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Planning – Climate Risks

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Tags: Planning, Climate Change

Dr WOODRUFF - On another matter, in May this year the Climate Council, which is a national body, released its Uninsurable Nation report and a climate risk map for the country. That’s a copy of the report. I don't know if you have seen it. The modelling found that approximately 2 per cent of homes in Tasmania would be effectively uninsurable by 2030 due to the effects of climate change. The major risk to the areas of the state are the north east and the east - in Bass, 3.7 per cent of homes and in Lyons, 2.8 per cent of homes.

There is, obviously, a lot of discussion after the massive flood events in the north of New South Wales and the role of the council and state government in determining which areas people should be allowed to continue to build in or rebuild in after an extreme event.

Can you commit to embedding climate awareness in the planning process, looking at the SPP review, for example, to ensure that all our planning processes account for the climate risks in planning, in development placement, in building standards and in compliance to regulatory standards? These aren't all in this portfolio but they're related. You have responsibility for most of them.

Mr FERGUSON - Do you want the short answer or the long answer, or both?

Dr WOODRUFF - Give me the short answer and if I like it, I won't ask you for a long one.

Mr FERGUSON - The short answer is yes. The long answer is with some context.

The recent floods in Queensland and New South Wales have again highlighted the potential impacts of climate change. These jurisdictions are considering carefully the responsiveness and quality of information that informs their planning and building processes.

For us here, the Tasmanian planning and building systems are well-developed in terms of controls on development in areas subject to natural hazards, including coastal inundation, erosion and land slip. And more work is now underway to introduce statewide flood mapping into the system.

The introduction of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme has provided the opportunity for us, as a state, to introduce state-nominated controls in areas that are mapped for vulnerability at a state level, replacing the varied or non-existent controls that exist or existed in the interim planning schemes.

The recent amendments to LUPA (the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act) have also provided for the making of interim state planning provisions that can have immediate effect and provide an emergency response for matters of public safety and health, including natural hazards.

The other critical part of response to climate change is to ensure that the planning system has appropriate policies and strategies in place to avoid areas that may become vulnerable as the climate changes. The Government is currently drafting a suite of Tasmanian planning policies, which we referred to earlier. Not the State Planning Provisions but I refer instead to the Tasmanian Planning Policies. It's intended that climate change considerations will be embedded throughout the TPPs to ensure that they are all responsive to this complex issue.

Once finalised, the TPPs will inform the comprehensive review of our land use strategies and of the content of the State Planning Provisions.