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Council

Welcome to George Town Council.

The George Town Council consists of nine Councillors elected by the community who also elect the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Council ordinary meetings are usually held the third Wednesday in every month commencing at 10:00AM in the Council Chambers, 16-18 Anne Street, George Town. Members of the public are invited to attend these meetings.  Council has to consider a large volume of business so a Council Committee structure is used to help streamline the high workload.

Council is dedicated to supporting local businesses within the community. Our key focus is to ensure doing business with Council is as easy and accessible as possible. If you are thinking of setting up or expanding your business in George Town, please feel free to conctact us and we will provide you with all the important information you will need.

History

European explorers first visited George Town in 1798 when George Bass and Matthew Flinders discovered and partially explored northern Tasmania's Tamar River in their sloop, the Norfolk.

However, Australia's third and northern Tasmania's first European settlement was not established until 1804, when Lt. Colonel William Paterson landed at Outer Cove on the H.M.S. Buffalo.

The settlement was renamed George Town in 1811 by Governor Macquarie who had plans for its use as the northern administrative capital.  The first map of the town was produced in 1813, showing streets in the town centre with the same names as those used today.

Although Macquarie's orders to move headquarters to George Town were never fully implemented, the town continued as an administrative post and today has the distinction of being the oldest town in Australia.

The George Town Police District was created in 1828 and covered an area incorporating much of the East and West Tamar, the whole of the North East coast as far as George's Bay (now St Helens), and had official control of the Bass Strait Islands (Furneaux Group).

There was at that time no settlement beyond Pipers River to the east and the nearest neighbour to the west was the Van Dieman's Land establishment at Emu Bay (Burnie).  The southeastern boundary was the Police District of Avoca.

Until 1888 George Town remained a Police District and local public works were cared for by a Road Trust.  In 1889 the designation was altered to that of Municipal District, but the Road Trust continued in operation until 1906 when, under the Local Government Act a Municipal Council, with widely extended powers, was elected.

In the 1890s the then third and fourth largest towns in Tasmania - Beaconsfield and Lefroy - were in the George Town municipal district.

Today George Town remains the chief centre of the municipality, which has an area of 64,900ha extending from the Tamar River, north-east as far as Little Pipers River and south as far as Mount Direction.

Geography

The George Town municipal area is located in northern Tasmania, bounded to the north by Bass Strait, Tamar River to the west and Little Pipers River to the east.  To the south, Mt Direction is the main geographical feature.

The township of George Town marks the administrative centre and the oldest settlement in the region.  The historical precinct of Low Head sits at the mouth of the Tamar River and the coastal settlements of Bell Buoy Beach, Beechford, Lulworth, Tam O'Shanter and Weymouth all face onto the shores of Bass Strait.  Inland are the old mining town of Lefroy, and the agricultural areas of Pipers River and the renowned Pipers Brook vineyards.

Just south of George Town along the shores of the Tamar River is the heavy industrial zone and deep-water Port of Bell Bay.  The southern-most settlement of the municipality is Hillwood, the home of orchards, berries, gourmet cheeses, wine and all-weather fashion clothing.

The only other mountain in the municipality apart from Mount Direction is Mount George, situated next to George Town.  The main waterways are the Tamar River, Pipers, Little Pipers and Curries Rivers.

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