You are here

Tasmanian Planning Scheme

Vica Bayley MP

Vica Bayley MP  -  Thursday, 17 August 2023

Tags: Planning, Cable Car, Stadium

Mr BAYLEY (Clark) - Mr Speaker, the Greens say that there is political interference in planning. I want to take off my member-for-parliament hat that has not been on there for very long and talk to this issue as a punter and someone who has engaged in processes, and talk about the fact that the Government's engagement in this space not only treats the public with complete contempt but it wastes resources, it wastes energy and it creates significant amounts of angst within the community.

I want to touch quickly on the stadium, the kunanyi cable car and, if I get time, the Lake Malbena development.

When it comes to the stadium, I want to talk about past processes because there has been a lot of energy, effort and money over many years put into past processes when it comes to Macquarie Point. We could start with the 1997 Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme, which is a very clear document. It has guided a number of different developments in the Sullivans Cove area for many years and has been amended numerous times and thought through very well. It is there to deliver consistency across that area, to protect values and to engage the community. There are height limits in the Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme; height limits for Macquarie Point of 15 metres. The proposal that this Government wants to plonk on that site is 40-plus metres and clearly that is not going to comply.

The other issue when it comes to the Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme is the protection of sight lines. Is it any wonder that you have the RSL kicking up merry hell about the proposed stadium being imposed directly adjacent to the Cenotaph when the Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme is supposed to be protecting sight lines from the Cenotaph out to the mouth of the Derwent River and beyond? A 40-metre tall stadium is going to smash height limits and the view.

It is interesting that the last time that Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme was updated was on 10 March 2021 to include the Macquarie Point Site Development Plan. That is the very development plan that the Macquarie Point Development Corporation spent many years consulting many people and getting a high level of consensus over in order to deliver a range of impressive housing, open parkland and other initiatives on that site. What happens to that development plan when this Government wants to impose a stadium on it? It gets thrown out. I read from a Government statement released barely more than a year ago about that plan, which says:

The Macquarie Point development provides a significant one time only opportunity for Hobart and Tasmania. With amendments to the planning scheme to support the development of the Mac Point Masterplan, it is now time to move into a new phase of full development.

They started contracting out elements of that plan to interstate developers and have since had to pay them out.

When it comes to the cable car, it is a statutory process, so not looking at past processes but statutory processes, and this is one I lived through very deeply. The Hobart City Council was beaten up for years by the proponent of that development, calling it out as political and pre empting its decision. The HCC ultimately went through due process, managed to tyre-lever the information out of the proponent that they needed to make a decision and rejected that development on a number of grounds. As is their right, the developer took that to appeal at TASCAT and despite the fact they had beaten up the proponent for a couple of years in the lead-up, the first thing the developer did in TASCAT was to enact section 22 and make the proposal ever so slightly smaller. Despite that, it was rejected on 18 grounds; completely rejected by TASCAT on grounds of geo-heritage, public amenity, visual impact and the like.

What is the response to that from this Government? It is not to accept the decision of the umpire, as we are so often asked to do. The view of the Government is to ride in like a white knight and write letters to the developer promising a new process, promising they are going to do whatever they can, even all the way up to the state of the state address of the Premier, basically pledging to develop a pathway to support this cable car to happen. Shame on the Government for doing that. This is a process that the community has spent years and years engaging in good faith in the council process, participating in the appeal which is the developer's right to exercise, and then the Government is pledging to ride straight in. It simply does not pass the sniff test.

I might just add in relation to this the movement of staff from agency to political office. In that regard I am talking about the Premier's principal adviser stepping out of the Premier's office straight into the chair of the Mt Wellington Cableway Company and the ex chair of the Mt Wellington Cableway Company stepping in to be part of the Macquarie Point Development Corporation.

Mr Jaensch - Lobbyists and activists become members of parliament. It happens all the time. It is crazy - people changing careers.


Mr BAYLEY - Last thing, Mr Jaensch, because you are Minister for Parks, is the Reserve Activity Assessment. Lake Malbena - what an absolute shemozzle. Not only was the reserve activity and site assessment not released publicly, it was leaked -

Mr Jaensch - But it hasn't been completed. He doesn't have his Commonwealth approvals yet.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order, minister Jaensch.

Mr BAYLEY - It was a level 2 RAA. There was no consultation and what consultation did happen on the proponent's project was completely misrepresented that consultation. There are ridiculous statements in it about wilderness and how much impact is going to be on wilderness including things that if the wilderness rallies are going to be improved. It is a complete joke. Government has pledged to make it statutory and, yes, we are yet to see that. We are looking for strong commitments from Government on planning.