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Planning – Cambria Green

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Tags: Cambria Green, Major Projects, Planning, China

Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, in April 2018 the Cambria Green Tourism and Agriculture Pty Ltd and Lidaohengtong signed an agreement in Beijing to jointly develop the Cambria culture and art town. Their proposal was to create an alternative shopping and cultural centre outside Swansea, which is truly gargantuan in both its footprint and in its height and what it proposes. It is widely considered by many residents on the east coast to a be a significant hreat to local business, the environment and the wellbeing of local residents.

As well as hundreds of villas it also has a sky hotel, an airport and golf courses and it is truly massive. The community, the East Coast Alliance, developed immediately at that point and have been fighting that development ever since.

It has been in the TPC and I understand that the TPC has concluded they do not have jurisdiction to hear the rezoning application. Now it has been appealed and it has gone to the Supreme Court which is having a hearing on Monday morning, I believe.

Minister, this is a highly controversial project. It is still playing out in the legal process. Will you commit to the residents of the east coast of Tasmania that if the developers don't get what they want through the court process you will not call the Cambria Green development a major project?

Mr JAENSCH - Given the background, it would be inappropriate to speculate on outcomes of an appeal in the Supreme Court but I do note that the Cambria Green proposal as we know it is a proposal to rezone land and establish a specific area plan. It is a proposed planning scheme amendment and it is not an application to undertake a development.

The major projects legislation specifically provides for a permit to undertake a development and as the current Cambria Green proposal only seeks a planning scheme amendment it will not qualify as being eligible for declaration as a major project. That is not what the major projects process is for. Also, a proposal cannot be declared if it is contravention of any state policy or inconsistent with a regional land use strategy.

Therefore, if this proposal returns it would need to demonstrate that it is consistent with state policy on the protection of agricultural land, the state coastal policy, the Southern Tasmanian Regional Land Use Strategy to even be considered for declaration. Again, under the major projects legislation the minister does not just call projects in. As we have been through in the debate on that bill, there is a very clear process of determination and provision of tests and reasons before a matter can be declared a major project, at the front of which is consistency with state policies, regional land use strategies et cetera.

Dr WOODRUFF - So, can I get you to confirm please for that community that what you are saying is that you will not declare the Cambria Green development a major project? Notwithstanding everything that you have just said, but you in your role as minister for Planning you would not declare Cambria Green at any time in any form as a major project?

Mr JAENSCH - That is a wildly hypothetical proposition and it is very difficult for me answer that because I have explained that it is not eligible. At the moment it does not exist -

Dr WOODRUFF - If it were eligible?

Mr JAENSCH - It would need to pass a whole range of tests before it could be declared.

Dr WOODRUFF - If it did pass those tests?

CHAIR -Dr Woodruff, the minister is trying to answer the question.

Mr JAENSCH - If it was a completely different proposal that met all the requirements to be a major project, then we would consider declaring it a major project but at this stage, it is very far from being that. That is all I can say.

Dr WOODRUFF - I have another question. That was only one question, Chair.

CHAIR -There were two parts to the question. Dr Woodruff, you were on the same theme. There were two parts to your question. You were on the same theme.