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Break O'Day Planning Provisions

Vica Bayley MP

Vica Bayley MP  -  Thursday, 16 November 2023

Tags: Planning

Mr BAYLEY (Clark) - Mr Speaker, I rise on adjournment to talk about a planning issue in what looks like a significant error and injustice with regards to the recently finalised local provisions schedule decision of the Tasmanian Planning Commission for the Break O'Day municipality.

I acknowledge that planning is a very dry and complex matter. It is not easy to understand and it is all too easy to dismiss. If there is one person in the state who knows a lot about planning and has expertise in the development of planning provisions, the application of them and challenging any particular development believed to be counter to those planning provisions, it is Todd Dudley of the Northeast Bioregional Network. Todd has been involved in a raft of different planning processes. He is a prolific participant in planning-related matters state wide with a particular focus on his local Break O'Day municipality in Lyons. He has helped establish planning overlays and protections. He has constructively engaged with planning processes. He has challenged development processes and approvals that are seen as counter to the provisions and the intent of the planning scheme. On last count, Todd has been involved in over 40 different engagements when it comes to the planning scheme.

I do not need to tell any of us in here the incredible values of the Break O'Day area. It is a place of sublime beauty, incredible beaches, and incredible wetlands. It has some extensive forested areas. The coastal strip is something that leaves many places in this state behind. It is a place that many people call home because it is just such a beautiful place to live.

One of the reasons it is so beautiful is because of some of the planning projections and prohibitions that have been put in place over many years. One of Todd's great achievements over the many years was having a prohibition on subdivision within one kilometre of the coast established in the Break O'Day's planning scheme. It was a significant achievement that took a lot of research, advocacy, application of his planning knowledge and ultimately acceptance by the Resource Planning and Development Commission (RPDC) - the precursor to the Planning Commission. As part of its decision to prohibit subdivision within one kilometre of the coast, the RPDC noted:

That parts of the coastline captured by this standard are of the highest visual and environmental quality in the state. These parts include the land between the Tasman Highway and the coast from the Glamorgan Spring Bay boundary through to Diana's Basin.

That is why there was an overlay put on this part of the coast, within one kilometre of the coast. That is why there was a prohibition on subdivision of those areas, to maintain some of the incredible values that were observed there: the scenic values, the connectivity of the landscape, the integrity of the wetlands and the habitat of some of the incredible species.

I have been contacted by Todd and asked to rise in this place on his behalf because he, in very good faith on behalf of the North East Bioregional Network, engaged in the Tasmanian Planning Commission's process to establish the local provision schedule for the Break O'Day municipality. He, at great cost to the North East Bioregional Network, engaged professional planners and other experts and submitted, as he always does, an incredibly detailed submission to that process that argued the case for the retention of this prohibition of subdivision within one kilometre of the coast. He presented evidence for that. He substantiated the case for that. He pointed to the extent and the decision of the RPDC and why it is an important provision that has long been in place. He went into the hearing process in relation to the local provision schedule quite confident that the prohibition of subdivisions within one kilometre of the coast would be upheld.

In July the Planning Commission published its decision and that decision appears not consistent with a whole raft of things. It is not consistent with the state coastal policy. It is not consistent with the evidence that was put by that submission process. What has happened is the Planning Commission and the Break O'Day Council has done away with that prohibition on subdivision within the coast.

I will read into the Hansard some words from Todd. He has written to me. He says:

I have never participated in any other TPC, RMPAT/TASCAT hearing where one party, North East Bioregional Network, has provided an unprecedented level of expert evidence and reports while the opposing party, Break O'Day Council, has achieved the primarily negative and oppositional outcomes it wanted without providing any substantive evidence to support their position.

When the RMPS/LUPA act and state coastal policy were established in the 90s, a primary and fundamental legislative requirement enshrined was the requirement to have full and meaningful public participation in land-use planning, ie, schedule 1, part 1, 1(A)(e), and the state postal policy which notes on page 11 that communities have an important role to play in coastal management through participating in decision making, input to policies and plans and direct management.

Todd is both dismayed and outraged that this prohibition on subdivision has been done away with. It begs the question, who is pushing for this abandonment? What interests are trying to get access to this place? Locals are upset and alarmed. It would be good to have some answers to these questions in due course.