George Town, Tasmania

George Town is a large town in north-east Tasmania, on the eastern bank of the mouth of the Tamar River. The Australian Bureau of Statistics records the George Town Municipal Area had a population of 6,764 as of 30 June 2016.

George Town
Tasmania
The Watch House
George Town
Coordinates41°06′S 146°49′E
Population4,347 (2016 census)[1]
Established1804
Postcode(s)7253
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11)
Location
LGA(s)George Town Council
State electorate(s)Bass
Federal Division(s)Bass

It is the regional centre of the George Town Council local government area and is well served with a Regional Hospital, supermarkets, and infrastructure.

History

George Town, named for King George III is one of the older European settlements in Australia, first settled in 1804 by Colonel William Paterson[2] two years before the nearby city of Launceston 50 kilometres to the South.

George Town Post Office opened on 11 December 1822.[3]

Geography and landmarks

Infrastructure

The Basslink 400 Kilovolt high-voltage direct current submarine cable connecting Tasmania to the National Electricity Market, terminates in George Town.

In 2007 Alinta built the Tamar Valley Power Station a 200 MW gas-fired power station in the vicinity of George Town creating 200 direct and 100 indirect jobs during construction, and generating electricity from 2009.[5]

Nearby Bell Bay has an aluminium and manganese smelter, as well as the port.

George Town has 3 schools:

Proposed developments

Bell Bay pulp mill

Gunns Limited had proposed a pulp mill to be built in the area in 2006, however Gunns entered receivership in 2013, with large debt and the mill did not proceed as the company assets were sold.

Attractions

"The Grove" Georgian home built in 1829 attracts many visitors, as does the 1805 convict built pilot station at Low Head.

George Town is also a popular seaside destination for swimming, surfing, and fishing and boating enthusiasts.

George Town is home to a Little Penguin colony at the nearby beach at Low Head.

The George Town Football Club, George Town Bowls Club and the George Town Cricket Club are notable among its clubs and associations.

The Bass and Flinders Centre [7] has a collection of historical boats including a replica of the 1798 sloop Norfolk.

The Watch House [8] in Macquarie street built in 1843 was the town gaol. The building was refurbished and reopened in 2004 as a gallery and local history museum. It features a scale model of the town as it was in the early nineteenth century.

George Town is home to a vibrant arts community. The Lighthouse Regional Arts group hold a yearly art show, have local and interstate travelling displays at the Watch House and have permanent displays of art at the Bass and Flinders centre, the Low Head pilot station [9] and the Jim Mooney Gallery.[10] The George Town RSL Military Museum/display in Macquarie Street is one of Tasmania's more diverse Military Museums and has a large static display from conflicts ranging from the 1880s to present day. The collection covers both Australian and overseas militaria and history as well as possibly the only collection of Third Reich artifacts on display in the state.

Media

George Town has two of its own radio stations – Tamar FM 95.3 which is a community radio station generally playing music and advertising local businesses, and River FM George Town which is a youth community/narrowcast radio station playing the best music from the 80's to now. River FM is run by the JNET Radio Network.

Events

Some main events that happen annually in George Town include:

  • The Tamar Valley Folk Festival, which takes place on the third full weekend in January (one week after the Cygnet Folk Festival) and features performances from local, interstate and sometimes even international musicians, as well as workshops, sessions and other festive events.[11]
  • Targa Tasmania Prologue
  • Steampunk Tasmania Festival [12]

Notable people

Notable people from or who have lived in George Town include:

References

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