Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Planning spokesperson
Minister for Planning Michael Ferguson’s unilateral amendments to expand the Droughty Point development are all about sweet deals for a private developer, masquerading as concern for Tasmanians in need.
Minister Ferguson’s solo crusade to fix so-called anomalies in urban growth boundaries flies in the face of his own department’s review into regional land use planning assessment. While the Minister said he consulted with southern councils, he obviously took no notice of the views of Clarence Council regarding Droughty Point in making his decision.
The potential for short-term financial and electoral advantages to sway decisions about individual amendments are concerning and obvious.
We question the independence of Minister Ferguson’s ad hoc urban growth boundary extension at Droughty Point today, given he publicly sided with the proponent’s interests after the Clarence City Council voted to reject the expanded development option.
Using homelessness and housing insecurity as an excuse for Minister Ferguson’s dictatorial approach is simply an attempt to spin this prime land fast-track handover as a solution to the housing crisis. Meanwhile the Liberals stubbornly refuse to regulate short stay accommodation and implement an empty homes levy – reforms that would make real change, right now.
It is critical that any changes to Regional Land Use Strategies – the overall planning framework for our regions – are independent of government and made through a sound Tasmanian Planning Commission assessment. Land use strategy changes must be in the best interests of all Tasmanians for years into the future.
Minister Ferguson should put the long-term interests of Tasmanians ahead of big developers and his party’s interests. That means placing the reins of strategic regional planning back into the hands of the independent Tasmanian Planning Commission.