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Launceston ( or ) is a city in the north of Tasmania, Australia, at the confluence of the North Esk and South Esk rivers where they become the Tamar River (kanamaluka). As of 2021, the Launceston urban area has a population of 90,953. Launceston is the second most populous city in Tasmania after the state capital, Hobart. As of 2020, Launceston is the 18th largest city in Australia. Launceston is the fifth-largest inland city and the ninth-largest non-capital city in Australia. Launceston is regarded as the most livable regional city, and was one of the most popular regional cities to move to in Australia from 2020 to 2021. Launceston was named Australian Town of the Year in 2022.Settled by Europeans in March 1806, Launceston is one of Australia's oldest cities and it has many historic buildings. Like many places in Australia, it was named after a town in the United Kingdom – in this case, Launceston, Cornwall. Launceston also had the first use of anaesthetic in the Southern Hemisphere, it was the first Australian city to have underground sewers, and it was the first Australian city to be lit by hydroelectricity. The city has a maritime climate with four distinct seasons and is appreciably warmer than the south of the island during summer. Local government is split between the City of Launceston, Meander Valley and West Tamar Councils.
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