Download the Final Report and all Appendices below:

Structural Project – Final Report

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NEW Download the LGAT response.

NEW Download the mailed in responses — Part V

Download the mailed in responses — Part IV

Download the mailed in responses — Part III

Download the mailed in responses — Part II

Download the mailed in responses — Part I

NEW Download the email feedback from October 3 to October 12 2011

Download the email feedback from September 26 to Octoberv3 2011

Download the email Feedback from September 20-25 2011

Download the email Feedback from September 9-19 2011 received by the Independent Panel.

Download the email Feedback September 2-9 2011 received by the Independent Panel.

Download the email Feedback to September 2 2011 that has been received by the Independent Panel.

More feedback is found in the comments under each option below.

Have your say. Write to GPO Box 503, Hobart 7001 or Email the Panel


Please consider the four options presented below. Discuss them with others. Tell us which one you think is the best and why;

Write to GPO Box 503, Hobart 7001 or Email the Panel

A more detailed Options Paper prepared by the Independent Panel is available for download here.

Issues papers on the following topics are available here:

  1. Download the Asset Management paper paper.
  2. Download the Local Government reform and the Southern Tasmanian economy paper.
  3. Download the Participation and Place paper.
  4. Download the Strategic procurement paper.
  5. Download the History of Local Government Reform in Southern Tasmania
  6. Download the Discussion Paper: Better Practice of Local Government


Jude Munro, AO

The Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority (STCA) is made up of 12 Councils across the region.

Stephen Hains

For some time, the STCA has been aware of calls for improvement in local government in Southern Tasmania, and earlier this year it appointed an independent panel of experts to find an alternative structure that would enable Councils to provide the same or better level of service for residents at less cost, and with greater benefits.

Saul Eslake

The independent panel comprises ]ude Munro AO, former CEO of Brisbane, Adelaide, Moreland and St Kilda City Councils; Saul Eslake, a Tasmanian-educated economist and also a non-Executive Director of Hydro Tasmania and former Chairman of the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board; and Stephen Hains, former CEO of the City of Salisbury, SA.


Our brief was to look for options that would benefit both urban-dwellers and rural communities, while maximising the potential of the whole metropolitan area of Hobart as the region’s major city. For example:

  • Pooling resources in some areas, to offer the same or better services to ratepayers for less money.
  • Combining forces so that Councils are comparable in size with other influential Councils around Australia.
  • Pulling together to support tourism, forestry, agriculture, retail and other vital industries.

If Southern Tasmania Councils are to do things more efficiently, more effectively, and have a stronger voice in the national debate, change is needed.

Two factors have influenced our thinking. Firstly, Hobart and its surrounding areas must play a crucial role in this transition.

Secondly, in so far as possible, decision-making about local affairs should remain in the hands of local people.

After widespread consultation, we are presenting four alternatives.

These are big ideas and there is still work to be done on the finer detail.

We are open-minded about what will be recommended, and this is your opportunity to have a real say in the future of local government in Southern Tasmania.


Southern Tasmania is currently divided into I2 municipalities.

Southern Tasmania has a total population of approximately 250,000. Approximately
82% of the population live in the metropolitan area of Greater Hobart.

Greater Hobart comprises all or part of the Local Government areas of Hobart, Clarence, Glenorchy, Kingborough, Brighton and Sorell.

The region as a whole represents approximately 48% percent of the total Tasmanian population.

The population of each of the council areas* is:

  • Brighton: l5,807
  • HuonValley: l5,l34
  • Central Highlands:2,324
  • Glamorgan/SpringBay:4,500
  • Clarence City: 52,140
  • Kingborough: 33,464
  • DerwentValley: 10,036
  • Sorell: I3,127
  • Glenorchy City: 44,628
  • Southern Midlands: 6,054
  • Hobart City: 49,887
  • Tasman 2,374

*Source: ABS Estimated residential population 2009


Status Quo with Shared Services

The I2 Councils stay as they are and sign up to a joint body which takes over an agreed range of regional activities, such as planning, procurement, and looking after roads.

It becomes the main point of contact for residents.

The joint body would be a substantial organisation, sitting between State and local government.

lt would bring together various regional authorities and could produce significant savings by coordinating services.

These would be managed centrally and delivered locally.

There would be very little change to the local government structure but there could be tension between Councils and the governing board of the regional body.

While shared services as a means of achieving economies of scale from small local government units may be an attractive theory, there are few examples in Australia where robust and longterm shared services have been achieved.

The greatest benefits would come from better advocacy for the region,improved eficiency, cost savings and minimal disruption.

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A Single Southern Tasmanian Regional Council

The 12 Councils are merged to create a Southern Tasmanian Regional Council (STRC).

This Council would serve 260,000 people – 50% of the population of Tasmania – making it the seventh largest Council in Australia.

The STRC would be a powerful force in Australian government, advocating for the region, and there would be considerable savings for ratepayers.

However, it would cover such a vast area that some communities would be more than two hours’ travelling time from the seat of power.

Big might be too big.

A recent survey found that only 35% of people living in the region supported this option.

The greatest benefits would come from better advocacy for the region, a simpler local government structure, improved efficiency, less duplication and cost savings.


Greater Hobart

A new Greater Hobart City Council is created from Hobart, Glenorchy, Brighton, most of Clarence, and the urban part of Kingborough.

A new Council would comprise Richmond and its surrounds and the Sorell area.

The Channel and Bruny Islands and Huon Valley would merge to form a new Council.

The other Councils remain the same.

This option would maximise the potential of Hobart to provide a powerful voice for the metropolitan area and for the whole of Southern Tasmania.

Significant savings would be made, and the City of Greater Hobart would be of a size that would command respect both nationally and internationally.

lt would be of a scale consistent with regional and capital city Councils in the rest of Australia, but rural communities would retain their local identity and local control.

On the flip side, some areas within the new metropolitan boundaries could feel the loss ofvtheir independent identity.

The greatest benefits would come fiom a stronger Hobart and Southern Tasmanian economy, better advocacy for the region, a simpler local government structure, improved efficiency, less duplication and cost savings.


Separate Eastern & Western Shores for Hobart & Regional Amalgamations

The creation of new local government areas, reducing I2 Councils to, say, five – Eastern Shore, Western Shore, South Eastern Coast or Tasman, D’Entrecasteaux, Central Lakes.

The Eastern Shore would comprise Clarence, Brighton and the urban part of Sorell.

The Western Shore would comprise Hobart, Glenorchy and urban Kingborough.

South East Coast or Tasman would comprise the eastern part of Southern Midlands, Sorell, Tasman and Glamorgan/Spring Bay.

D’Entrecasteaux from a merger of Huon Valley and the rural part of Kingborough.

Central Lakes from Central Highlands, Derwent Valley and the western part of Southern Midlands.

This would mean a more equal balance of power between Councils in the region, as well as a more efficient way of working.

lt also recognises the claims by some that the eastern and western shores of Hobart are different communities.

However, it would fail to capitalise on the potential of a single political voice and administration for the whole metropolitan area of Hobart.

There would be a significant amount of upheaval for limited cost savings.

The region could also lose out in advocacy.

The greatest benefits would come from a simpler local government structure, improve efficiency and less duplication.