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History

Launceston Municipality
Launceston was proclaimed a municipality by an Act of Parliament on 30 October 1852, 47 years after it was founded. The boundaries extended less than two kilometres from the centre of the town.

Seven Aldermen were elected to the Launceston Town Council on 1 January 1853, at the first Local Government elections held in Van Diemen's Land. Aldermen elected the first Mayor, Alderman William Stammers Button, later that day at the first meeting of the Town Council. Mayoral portraits of Alderman Button and every Mayor since are displayed in the formal foyer of the Launceston Town Hall.
 
The number of Aldermen has changed during intervening years, from seven to nine to twelve.
 

Launceston
Town
Launceston was incorporated as a town on 20 October 1858.
 
During the late 1850s, drainage works were carried out in Launceston, the start of Australia's first underground sewerage system.
 
By 1861 Launceston's population had grown to more than 10,000 people and in 1864 the Town Council began building new headquarters, the present Town Hall.
 

Launceston
City
The town was declared a city by an Act of State Parliament in October 1888. The Act, known as the Launceston Corporation Act, was effective from 1 January 1889.
 
On 8 May 1985 the Councils of Launceston City, St Leonards and Lilydale were amalgamated to form the new Launceston City Council. After this amalgamation a number of rural areas were included in the city's Local Government boundary. The most recent boundary changes were in 1992 when parts of Prospect and Relbia were included within the city's boundary.
 

Coat of Arms
coat-of-arms The gold shield refers to the history of gold mining in districts surrounding Launceston. The top green portion of the shield is symbolic of the city's parks, gardens and surrounding countryside, and the Tasmanian waratah flowers are symbolic of endemic flora. The blue Pall represents the River Tamar and the North Esk River and the South Esk River. The golden centre point represents Launceston's location at the confluence of the three rivers. The two tin ingots on the pall refer to the days when tin smelting took place in the city.

The supporters are the famous thylacines. Although possibly extinct, their appearance is ideally heraldic. (The thylacine gained additional significance in the mid 1980s when it was adopted as Council's logo.) The crest is the yellow wattle bird, endemic to Tasmania, resting on a native gum branch and holding a sprig of gum in its beak. The compartment on which the whole rests includes an English heraldic rose on one side of the shield and sprigs of wattle on the other. These were added in 1957 by the College of Heralds as tokens of the city's loyalty to the 'mother country' (United Kingdom).
 
 
Blazon
By Letters Patent, dated 11 June 1957, the Kings of Arms granted the Corporation of the City of Launceston the following Arms:
 
Arms: Or on a Pall reversed Azure a Bezant in centre point and an Ingot of Tin proper on each of the lower limbs on a Chief Indented Vert three Waratah Flowers stalked and leaved also proper.
 
Supporters: Two Tasmanian Tigers proper gorged and chained Azure.
 
Crest: On a wreath of the colours a branch of Gum Tree leaved proper thereon a Yellow Wattle Bird holding in the beak a sprig of the same also proper.

Note: The blazon itself is only useful to people who understand heraldry.


Explanation of the Blazon
The blazon is taken from the Patent itself and is the official description of our Coat of Arms. A less formal description is below.

Arms: The shield on which the arms are borne is gold on which has been placed a blue reversed pall, and on this in turn are placed a gold roundel in the centre and an ingot of tin on each of the limbs. On the upper third of the shield is a green saw-tooth strip on which are three waratahs in their natural colours.
 
Supporters: Tasmanian tigers in their natural colours with blue collars around their necks to which are attached blue chains.
 
Crest: A yellow wattle bird sitting on a branch of a gum tree holding a sprig of the same in its beak. All these are in their natural colours.
 
All the above rest on what is known as a compartment.