Defending Tasmanian’s Right to Have a Say
PMAT State Director
0407 501 999
During the 2021 state election PMAT urged voters to call on all political candidates to defend the right of every Tasmanian to have a say over their own future.
Voters were urged to ask candidates their position on three critically important issues for Tasmanian’s future and democracy.
The three critical planning related issues are:
The potential of removing planning from local Councils which will minimise community involvement and reduce local knowledge in development decisions, advantaging developers at the expense of ratepayers, character and amenity. This issue is as big, if not even bigger, than amalgamation. PMAT wants to keep planning local.
Creating a new fast track process to implement the Tasmanian Planning Scheme putting the places that you love at risk. e.g. imagine if the Cambria Green re-zoning could take effect without being advertised.
Your rights to appeal developments are under threat, undermining democracy. Proposed changes will make it too expensive for the average person or community group to appeal developments.
Voters asked candidates to commit to keeping planning within local councils, commit to allowing the current implementation of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme to run its course and commit to maintaining a robust planning appeals tribunal, and in particular, to refuse the proposal for security for cost orders.
1. COMMIT TO KEEP PLANNING WITHIN LOCAL COUNCILS
PMAT considers that a fundamental but unstated intention of the Liberal Government’s planning changes is likely to be to remove planning from local councils with more centralised control and less local community voices. This issue is as big, if not even bigger, than amalgamation. PMAT wants to keep planning local.
Commit to keeping planning within local councils – keep planning local.
There may be problems with how councils make planning decisions but these can and are being addressed without resorting to such a dramatic and undemocratic change.
Councils can represent their ratepayers and their community voices; they have local knowledge, understand local character and infrastructure needs.
A planning panel in Launceston or Hobart may not make the best planning decisions about the northwest coast for example.
2. COMMIT TO ALLOWING THE CURRENT IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TASMANIAN PLANNING SCHEME (TPS) TO RUN ITS COURSE
PMAT understands that the Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (Tasmanian Planning Scheme Modification) Bill 2020 allows for the fast tracking of the implementation of some components of the TPS putting the places that you love at risk. This Bill is likely to be debated in the first Parliamentary session after the state election. Please reject/amend this Bill for the following reasons:
– The Gutwein Government looks to be fast tracking components of each Council’s Local Provisions Schedule (LPS), the critical final step in the implementation of the TPS. This would result in less community input on local character and greater ministerial power. The current process should be allowed to run its course.
– A new process will also circumvent public input on substantial modifications of a draft LPS. Proponents of developments like Cambria Green could use this process to obtain new zoning to allow for their development without any community input.
– These changes sadly represent a broken promise made by Peter Gutwein who committed to giving the community a real say in protecting local character through the LPS process.
– These changes will also make the planning system more complex, confusing and uncertain resulting in poorer planning outcomes for the community and developers.
3. COMMIT TO MAINTAINING A ROBUST PLANNING APPEALS TRIBUNAL
The Draft Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendments Bill will threaten your rights to appeal developments (or appeal planning decisions/approvals) undermining our democracy. This Bill is likely to be debated in the first Parliamentary session after the state election. Please reject/amend this Bill for the following reasons:
– Please oppose the Gutwein Governments proposed changes to the planning appeals process, in particular, to refuse the proposal for security for cost orders. This will make it too expensive for the average person or community group to appeal developments.
– Please commit to a robust planning appeals tribunal, which is fundamental to a healthy democracy – appeal rights ensure that the community has a say over its future.
Together with the new Major Projects planning assessment process, the above proposed changes will fundamentally undermine community engagement in the planning system; impact our quality of life, our heritage, natural environment, and democracy.