania. It has just received the results of a Community Survey of the Region.

“The STCA survey is a robust survey for the Southern community. Undertaken by Myriad Research the survey of 1212 people, randomly selected from across the region gives us a very high degree of confidence that the results truly reflect what the community currently feel.” said Jude Munro, Chair of the Independent panel.

“We had the opportunity to include in this Community Survey a number of questions that related directly to the project we are working on,” said Ms Munro

“The first question was to see what people thought about their councils sharing resources with other councils. Not surprisingly, well over three quarters of the people surveyed felt their Council should be resource sharing with others. The interesting aspect of the survey was the fact this belief was more strongly held in urban than in rural council areas in Southern Tasmania”

“The second question asked whether people thought their council should consider amalgamating with one or more of its neighbours. While some people were undecided, over half the entire sample of 1200 people thought their own council should look at merging with one or more of its neighbours. The results show this was more strongly felt in urban areas (53% in favour, 26% against ) than in the rural areas, where the result was approximately 47% in favour and 34% against.”

“The third question asked whether the 12 Southern Councils should consider combining into one regional council. The results for this question indicated that approx. 38% felt this would be a good thing, while 41% were against the idea. It is interesting to note that in the urban area the split is evenly balanced, while in the rural areas there is a much higher level of disagreement with the idea of a single regional council – around 46%.” said Ms Munro.

“The final question asked whether people agreed with the idea of state government taking over the role of local government. There was a very high, and consistent view from the people of Southern Tasmania with 63% stating this was not an acceptable idea and only 18% thinking it was.” said Ms Munro.

“This was a very robust regional survey. The results indicate to the independent panel that the Southern Tasmanian Community can get some benefit in looking at the way that local government is structured, especially in the urban areas of the region. It is also clear there is overwhelming support for local government continuing as a sphere of government and provider of services to the community.”

“The next stage of our project is to develop options for local government that can be discussed by the community, local and state government. Our aim is to have those options out for discussion by the end of August.” said Ms Munro.

“This is a really proactive step that the STCA has taken to get an independent panel to look at structural issues in Local Government. Local Government is leading this process and we want to manage our own future. ” the Chair of the Steering committee responsible for this project, Alderman Adriana Taylor said.

“Once the independent panel comes out with its options paper in late August they will be having workshops with elected members to get their views on those options as well as opening up the options for public comment and suggestions.” Said Alderman Taylor.

For further information please contact:

Ald A Taylor – Mobile: 0419 550 051

Ms J Munro – Mobile 0419 393 690