Option 2

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.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe Susnja September 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Option 2 is my choice, it simplyfies what has become a complicated system. Our population doesn’t warrant all of these existing councils & will reduce duplicity and watse.


Glenn pearce September 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm

If there only the 4 Options to choose from, Option 2 is my preferred option. It would be prefereble if a fifth option was floated say with 4 Councils, say the Highlands, Greater Hobart, South East and Southern. Option 2 should however allow the appointment of full time Councillors and a greater utilisation of resources. The Planning Authority function should be removed from Council responsibility and replaced with a truly independent group.


Moss Mills September 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm


I am in favour of option 2. It seems to me that everything nowdays is over governed which leads to cost blowouts and I believe that the tax and rate payers are not receiving true value for their dollar because of buracratic waste in these areas. Option 2, if implemented correctly, should trim the waste in my opinion.
Moss Mills.


Richard Barnes September 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm

To cut the waste, redtape and garbage issued by Councils Option 2 is the ONLY option.

Tasmania needs less Councillors, less Mayors and certainly less Council staff to pay for, such that the funds can be used on roads, parks, recreation and other projects that actually achieve something for those who pay rates.

Councils should not exist to be an employment agency.

Dr Richard Barnes


Brett @ Dodges Ferry April 21, 2012 at 10:25 am

to Dr Richard Barnes, if tasmania has less council staff how the hell are they going to maintain “roads,parks, recreation and other projects” as you said, it is bad enough now in the south east where we have no town water or sewerage, gravel streets eroding away which only get redone if you put in a complaint .


Robert Holland September 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm

This should be the preferred option. There are a number of cities where population numbers are greater than here. Professional councillors. No duplication. One set of rules and bylaws. I have seen community councils work very well in larger cities. These are unpaid, given a token budget (say $100 – 200,000 each year) for items that need doing and are of a real community interest.


Louise Grant September 29, 2011 at 9:00 am

I’m in favour of Option 2. I think Tasmania has too many local councils and there should be 3 councils in tasmania on a similar scale as the water authority boundaries. In order to create efficiencies it is imperative that the administration is cut in the amalgamation. The local works depots could be kept to maintain a local presence. With a council this big communication and representation from the local community areas is going to be important so the council represents all its area, maybe the old ward system needs to come back. Imagine what the council could do for its community – especially the rural areas- with the funds “found’ from the administration cut backs.


Nigel Shearer September 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm

This is by far the only, and preferred option. One single council will have the size and capacity to take the region forward in the future. It will be able to employ full-time professional staff that are available to deliver services on a full-time dedicated basis. The option will afford a far more strategic approach to service delivery and development for residents. It will remove the overly elaborate current system of elected council officials, many of whom ‘preside’ over a few hundred/thousand properties/residents and impose disproportionate administrative costs on vital public services. A single council will be able to streamline administrative costs and with the help from modern technology and business systems should be far more efficient and deliver quality services to all residents whether urban or rural in location. Efficiencies will accrue from being able to deliver a single service standard in each service area across the whole administrative boundary. This option is highly unlikely to ever be agreed by all the current councils who will be interested in preserving the status quo or pressing for a shared services approach (which will not reduce costs in the same manner).
Looking on a wider basis than the current study had a remit to do, a similar approach should be applied to the remaining 17 councils in the remainder of Tasmania. In addition to one Southern council, there should similarly be one Northern Council (taking in Launceston and the main areas of population in the north of the state and one council covering the west/wilderness areas – this would need a modified structure to account for the lower population levels and the potentially increased unit costs for service delivery, as well as a different agenda of conservation etc.
It would seem a sensible approach to make boundaries co-terminal with the current three water companies (even though these may be merged into one body in the future).

The State needs to grasp this opportunity for significant and meaningful structural reform with both hands and implement a structure which will serve the State well into the forseeable future and still deliver customer-focussed services at optimum cost, yet with a minimal democratic representational on-cost.


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