Andrea Dawkins MP | Local Government & Planning spokesperson
The concern for the Greens is that any planning scheme that encompasses the whole State may not be an appropriate fit for Tasmania.
The regional and rural nature of Tasmania sees a diverse range of needs from wilderness locations in the far North West to dense urban spots in Hobart city. A single set of statutory requirements could be incredibly problematic when assessing development applications for locations with unique and contrasting attributes.
The question also needs to be asked why the Liberal government is so intent on delivering a single planning model and indeed for whom it is being implemented. They are on record stating that the business community posited the single scheme as a solution, but as we all know; taking care of the big end of town has long been the Liberal modus operandi.
What we need to ensure as implementation of this legislation moves forward is that, first and foremost, the public are fully consulted and are given adequate opportunity to submit their concerns. Likewise, protection for Tasmania’s built heritage and Aboriginal heritage need to be prioritised.
We also have concern for the ability of a single planning scheme to take into account the growing need for ecological sustainability and biodiversity, along with room to deliver rural resource planning allowing for increased food production. Of course, this will need to be done in a way that does not adversely impact areas currently zoned rural residential, of which there are many around the State.
The need for sensitive, medium density housing for a growing population should be considered which ensures residential amenity in line with our community values, but which also incorporates an adequate amount of open space, and allows for integrated social equality.
The needs are many in Tasmania if we are to grow and prosper, but they are as diverse as they are varied and the ongoing success of a single scheme encompassing the entire state is questionable. The Minister and the government will need to work hard to ensure all Tasmanians are catered for if they are intent on delivering on their promises.