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                              NEW TASMANIAN PLANNING SCHEME
A new Tasmanian Planning Scheme is being introduced by the State Government over the next few years.

The new Tasmanian Planning Scheme is part of a national planning reform agenda.  In 2005 State and Territory planning ministers endorsed a new planning model which emphasised:

The State government has announced that the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme will streamline planning, requiring permits for “permitted use and developments” to be granted with 21 days; (28 days is the time allowed under current schemes.)  It remains to be seen how much better the new scheme will be.  What is clear, this Bill grants extensive powers to the Minister, while constraining the role of the Tasmanian Planning Commission, and confining Councils to very limited roles.

There is an expectation, particularly by the property development lobby, that the traditional purpose of planning, that is, the setting of appropriate uses of land, will be replaced by a far less constrained system, where many uses will be allowed in as many locations as possible.  The Government has boasted the new Scheme will be "faster, cheaper and simpler".

There are three basic components to give effect to the new Scheme:

TIMEFRAMES FOR INTRODUCTION OF NEW TASMANIAN PLANNING SCHEME

Legislation to give effect to the above Tasmanian Planning Scheme is contained in a Bill: Land Use Planning and Approvals

(Tasmanian Planning Scheme) Amendment Bill 2015, which was introduced in Parliament on 25 September 2015.  The Bill passed through the Lower House without amendment on 15 October 2015, and progressed to the Legislative Council.  It was debated in the Legislative Council and passed with minor amendments on 29 October 2015.

Draft State Planning Provisions approved by the Minister will have a 60 day public "exhibition" period in “early 2016”.  Submissions will be assessed by the Planning Commission and reported to the Minister for final approval “around mid 2016”.  Community comment will be possible during the 60 day period in “early 2016”.

Local authorities will prepare Local Planning Schedules for public exhibition for 60 days in the “second half of 2016”, with a view to finalisation “in 2017”.  Community comment will be possible during the 60 day period in the “second half of 2016”.

FURTHER PLANNING MATTERS

Once the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme is finalised (in 2017) and in operation, the Government proposes a suite of “new state planning policies”, including review of Tasmania’s three regional land use strategies.  Consultation on the policies is scheduled in the “second half of 2016”.

The review of the state planning policies will provide a “rationale for further strategic rezoning”.

The Government has announced that it "intends to introduce further legislation to implement a range of other planning-related reforms".  "This includes the Government's election commitments relating to major projects, ministerial call-in powers and third-party appeals".

If the above proposed reforms are anything like what has happened in other states Tasmania may be looking at a new period of controversial planning decisions.

  • increased private sector involvement through self-assessment of applications and planning scheme amendments
  • standardised planning provisions in local council planning schemes
  • professional determination of applications through the use of codes
  • substantial reductions in third party rights, and
  • a reduction in prohibited uses and the need for permits
  • amendment of the Planning Act to enable the Scheme
  • making of State Planning provisions
  • making of Local Planning Schedules in each municipality