The Tasmanian Greens have urged the Minister for Heritage Brian Wightman MP to seek advice from the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute to address legal and planning conflicts arising from the proposed Parliament Square project.
Greens Planning spokesperson Tim Morris MP said the project had highlighted problems with the interaction of the planning approval system and the Heritage approval system, particularly in regard to the application and meaning of Section 41 of the Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995.
“Delays to the planning process for Parliament Square stem from uncertainties relating to the interaction of the state’s heritage laws and its planning laws,” Mr Morris said.
“This has led to the project getting shunted back and forth between the Tribunal and the Supreme Court, without any clear resolution on the future of the development.”
“There are clearly uncertainties over the meaning and application of the Historic Cultural Heritage Act which won’t be addressed through project-specific legislation.”
“While the Greens do not believe the solution is to water down the Historic Cultural Heritage Act, it’s clear that these issues will need to be resolved to prevent other major projects becoming similarly bogged down.”
“We are urging the Minister to seek recommendations from the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute on how to best achieve appropriate reform of the Act to ensure its integrity is retained, while finding a workable solution to its application alongside planning laws.”
“We cannot risk any changes to the Historic Cultural Heritage Act being driven by potential political imperatives rather than good heritage law.”
“That is why the Greens are proposing the TLRI conducts the inquiry as a n independent body,” Mr Morris said.