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Planning Provisions Threaten Tasmania's Unique Values

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Tags: Planning, Heritage

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Planning spokesperson

The Liberals’ Statewide Planning Provisions are made by developers, for developers.  Their implementation will mean Tasmania risks losing the very values that make it so appealing in the first place.

The Liberals' Planning Scheme lacked any meaningful transparency or real community engagement.  It has pandered to developers, and ignored Tasmanians.

Townships across Tasmania are already fighting unrestrained commercial and infill developments.  They are moving through Councils at the expense of local residents' interests and the environment.

The Minister for Planning refused to adopt key recommendations from the State’s independent Planning Commission on the Statewide Planning Provisions. 

Minister Gutwein prevented the Tasmanian Planning Commission having a free hand to properly review the impact of the changes by limiting their terms of reference and timeframes. The TPC had less than 7 weeks to conduct their assessment of 429 pages of dense planning rules, after the public hearings.  

The TPC said in their report to the Minister that the timeframe was too short to look at the impact on amenity and character in residential areas.  Local character is what should underpin all proper planning laws. 

Minister Gutwein rejected the Commission’s recommendation to throw out the “Natural Assets” Code and start the process from scratch.  They stated their lack of confidence in the vegetation mapping that will guide council decisions about land clearing.

The Natural Assets Code is a disaster for wildlife protection. It risks threatening the very environmental values that make Tasmania unique.

The TPC was also prevented from adding in extra planning material, and despite objections from councils, Tasmania will have no Stormwater Code as a result.

The Liberals steamrolled through complex reforms, showing contempt for the Tasmanian community, democratic process and the long-term costs.  This is how the Planning Minister and the Hodgman Government operate.