Welcome to August Mayoral Moment

At the Council meeting on Tuesday 22nd August the usual statutory matters appeared on the agenda as well as two planning matters dealt with under the planning authority section.

Councillors were pleased to support the Freycinet Challenge for 2023.  The Freycinet Challenge has traditionally provided significant financial injection to the Coles Bay Community and by all reports this year will be bigger than ever.  Council wishes the organisers and community every success for the 2023 Freycinet Challenge.

Council is always pleased to support our volunteer groups and this month provided funds to the Freycinet Volunteer Marine Rescue Association to enable them to have their Stormy Seas Lifejackets serviced.  This group provides a valuable service to our boating community and their equipment must be certified periodically as complying with current water safety regulations.

The Director of Works and Infrastructure always provides comprehensive reports of the many projects happening across the municipal area.  It was particularly pleasing for me to see that the Bicheno Skatepark is finally coming to fruition.  This has been a project in the making for more than 20 years and the Bicheno community is to be congratulated for their tenacity and the enormous amount of work done by such a dedicated group of people to get the project to this point.

Outside of the Council meeting, on Wednesday 23rd August and again on Friday 25th August I attended the Book Week festivities at both Orford and Triabunna schools and presented some copies of Jane Teniswood’s book ‘Triabunna by the Sea’ for their library.

On Wednesday morning, I was presiding officer for the Federal Government and conferred Australian Citizenship on seven members of our community.  Council held a ceremony in the Triabunna Hall that saw conferees from our jurisdiction area receive their Citizenship Certificate in front of family and friends. As well as organising gifts for the conferees and setting up the hall in a very Australian theme, Eliza and Jazmine from the Council office had organised a lovely morning tea complete with Tim Tams and lamingtons!  I was assisted in the ceremony by the General Manager Greg Ingham who very ably announced each conferee’s name.

Did you see the media release by the State Government about a proposed East Coast Regional Partnership that will cover from Orford to St Helens?  It follows on from one that is being progressed on the West Coast. The Government see this as an opportunity to support Council, our communities, industry and other stakeholders in a collaborative manner that supports the needs and wants of future generations.  I very flippantly suggested to the member of the Premier’s staff who rang to tell me about the announcement that it looked rather like a new Greater East Coast Council that has been proposed by some.  I was categorically assured that it has absolutely nothing to do with local government reform!

By the time this paper is printed, Council will have appeared before the Future of Local Government Reform South-East Hearing.  The process still has some way to go before the Board’s final recommendations are published in October.  Council is committed to remaining in the process but have made it clear that we will require some solid evidence to put to our communities to enable an informed vote to be done by residents and ratepayers if there is to be any reform of Glamorgan Spring Bay Council.

Till next time, stay safe and enjoy the East Coast sunshine.

Cheryl Arnol




The budget presented to the June Council meeting is the result of robust discussions during our budget sessions or individually with staff over the past few weeks. It has been a collaborative coming together of minds that have had the best interests of the community at heart especially in the light of CPI running at just under 7% and the never-ending cost of living pressures we are all facing.

One of the issues identified in the budget is the proposed reduction in mowing service that raised concerns in the elected member group and the broader community.

It is not clear in the agenda papers that this service reduction will be undertaken as part of a one-year trial.  It will be subjected to intense scrutiny by the Director Works and Infrastructure through the number of complaints received and/or requests for assistance from our less abled community members or reports from outside work staff. Council has a robust complaint logging system that will inform staff and councillors as we go forward.  The community can be assured that the matter will be reviewed once we have sufficient data to analyse.

There was further robust debate in the council meeting around issues in relation to potential insurance problems as well as ability for people to mow verges. As part of an amended motion, staff will review the questions asked by councillors in relation to risks in insurance and other matters relating to the trial reduction of verges mowing.

A more positive note in relation to the budget is the recommended increase in rates. Council and the community will remember that the Long-Term Financial Management Plan forecast a 12.5% increase in this coming financial year.  This budget recommends an average increase of 9%.  It is very close to the local government rate increase index of 8.5% and approximately 2% above CPI.  Coupled with this is a budget that will see our asset renewal move to 100% in accordance with the various asset renewal plans.  It is a move towards ensuring our assets are renewed within their predicted life span.

Council recognises that there are cost of living pressures affecting everyone including those sitting in this Chamber and we have been mindful of that when setting this budget and the rates resolution.  I believe it is a responsible budget in the current economic climate for the future sustainability of this Council.

One matter we dealt with was the submission of a representation to the Tasmanian Planning Commission in relation to the planning policies.  As a Council we have a responsibility to protect our unique area. We need to be sure we have taken every available opportunity to ensure the future of GSBC under planning provisions and give our communities local representation as well as the opportunity to grow.  The planning policies should not be implemented without professional comment from this planning authority.

Council was pleased to support the Lunch with Mates program run by an amazing group of volunteers out of the Spring Bay RSL rooms.  It is a vital program that enables those who may be alone or isolated to enjoy a meal and a chat.

Whilst not dealt with at the council meeting, what about council amalgamations. No, that’s right we are not being amalgamated.  We may be boundary adjusted which really is only a nice way to say forced amalgamation.  What are your thoughts?  I’m hearing that some people have contacted our neighbouring councils to the north and south urging boundary adjustment, but I’ve had no contact from anyone!   As a council we need to know do you want to see this Council split. One scenario put forward is that Bicheno would go to a northeast council and the balance to the southeast.  Does that include Coles Bay? The map is unclear in those community catchment papers. We’ve been through several attempted amalgamations over the years that have all failed mostly because there have been no identified benefits to the residents and ratepayers. Has that landscape changed?  We haven’t had any consultation yet with the community because put simply we don’t know what to tell you in relation to potential benefits in a larger or so-called super council.  It would be helpful for our submission if you feel really strongly about it to get in touch.  Please email

Until next time,

Cheryl Arnol



Message from Mayor Cheryl Arnol – May 2023 

From the Mayor’s desk…..

It is really worrying how quickly time is going these days.  It hardly seems possible that a month has gone by since the last Mayoral Moment.  Is it because I am ageing or that we all lead such busy lives these days?  Perhaps a combination of both.

The Council meeting held on Tuesday 23rd May dealt with the usual statutory matters and Officer reports.  Dog Management and Environmental Health Fees and Charges were a separate agenda item this month due to the statutory obligations to have those set to enable licence renewal forms to be developed and distributed.  The balance of the fees and charges will be included on the next agenda with the rates resolution and other budgetary matters.

There was only one planning matter on the agenda and Council supported the recommendation of the planner to refuse the development.  Council is generally supportive of development across the whole of the municipal area but being part of the State-wide Planning Scheme imposes certain criteria that is not always able to be met even by the most well-intentioned developers.

The Community Small Grant program attracted an interesting application from Families Tasmania to provide Baby and Child First Aid Sessions in the municipal area.  One of Council’s key foundations is Our Community’s Health and Wellbeing and elected members had no hesitation in supporting this application for what will be valuable First Aid for Infants and Toddler information sessions to build confidence in parenting of the precious younger members of our community.

Aside from the Council meeting, Councillors have been heavily involved in budget workshops and developing the rates resolution.  Both staff and elected members are mindful of the community’s capacity to pay and the ever increasing cost of living pressures we are all under so robust discussions have been held in workshops.

The one issue that is still at the forefront of our minds is the poor treatment of Glamorgan Spring Bay by the State Grants Commission (SGC) in the base grant. Below is the breakdown of the grants received by similar councils to us.  It is sobering reading and has been going on for years because of the methodology used by the SGC.  Our conservative estimate is that we have missed out on untied grants of around $7.5million in the last 5 years alone.  What is an ‘untied grant’?  Basically it means that Council can use it for whatever they require to fund, operational or infrastructure.  I did tell someone recently (tongue in cheek) that it could be used to pay a bonus to staff or buy the Mayor a Ferrari!  Any opportunity that you get to speak to a politician (State or Federal) then please mention it.  People power just might win the day.


Until next time, stay safe and enjoy this wonderful part of Tasmania that we call home.

Cheryl Arnol





Message from Mayor Cheryl Arnol – April 2023 

There’s not a lot to report from the April Council meeting held a week early because of Anzac Day falling on our regular meeting day.

There were two development applications dealt with including a change of use to visitor accommodation in Bicheno and change of use of the Buckland Church to a function centre as well as the draft amendment under the Local Provisions Schedule for the Dolphin Sands Particular Purpose Zone.

There was only one request for event support and Council was very pleased to support the application from the Bicheno Beams committee.

The Deputy Mayor’s Notice of Motion to open discussions with the State Government on the location of the proposed new ambulance station in Bicheno was supported by Council.  As a Council we are fully committed to getting a new ambulance station in Bicheno but we have some concerns around the Government’s proposed location.

All other matters were statutory or information reports.

As it is the first time for many years that we have had a Premier visit the Council Chambers, we were delighted when the Premier Jeremy Rockliff, Deputy Premier Michael Ferguson and the Member for Prosser Jane Howlett agreed to come for a ‘meet and greet’ of Councillors and staff in the Chambers on 19th April.  We thank Sea Forest and Spring Bay Mill for agreeing to host our guests for their morning visit to our area.

The latest report from the Local Government Board is out for review.  To read the report, go to At the time of writing, I have not had the opportunity to read the whole document but a quick scan highlights some interesting concepts for the future of local government in Tasmania.

As always, if you have any matters that you wish to discuss or raise, please get in touch via email

Until next time

Cheryl Arnol




Message from Mayor Cheryl Arnol – March 2023 

Firstly, apologies for not submitting a Mayoral Moment column immediately after the March meeting.  Council has been very busy in the past couple of weeks with Community Connect sessions and meetings with residents and community organisations and then Easter break.  My time management skills seem to have taken quite a hit recently!  

At the March meeting, Council dealt with the usual requests for event support and community grants.  We were very pleased to support the ECHO Festival.  By all reports, the Festival was an amazing success and is a credit to the organisers.   

It was particularly pleasing to see the ‘Great East Coast Clean Up’ program has been kicked off this year by the Landscape Recovery Foundation (LRF) and will be happening in May.   I know the LRF would welcome the assistance of community groups from right across the municipal area in making this a success.  You can join a group or register your activity at: Clean Up Australia : Great East Coast Tasmania Clean Up ( 

The Future of Local Government Review is continuing with a report by the Local Government Board (the Board) recently presented to the Minister for Local Government on the Stage 2 options.  I understand that the report will be publicly released on about the 19th April and there will be opportunity for further community engagement with the Board before the final report is released in June or July. 

Whilst there is generally only one or two development applications (DA’s) on meeting agendas as was the case in March, Council staff acting as the Planning Authority continue to deal with a large number of DA’s from right across the municipal area.  We only have a very small team in the planning department but they are a very experienced group who deal with DA’s as quickly as possible to ensure we meet our legislated time-frames.  Having said that, it is sometimes incredibly hard for both Council and developers alike to jump over the hurdles that are created by the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.   Of course, discussions can become heated from time to time and the rules are frustrating for both parties.   I am grateful that developers of often larger projects are always mindful of that when dealing with our team. 

If your area missed out on a community connect session recently or you were unable to attend any one of the four held, please remember the elected members have all indicated a willingness to meet with ratepayers and residents.  Councillors can’t solve all the problems but we will listen and provide as much feedback as possible and escalate any matter to operational level for you if necessary.  As Councillors, we are elected to represent the whole of the municipal area so our individual contact details are available on the council website or you will reach all of us by email  

Further to the community connect opportunities, Council was delighted that 452 residents (about 9% of our population) took the time to complete the Community Budget Survey.  The response far exceeded our expectations and will inform our upcoming budget sessions. 

The next Council meeting will be held on 18th April due to Anzac Day falling on our regular meeting day of the 4th Tuesday in each month.  I now have a reminder set in my calendar to do the Mayoral Moment! 

Until next time, stay safe 

Clr Cheryl Arnol