TASMAN ratepayers will vote on amalgamation with Sorell following the decision of the Tasman Council to conduct an elector poll to determine the issue.


Voters will be asked to vote simply YES or NO on Tasman’s amalgamation with Sorell to form a single new council, and Council has agreed to accept the outcome as binding.


The poll will be conducted by the Tasmanian Electoral Commission over a four-week period beginning with the distribution of ballots and summary information packs from March 13. Voting will close at 10am on April 9.


Tasman Mayor Kelly Spaulding said a notice of the elector poll would appear in the media tomorrow (Saturday February 2).


Cr Spaulding said after deciding to conduct the elector poll in November last year, at its most recent meeting last week, Council agreed to honour the outcome and implement the decision as soon as reasonably possible following the vote.


“Either way, the Tasman community will have certainty that the majority decision will be honoured,” Cr Spaulding said.


“Obviously, Councillors have views of the issue and are free to express them, but we are committed to the community having its say and that will determine how we move forward.


“We see this as the responsible approach and the best means of ensuring the community gets the outcome it desires.”


Cr Spaulding said to further inform the community, Council had also agreed to conduct a public meeting on Saturday, February 16 at the Taranna Community Centre between 2pm and 5pm. All residents and ratepayers have been written to outlining the process and encouraging voter registration and participation.


The amalgamation issue has attracted considerable public interest and Council has received ratepayer submissions supporting the elector poll and community meeting.


Council had also been in discussions with the Minister for Local Government Peter Gutwein and the Tasmanian Electoral Commission regarding the conduct of the elector poll.


“Importantly, the Minister has agreed to the State Government funding the poll, so there will be no additional cost to the Council or ratepayers.


“We are grateful for the Minister’s support and the provision of Government funding for this important initiative that will determine how the Tasman community will be governed in the future,” Cr Spaulding said.