Current committee preferred proponent to operate Julie Burgess
Copyright Greg Close

Current committee preferred proponent to operate Julie Burgess

Devonport City Council has chosen the current crew and volunteer operations committee as its preferred proponent to take ownership of the historic sailing ketch the Julie Burgess following an Expressions of Interest process.

The Julie Burgess Working Committee is committed to retaining the ketch in Devonport and aims to establish an incorporated organisation to own and operate the vessel, similar to the Tasmanian Sail Training Association, which operates the Lady Nelson out of Hobart.

“The application is made by the current crew and volunteer Operations Committee (and) therefore the applicant possesses a significant understanding of the operations of the vessel and their application demonstrates a depth of knowledge related to the vessel and its history.”

The commitment to operate the vessel in Devonport met Council’s desire to retain the Julie Burgess in the city, in part respecting the investment made by the community in the vessel.

Council received many letters of support from community members keen for the vessel to remain in Devonport, and for the city to seek to capitalise on its rich maritime history.

The Committee will work with Council over the coming months, to develop its administration and marketing capacity and the parties will seek to negotiate an agreement subject to several conditions.

It is also seeking $210,000 in financial assistance from Council to operate the vessel over the next five years, a licence to use the existing pontoon at Reg Hope Park and capital expenditure, specifically the construction of a concrete pad at Reg Hope Park on which to install a shipping container.

From a financial aspect the agreement between the parties will not be significantly different to the current model.

However, it will reduce some of the operational overheads and risk for Council and give the Julie Burgess more autonomy by being operated by the group.

Expressions of Interest closed on Friday 29 November 2019 and the eight applications were reviewed by Council at a workshop on Monday 3 February, resulting in four applicants being shortlisted for further consideration. Three of the four shortlisted applicants presented to Council last month, with one withdrawing from the process.

The vessel currently has an annual operating deficit of about $65,000 and is valued for insurance purposes at approximately $1.7 million.

The Julie Burgess was built in Launceston in 1936 for Captain Harry Burgess to harvest crayfish in Bass Strait and regularly transited the Strait to Stony Point, in Westernport Bay, Victoria.

It was the last specifically built vessel of the Burgess family fishing ketches operating out of their home port of Devonport.

Picture: Greg Close


Media Contact

Nigel Tapp |Media & Communications Officer Devonport City Council

03 6424 0562 | 0427 132 972 |

Continue Reading Current committee preferred proponent to operate Julie Burgess

Council endorses Hardship Policy

Residents suffering economic hardship as a result of the Coronavirus can apply to defer their rate payments for six months –- double the typical period for such arrangements – under a Hardship Policy approved by the Devonport City Council at tonight’s meeting.

Council has also endorsed a zero per cent general rate increase for 2020/21 across all property categories and will freeze fees and charges at current levels.

Under the Hardship Policy Council may also waive the applicable late payment penalties, for a specified period due to financial hardship.

It will not charge any payment penalties or interest for late rate payments during the 2020 COVID-19 state of emergency until at least 30 June 2020.

Remission of any rates, in part or in full, is reserved only for the most serious and exceptional of financial hardship cases.

Even in these cases, deferral of rate payments must be applied for and granted before an application for rates remission can be considered.

Council will continue to work with ratepayers having difficulty meeting their payment obligations by designing personal payment plans taking into account their particular circumstances.

The Hardship Policy has been developed following consultations between Tasmania’s 29 councils and the Local Government Association of Tasmania regarding the development of a consistent hardship policy to deal with the pandemic.

Serious financial hardship involves both low income/cash flow and a low asset base.

Applicants will need to provide evidence of their circumstances of financial hardship to be eligible.

That would include such evidence as:

• An assessment by an independent accredited financial counsellor

• A statutory declaration from an appropriate and independent professional, familiar with the applicant’s circumstances

• Pending disconnection of essential services (not including mobile phone or internet or;

• A letter from charitable organisation regarding loss of employment and the subsequent inability to provide for basic necessities.

The Mayor Annette Rockliff said Council was determined to assist those most critically impacted by the slowdown with a robust and fair Hardship Policy.

Cr Rockliff also urged those could continue to pay their rates to do so.

“Their contribution will continue to make a big difference to the delivery of services the community needs.”

While acknowledging that some in the community were seeking a general waiving of rates, Cr Rockliff said that was not practical for Council.

“Council understands that the pandemic is having a serious economic impact on the community and is seeking to support the community as much as it is able,” she said.

“But Council provides many essential services to the community – from rubbish and recycling collections, through to cleaning our streets and gutters, and fixing our roads and footpaths – and all these services come at a cost.

“While the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are not fully known, it will significantly impact Council’s financial position.

“It is likely that a full revision of Council’s 10-year financial plan will be necessary to reset the annual parameters to guide Council’s budget process.”

As a result of the pandemic Council is now projecting a deficit of between $800,000 and $1 million this financial year after previously indicating a small surplus was likely.

Cr Rockliff said Council had already enacted measures to support the community – such as waiving parking fees, ground fees for sporting clubs and business licence fees, removing late payments fees for the April rates instalment if paid by 30 June and a commitment to pay suppliers within 14 days to assist their cash flow.

“We will continue to look at ways we can provide further support to the community.”


Media Contact
Nigel Tapp |Media & Communications Officer Devonport City Council
03 6424 0562 | 0427 132 972 |

Continue Reading Council endorses Hardship Policy

Council waives 2020/21 licence fees for food businesses

The Devonport City Council’s COVID-19 Response Committee has waived licence fees for food businesses from 1 July 2020.

It is the latest measure by Council aimed at financially supporting the community through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Previous support announced by the Committee includes:

  • The late payment of 30 April rates instalment to incur no penalties if paid by 30 June
  • The expanded suspension of Council car parks and street meter fees to include parking permit holders
  • Waiving ground fees to sporting clubs until further notice and;
  • A commitment to pay suppliers within 14 days to improve business cash flow

Committee Chair Cr Leon Perry said the waiving of licence fees would cost Council about $40,000 next financial year.

“While that is a significant amount of money, particularly at a time when Council’s own budget is being negatively impacted, Council understands that many of these businesses will be seeking to get back on their feet after a prolonged period of limited activity,” he said.

“The last thing Council wanted to do was to burden them with a fee soon after they had, hopefully, got permission to reopen their doors and trade as they did prior to pandemic.”

Cr Perry said food business would still need to be registered to ensure compliance with all health and safety regulations.

There are three types of food business registrations. The standard registration applies to cafes, restaurants, takeaway shops, supermarkets, school and sporting club canteens, bed and breakfasts, catering activities, home occupations and other similar businesses while food vans and food stalls also require registration.

Mayor Annette Rockliff said Council would be considering a Hardship Policy and other supportive initiatives at its meeting on Monday night.

“Council continues to look at ways it can support the community in an economically sensible manner,” she said.


Media Contact

Nigel Tapp |Media & Communications Officer Devonport City Council

03 6424 0562 | 0427 132 972 |



Continue Reading Council waives 2020/21 licence fees for food businesses

Mayor’s Message – 21 April 2020

There has rarely been a more important time than the current COVID-19 pandemic for all of us to take some “me time” and keep an eye on our health and well-being.

There remains a lot of uncertainty about the nature of the disease, its scope and potential impact.

The emotional stress which comes from this affects everyone in the community, although in different ways. Those who have had to self-isolate, or enter a period of quarantine, will be impacted deeply.  Those who are working also have concerns and fears.

The good news is that for most people the distress can be tolerated and can be improved with the care and support of families and the community. Others may require more professional support and specialised mental health support to stay on track, and it is OK to ask for help.

Staying mentally healthy and taking care of yourself and your family during infectious disease outbreak is important and can help you and your family manage emotional distress. There are many tips available at the State Government’s pandemic site,, and I would encourage everyone to check it out.

The most important thing we can all do is to maintain basic hygiene such as:

  • frequent handwashing
  • covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
  • washing your hands often with soap and water
  • using alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

If you are sick, avoid contact with others and stay more than 1.5 metres away from people who are unwell, Call your GP or the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for further advice.

Other ways that can help you stay healthy and calm include:

  • trying to maintain routine – as much as possible in these times
  • talking to your family and friends about your worries and concerns
  • engaging in enjoyable activities and hobbies
  • limiting alcohol and other comfort foods
  • using trusted media outlets to get the information you need.

If you or someone you know is finding it difficult to participate in normal daily activities, has lost hope or interest in the future, or is experiencing an overwhelming sense of sadness that is severe or long lasting, then contact your GP.

You can also access a range of telephone and online supports through:


Continue Reading Mayor’s Message – 21 April 2020
Sporting clubs welcome Council’s waiving of ground fees
New Strikers President, Drew Smith at Valley Road. Picture: Simon Sturzaker, 13th December 2018 - The Advocate SPORT

Sporting clubs welcome Council’s waiving of ground fees

Several major local sporting clubs have welcomed the Devonport City Council’s decision to waive ground fees for the winter season.

Council’s COVID-19 Response Committee announced earlier this month that it would waive the fees, initially for the winter season, at a cost of about $22,000.

Devonport Strikers’ president Drew Smith said the club was grateful for Council’s support.

“It is incredibly important that we can put the club into hibernation for the period when there are no revenue streams into the club and until competition structures hopefully recommence”

“We have reviewed all of the costs in the club and (ground fees) is one of those expenses so it certainly assists us (with our hibernation plan).”

Devonport Football Club president Gerard Enniss said the waiving of fees was a welcome boost to the Magpies during a difficult period.

“It gives us an opportunity to survive. And there are a lot of clubs in the area who are in exactly the same situation so for Council to do this is very welcome,” he said.

“The situation is we have no income coming into the club.

“The only way we have income is if the club (bar facilities) is open, from patrons on Saturdays when we have games and through sponsorship.

“Our football club, like any sporting club, have a number of expenses and they will continue regardless of that fact that we have no income at present.”

“By doing this Council is also being very supportive of our community because that is why we operate – to support the community.

“And we will be able to continue on other side of this, when that happens.”

East Devonport president Justin Delanty said Council’s support was very important for the club.

“From our point of view, it would be pretty difficult to pay it when we do not have any revenue,” he said.

“It really is a case of Council sharing the load. As with all sporting clubs in this area we are volunteers, and this is one less thing which we need to worry about.”

Council has also provided $50,000 in grant funding to both the Strikers and East Devonport Football Club to support State and Federal Government funding commitments towards upgrades to changerooms aimed at supporting female participants. It has also supported a similar project for the Devonport Football Club with a $50,000 grant, a ground lighting upgrade at Girdlestone Park and a facilities upgrade at Meercroft Park with the total value of all projects $3.04 million.

Mr Smith said the funding support was crucial in enabling the club to remain at the forefront of the sport in Tasmania.

“The capacity of our existing facilities could not cope with the number of (female) participants at the venue. Valley Road has been included in Australia and New Zealand’s women’s World Cup bid as a potential training venue (in 2023) and this will be integral to ensuring we can reach the requirements.”

Mr Enniss said he believed it was critical that Council had agreed to support its bid for changeroom improvements.

“Providing modern changing facilities is crucial if we want to encourage more females to be involved (in the sport).”

Mr Delanty said while it would take a few months, the installation of better lighting at the ground there could be some benefits later in the year, particularly if the NWFL decided to include some midweek night games in the roster.

“It may mean we can have some more home games (and benefit from the revenue which would result).”

The Mayor Cr Annette Rockliff said Council had been mindful of the financial strain placed on sporting clubs by COVID-19.

“These clubs provided essential support to many within our community and Council was keen to provide them some assistance,” she said.

“It is important that they can weather this storm and remain viable to be able to continue the important role they play within our community.”

Cr Rockliff said sporting clubs would not need to take any action to access the support.

“Council will simply not be billing the fees for the winter season, at least. We will re-look at some sports later when the length of the current shutdown becomes more apparent.”

Cr Rockliff said the Committee was continuing to meet as it planned future actions to support the community.

“To date Council has waived parking fees, ground fees, the interest on the fourth instalment of rates until June 30 and made a commitment to pay suppliers within 14 days to improve business cash flow but understands there is more that it may be required to do.”

 TOP PICTURE: Devonoport Strikers’ president Drew Smith. Picture: Simon Sturzaker, The Advocate.


Media Contact

Nigel Tapp |Media & Communications Officer Devonport City Council

03 6424 0562 | 0427 132 972 |

East Devonport Football Club president Justin Delanty. Picture: Scott Gelston, The Advocate.
Devonport Football Club president Gerard Enniss. Picture: Brodie Weeding, The Advocate.
Continue Reading Sporting clubs welcome Council’s waiving of ground fees

Mayor’s Message – 14 April 2020

Due to the State emergency response to COVID-19 Council Meetings will now be held via video conference, until advised otherwise.

Section 23 Committee Meetings are suspended until further notice with all relevant business to be considered at monthly Ordinary Council Meetings.  A recording of the meeting will be available the following day on Council’s website.

The meeting agenda will be available on Council’s website four days prior to the meeting.

Members of the public will not be able to attend meetings in person or virtually, however Council is committed to ensuring meetings remain accessible and transparent, therefore questions may still be submitted in the following ways:

  1. As a Question on Notice – in accordance with Council’s Public Question Time Policy, a member of the public may give written notice to the General Manager at least 7 days before an ordinary Council meeting, of a question to be asked at that meeting. The question and a proposed response (if appropriate) will be included on the agenda for the scheduled meeting.  Questions may be lodged by:
    • Mail: PO Box 604, Devonport 7310
    • Email:
  2. As a Question Without Notice – questions without notice may be submitted via email to up until 12 noon on the day of the meeting. The Mayor will read these questions at the meeting on behalf of the author. Please note the following in accordance with the Public Question Time Policy:
    • a maximum period of 30 minutes will be set aside for questions at the meeting;
    • questions without notice should include your name and address;
    • a maximum of 2 questions per person are permitted, however if time permits, a third question may be asked;
    • questions should be succinct and lengthy preamble will not be read out;
    • there may be times when a question cannot be answered at the meeting due to requiring further research or clarification – in such cases the question will be taken on notice and a response provided in writing.

Council meetings will continue in this format for as long as necessary.  The arrangements we have put in place will enable us to continue to meet our legislative obligations and to provide opportunity for community engagement where possible.

Please continue to stay safe and stay home as we continue to fight this virus. If you are seeking additional information Council has developed a website page, which can be accessed from its home screen at, with a lot of useful links.

You can also visit the State Government site at


Continue Reading Mayor’s Message – 14 April 2020

COVID-19 Update Keeping club members engaged

It is important for club’s, groups and organisations to implement a course of action to keep members engaged during COVID-19. 

Council have collated some handy hints for your Sports team, Service club, Trivia team, Organisation, Volunteer group, Community group etc etc to keep connected and engaged whilst staying safe at home. 

A Message from R U OK? Australia

The coronavirus pandemic comes as many Australians are still feeling the impact of recent bushfires, floods and drought. It’s very normal to not feel OK in challenging times such as these. Watching and listening to media and social media coverage and commentary can be confronting and confusing. However, at a time when we’re being asked to physically distance ourselves from one another, we can make use of freed up diary time and our digital devices to stay connected. 

It is now even more important that we all promote a sense of community, reach out and ask our friends, family and colleagues, “Are you OK?”.

Some people in your world might be feeling anxious, worried about when things will return to normal, be physically unwell or concerned about their health and wellbeing. We encourage you to use this time to pick up the phone, video call, SMS or post online to check in and see how those in your world are travelling. If you’re feeling well and able to support someone, reach out and let them know you’re there to help now and for as long as it takes.

Remember to trust the signs. Be aware of any changes in online behaviour or the way people communicate: 

• Consider the tone and language they’re using

• Are they posting more or less? 

• Are they answering your calls? 

• Are they communicating as you would expect?

If you are concerned about someone, trust your gut and ask “Are you OK?”. Listen with an open mind to what they have to say and ask them what you can do to help. In the current circumstances there might be limits on what you can do but you can definitely be a listening ear and a (virtual) shoulder to lean on.

• For more detailed information about the signs someone might be struggling and how to have an R U OK? conversation visit the R U OK How to Ask page.

• If a conversation is too big for you or you need additional support visit the R U OK Find Help page.

Find the full message here

Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for community groups

Services Australia have a range of resources groups can use when helping people in the community affected by COVID-19.

Find more on the Website here

If you have any other suggestion that may be helpful, please do not hesitate to send them through to  Thank you.


For the latest information on Coronavirus refer to the Department of Health Website, and the National Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 is available for anyone requiring further information.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Update Keeping club members engaged

Council helps the community stay connected during COVID-19

The Devonport City Council has put together a range of online activities to assist the community to remain active and connected during COVID-19.

Some of the activities being rolled out are:

  • Devonport Regional Gallery and Bass Strait Maritime Centre Exhibitions are available online
  • The annual community photography project is being run by the Devonport Regional Gallery with registrations required by Thursday 30 April with images to be captured on Saturday, 2 May
  • Wellness Wednesdays will be available on the Devonport City Council website each Wednesday. It is Council’s intention to release a blog post each week with tips and tricks to help the community stay well during this time. It will cover different topics on positive steps that community members can put in place to help you through these difficult times, with the first one giving you some tips on how to keep your mental health well and keep your anxiety down.
  • Fitness Fridays is coming soon with Council’s Recreation team sharing videos of various exercises, from low impact aimed at the regular Ageing Stronger, Active Longer participants, to family fun activities and also some for the regular athlete.
  • Kids Activities A-Z has been developed with the Live and Learn Steering Group and will be shared soon.
  • Rainbow Trail DevonportTas – brightening up Devonport with Rainbows. Share your images on the DCC Facebook Events page.  This activity encourages the community to share photos of rainbows over Devonport and surrounds, their rainbow art using any medium and also outside on footpaths or driveways, images of rainbow lorikeets, rainbow dress ups/ makeup/ costumes/ pet costumes and rainbows seen through a house window
  • Japanese inspired Art Projects in the lead up to Japanese Children’s Day on Tuesday 5 May, to share with our Sister City community in Minamata
  • Families Week Projects running from 15-21 May
  • Various school holiday and stay at home activities are planned to keep everyone busy while at home.

Information on all the activities will be posted on the Events section of Council’s website at

The Mayor Cr Annette Rockliff praised the efforts of Council’s Community Service Department in pulling the resources together.

“It is important for Council to support the community in staying connected during this challenging time, particularly as Easter will be very different this year,” she said.

“We are being told to stay at home and save lives but that is often easier said than done.

“The team from our Community Service Department have done an amazing job in putting together a diverse range of activities which will have wide appeal both individually and as a group.

“I would encourage everyone to jump online and find an activity which suits them.”

CAPTION: Tyler (left) and Jobe Cousins, of Spreyton, keep a track on Council’s website for activities.


Media Contact

Nigel Tapp |Media & Communications Officer Devonport City Council

03 6424 0562 | 0427 132 972 |

Continue Reading Council helps the community stay connected during COVID-19

COVID-19 Update Grant Opportunities

Listed below are some of the many grant opportunities available to Businesses, Organisations, Groups and Artists. The list will be updated regularly.  

Please contact the grant administrator for further assistance. 

Cradle Coast Funding Finder

Cradle Coast Authority have created a Funding Finder to help you find available grants and register to receive updates when new grants become available. 

Business Tasmania

Arts Tasmania

Additional Arts Organisations Funding – Closes Monday 6 July 2020

Tasmanian Community Fund

The Tasmanian Community Fund will be calling for small, medium and large applications that support Tasmanians and Tasmanian organisations to recover and rebuild from Covid19.

The TCF will be seeking applications across three streams:

  • Support – supporting and meeting the needs of vulnerable people to ensure they are not left behind as a result of Covid19
  • Connection – creating spaces and programs/processes to enable individuals and communities to reconnect and rebuild the social fabric of communities
  • Rebuild– providing individual and organisational capacity building including options for realigning work and directions for the “new normal” and beyond

Applications Open 11 July 2020. 

Small Business Support Program

The Small Business Support Program being delivered by Rural Business Tasmania (RBT) is for small rural & regional business owners who are concerned about the financial effect of Covid-19, drought and other impacts on their business.
The program aims to assist eligible small businesses to understand their financial position, then identify options and implement plans to improve their viability.
RBT has Small Business Financial Counsellors available throughout Tasmania to provide support under this program up until 30 June 2021.

Working with a small business financial counsellor and what to expect.

Small Business Support Program Frequently Asked Questions

Hydro Tasmania Community Grants

Following their annual Community Grant Program with a new series of COVID-19 community grants. Offering grants of up to $10,000 to help community organisations that are dealing with the ongoing impacts.

Applications for these grants opened on Monday 25 May 2020 and close at 5pm Friday 5 June 2020.

Community access to video conferencing grants

Tasmanian groups, clubs and organisations are invited to apply for a small grant to help stay connected via video conferencing.

Grants of up to $230.00 are available to contribute towards the purchase of an annual video conferencing subscription (e.g. a Zoom licence or equivalent) .

Applications are now open and close on
30 June 2020.

Support from other organisations

For the latest information on Coronavirus refer to the Department of Health Website, and the National Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080 is available for anyone requiring further information.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Update Grant Opportunities

Mayor’s Message – 7 April 2020

As a community we are in the midst of very uncertain times – the most uncertain that most of us can remember.

COVID-19 is certainly taking a toll on our lives, and the way live.

Local businesses are being forced to close, or at least scale back their operations, and many within our community have lost their jobs.

What used to be our simple pleasures – such as taking the kids for a play at a local park, watching our favourite sporting team or having a laugh over a coffee with a few friends – are no longer possible.

The Devonport City Council has already taken some steps to assist the community and a COVID-19 Response Committee has been established to look at the best ways to assist.

Almost two weeks ago we announced that parking would be free in all Council car parks and street meters, subject to people obeying the time restrictions and not parking illegally in areas such as loading zones and parking spaces for people with disabilities.

Last week Council waived penalty charges for the late payment of its April rates instalment and decided to waive future parking permit fees for at least the next month.

We know we will have to do more to support all those in our community, and we will.

Council provides many essential services to the community – from rubbish and recycling collections, through to cleaning our streets and gutters, and fixing our roads and footpaths – and all these services come at a cost.

Our frontline staff are continuing to work through the challenges of this pandemic to continue to provide the high-quality community services the people of Devonport expect from us.

If any resident is experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would urge them to reach out to Council to discuss the various payment options available to assist them.

We will continue to monitor the latest health advice and any changes to its operations would be shared with the community across its website and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Last week was a particularly challenging one for the community, with the first death from COVID-19 being reported.

While this will have caused extra anxiety, and our sympathy is extended to the family, as a community we must continue to follow the State Government’s guidelines to stop the spread.

We should all stay at home unless we need to be away from home for the exceptions outlined by the Government which include shopping for supplies, exercising, attending work or school or providing social support or care to another person.

By following the guidelines you are not only keeping yourself safe but helping to keep or community safe.

Remember, we are all in this together.

So, let’s all stay safe and be kind to one another.

Together our community, the State and the country will get through this.


Continue Reading Mayor’s Message – 7 April 2020