Council Information

Northern Midlands was created as a municipality following amalgamation of Evandale, Longford, Campbell Town, Ross and part of Fingal municipalities in 1993. It took in the major towns of Longford, Perth and Evandale, together with Western Junction Airport, TRANSlink Precinct and Ben Lomond National Park in the north, and the towns of Campbell Town, Ross and Avoca together with Lake Leake and Tooms Lake in the south, with boundaries extending from the coastal range in the east to the Western Tiers.

Awards and Protocol

100 years of Municipal Leadership in Tasmania's Northern Midlands 1911-2011


At the Local Government Association of Tasmania conferance in Hobart on 20th to 22nd of July it was announced that the Northern Midlands Council had won the 100 years of Local Government in Tasmania award. To view our winning publication follow this link, Ancient landscapes, modern aspirations. Municipal Leadership in Tasmanian's Northern Midlands 1911-2011.

Protocol for inviting the Mayor and Councillors to events

The Mayor and Councillors of the Northern Midlands Council are committed to attending as many events throughout the municipality as possible. 

As the Mayor and Councillors receive a large number of invitations to events annually, the Northern Midlands Council has developed a protocol for inviting the Mayor and Councillors to an event. 

Extending an invitation
Invitations to the Mayor or Councillors to attend an event are to be in writing and forwarded to the General Manager, Northern Midlands Council as far in advance as is possible. 

If your invitation is for the Mayor/Councillor and his/her partner to attend, please specify. 

If tickets are required for the event, please provide a complimentary pass with the invitation.

Representation by the Mayor
The Mayor is the principal representative of the Northern Midlands Council. 

If the Mayor is unavailable to attend an event, the Deputy Mayor is able to attend as a substitute. If the Deputy Mayor is also unavailable the Mayor is able to nominate another Councillor to attend as representative of the Council. 

Introducing the Mayor or Councillors
The Mayor or Deputy Mayor should be introduced as:

“The Mayor/Deputy Mayor of Northern Midlands Council, Councillor John Smith.” 

If the Mayor and one or more other Councillors are in attendance at the event, all be acknowledged. 

For example:
“I welcome the Mayor of the Northern Midlands Council Councillor John Smith and Councillors Jones and Brown.”

After formal introductions have taken place the Mayor and Councillors will indicate their preferred method of address. 

Official duties
If you have invited the Mayor to give a speech or open an event please provide the following information:
• The location of the event;
• The start time of the event;
• The order of proceedings, including start time of the Mayor’s official duties;
• The length of the speech you would like made (if a speech is not required, such as at an event opening, please advise);
• The subject of the speech;
• Some background information on the organisation;
• The dress code;
• The most suitable parking area for the Mayor;
• Who will greet the Mayor upon arrival.

An official acknowledgement of our traditional land owners will be included in every speech. 

The information requested should be provided at least two weeks prior to the event. 

Please arrange for the Mayor/Councillor attending your event to be introduced to other dignitaries and leaders of your organisation. 

If you have any questions regarding this protocol please contact Council’s Executive Officer on 6397 7303 or amanda.mason@nmc.tas.gov.au. 

Economic Profile

The Northern Midlands is one of the largest and most diverse municipal areas in Tasmania. It covers an area of 5,130 square kms, extending from Liffey Bluff in the west to Mt St John in the east (150kms) and from Relbia in the north to Tooms Lake in the south (95 kms). It ranges from mountainous country on its eastern and western boundaries, to extensive grazing lands renowned for fine wool production and the rich agricultural river flats of the Esk, Lake and Macquarie Rivers. The Midlands Highway, which connects Hobart and Launceston, bisects the Northern Midlands.

Launceston Airport is situated in the Northern Midlands. Council has developed the Launceston Airport TRANSlink precinct, a large, high-quality industrial, business and transport precinct, adjacent to the airport. Over 50 companies have already identified and taken advantage of TRANSlink’s strategic geographic location, its user-friendly planning scheme and highly competitive rating and fees schedule, by establishing their business in the TRANSlink precinct.

The Northern Midlands is a prime location for further business developments. Factors that assist with attracting new businesses include the geographic location of the area in the heart of the State, the proximity to Launceston and its workforce, the airport and adjacent TRANSlink precinct, a pro-active Council and quality lifestyle. The Heritage Highway Touring Route encompasses the Northern Midlands and the area is increasingly active in the tourism industry.

Link to the Northern Midlands Business Association website.

Economic Profile

Petitions

In accordance with the Vision, Mission and Values of Council as identified in the Council’s Strategic Plan 2007-2017 and the Local Government Act 1993, S57 – S60, provision is made for Council to receive petitions tabled at the Council Meeting.

In relation to the receipt of petitions, the following provisions of the Local Government Act 1993, Part 6 - Petitions, polls and public meetings, S57 and S58, should be noted:

Section 57. Petitions  

(1)     A person may lodge a petition with a council by presenting it to a councillor or the general manager.
(2)     A person lodging a petition is to ensure that the petition contains –  

(a)     a clear and concise statement identifying the subject matter; and
(b)     a heading on each page indicating the subject matter; and
(c)     a brief statement on each page of the subject matter and the action requested; and
(d)     a statement specifying the number of signatories; and
(e)     the full printed name, address and signature of the person lodging the petition at the end of the petition.

Section 58. Tabling petition  

(1)     A councillor who has been presented with a petition is to –

(a)     table the petition at the next ordinary meeting of the council; or
(b)     forward it to the general manager within 7 days after receiving it.

(2)     A general manager who has been presented with a petition or receives a petition under subsection (1)(b) is to table the petition at the next ordinary meeting of the council.
(3)     A petition is not to be tabled if –

(a)     it does not comply with section 57; or
(b)     it is defamatory; or
(c)     any action it proposes is unlawful
.

Also see Council Meetings Information in regard to Petitions.

Right to Information

What is the Right to Information?

The Right to Information Act 2009 commenced on 1 July 2010 and provides for greater access to information held by government bodies by:

  • Authorising and encouraging greater routine disclosure of information held by public authorities without the need for requests or applications;
  • Authorising and encouraging greater active disclosure of information held by public authorities in response to informal requests without the need for applications;
  • Giving members of the public an enforceable right to information held by public authorities; and
  • Providing that access to information held by government bodies is restricted in only limited circumstances which are defined in the Act.

Northern Midlands Council is a public authority.

Why do we have a Right to Information Act?

Section 3 of the Act includes this statement of the objects of the Act:

(1) The object of this Act is to improve democratic government in Tasmania

  • by increasing the accountability of the executive to the people of Tasmania; and
  • by increasing the ability of the people of Tasmania to participate in their governance; and
  • by acknowledging that information collected by public authorities is collected for and on behalf of the people of Tasmania and is the property of the State

(2) This object is to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information held by public authorities and Ministers.

(3) This object is also to be pursued by giving members of the public the right to obtain information about the operations of Government.

(4) It is the intention of Parliament

  • that this Act be interpreted so as to further the object set out in subsection (1); and
  • that discretions conferred by this Act be exercised so as to facilitate and promote, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, the provision of the maximum amount of official information.

How do I get access to information?

Northern Midlands Council is required by the Right to Information Act 2009 to make information available to the public through proactive disclosure, this means we are to routinely make information available which will assist the public in understanding what it is we do and how we do it.

This is may be done via our website, through publications (e.g. fact sheets, or discussion papers), via reports (e.g. our Annual Report).

Some information is not released in this way, either because it is not of general public interest or because it is information the Council would need to assess against the exemptions in the Right to Information Act 2009 prior to disclosure.

If you cannot find the information via one of the means below contact the Council and we may be able to assist you in finding it or we may give it to you. If it is not freely available we will assist you to make an application for an assessed disclosure.

You may find information from Council in one of the following ways:

Direct from Council
  • Search the Council Website
  • Look in our annual reports
  • Look at our publications
  • Give the Council a call
  • Email the council on council@nmc.tas.gov.au
Through the Service Tasmania Network
Via Tasmania Online
  • Search for the information on Tasmania Online (it may be available from another source) http://www.tas.gov.au/
Through the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO)

If it is old information it may be deposited with the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office.

Applications for Assessed Disclosure

Applications for the Council are to be addressed to:

Right to Information Officer Northern Midlands Council P.O. Box 156 LONGFORD TAS 7301

Or email: council@nmc.tas.gov.au

Northern Midlands Council Right to Information Act 2009 - Application Form

A State Government form to assist in making an application is also available - Application for Assessed Disclosure Form

Applications for information need to be made to the council holding the relevant information or most closely linked to the information. A webpage like this one is available for most other public authorities.

If you are not using the form, please note that your application must be made in writing and include the information which is requested in the Application for Assessed Disclosure Form (64 kb) this is a requirement of Regulation 4 of the Right to Information Regulations 2010.

Applications are to be accompanied by the application fee. This fee is 25 fee units, fees are listed in Council's Fees and Charges Schedule Corporate Services; the value of fee units are determined by Treasury and are indexed annually (go to Department of Treasury).

You may apply to have the fee waived if:

  • you are in financial hardship we take that to mean that you are on income support payments (we would usually ask to see evidence that you are in receipt of Centrelink or veterans affairs payments);
  • where you are a member of parliament and the application is in connection with their official duty; or
  • where you are able to gives us information which shows that the information sought is intended to be used for a purpose that is of general public interest or benefit.

Make sure you have looked for the information before you make a formal application, because if the information is otherwise available your application may be refused without the return of you application fee.

What will we do once we have your application?

  • We will check your application to make sure we have the information we need and that you have paid the application fee (or we will waive the fee).
  • We may transfer your application to another public authority if we do not believe we are best placed to provide you with the information.
  • Before your application is accepted, we may need to contact you to ask you about your application, this will help us to understand your request.
  • Once we have done these steps an officer will assess your application against the Right to Information Act 2009 and let you know the outcome of that process in writing.
  • You will be notified of the decision on your application for assessed disclosure as soon as practicable, but in no more than 20 working days of the application being accepted.
  • If your request is complex, or for a large amount of information, we may ask you to give us more time.
  • If there is a need to consult with a third party about their business affairs or about their personal information, more time is automatically given and we will let you know the outcome as soon as practicable, but no later than 40 working days we will let you know if this is happening.
  • If the application or part of the application is refused, then the reasons for the refusal to provide the information must be provided as part of the decision together with details on the right to seek a review of the decision. This is done by writing to:

Principal Officer
Right to Information
Northern Midlands Council
P.O. Box 156
LONGFORD TAS 7301

If the officer assessing your request does not get back to you in the timeframe allowed, then we are taken to have refused your application, and you are able to make an application for review to the Ombudsman, if you so choose. Some information on reviews conducted by the Ombudsman can be found on the website of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Right to Information Manual and Guidelines

The Manual and Guidelines will provide you with a little more detail on making requests under the Right to Information Act 2009 and how they are processed by the agency to which the request is sent.

These are available on the website of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Related Acts and Regulations

You can view, download and print the following Acts and Regulations made available on the Tasmanian Legislation Online website http://www.thelaw.tas.gov.au/

Register of Public Land

Council is required under the Local Government Act to keep a list or maps of all public land within the municipal area, and to make the information available for public inspection at any time during normal business hours.

Public land is classified as

(a) A public pier or public jetty
(b) Any land that provides health, recreation, amusement or sporting facilities for public use
(c) Any public park or garden.

For a list of public land within the Northern Midlands Muncipility please click here.