PROGRESS ON DEVELOPMENT OF THE TASMANIAN PLANNING SCHEME
The Draft Bill
A draft Bill to amend the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act, 1993 was made available early in 2015 for public comment.
A total of 33 submissions were made on the draft Bill, including a joint submission by the Falmouth Community Centre and Friends of Four Mile Creek Inc. Only 8 out of the 29 local authorities made submissions on the draft Bill. Break O'Day Council did not make a submission. The Environmental Defenders Office, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, the North East Bioregional Network and the Local Government Association also made submissions. The Property Council, the HIA and the Planning Institute (Tasmania) also made submissions.
The joint Falmouth-Four Mile Creek submission can be viewed here:
Bill passed through Lower House
The first step in the process is to amend the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act, 1993. Legislation to amend the Act was introduced to the Tasmanian Parliament on 25 September 2015. A number of changes were made to the Draft Bill since public consultation closed on 10 August. The Bill passed through the Lower House without amendment on 15 October, despite attempts by The Greens (Rosalie Woodruff MP) to make numerous amendments. The Labor Party (Lara Giddings MP) supported the Bill and voted with the Government to pass the Bill.
Friends of the East Coast Inc. have undertaken a clause by clause analysis of the Land Use Planning and Approvals (Tasmanian
Planning Scheme) Amendment Bill 2015. Our comments did not provide an overall picture of how the Act will operate, as that is difficult to predict. Our comments provided a critical review of the Bill from the perspective of Friends of the East Coast Inc. Read our comments here.
Bill debated in Upper House
Any possibility of amending the Bill depended on the 15 members of the Legislative Council. It was hoped they would take a balanced and objective view of what is best for Tasmania's future land use planning, particularly to protect the interests of local communities in deciding their futures, independent of the self interest of powerful developers. Inappropriate developments are extremely difficult and costly to reverse. The Legislative Council debated the Bill on 28 & 29 October 2015.
Friends of the East Coast Inc. made a submission on the Bill to Members of the Legislative Council on 20 October 2015.
View our submission here:
Preparation of State Planning Provisions
The new Tasmanian Planning Scheme will replace all current local planning schemes by the introduction of umbrella provisions, called State Planning Provisions. The Provisions have now been made public, and are open for a 60-day public exhibition period until 18 May 2016. It is expected the Minister for Planning & Local Government will give final approval for these Provisions in mid-2016.
Preparation of Local Planning Provisions
Each local council area will later prepare Local Planning Schedules which specify permitted uses in each zone of the municipality.
Again these provisions will be exhibited for a 60-day period scheduled in the second half of 2016. The Tasmanian Planning Commission will consider submissions and seek final approval of the Schedules from the Minister for Planning & Local Government.
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SCHEME
The two stage public exhibition process does not allow consideration of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme as a whole. Public consultation, first on the State Planning Provisions, is constrained to these Provisions only. Public comment on the Local Planning Provisions is constrained to the Local Planning Provisions only, and comment cannot be made on the umbrella Provisions.
Amendments to the State Planning Provisions can only be made by the Minister, who can consult with anyone before submitting amendments for public exhibition and before making the Provisions. The Minister may alter the already exhibited amendments to State Planning Provisions as he/she "thinks fit" without further public exhibition, and only needs to announce changes by notice in a newspaper.
Further, the Bill requires Local Authorities to undertake regular reviews of their Local Planning Schedules, and individuals can request amendments to Local Planning Schedules. However, amendments to the State Planning Provisions can only be made by the Minister.
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