The Tasmanian Conservation Trust today called on the Planning Minister Peter Gutwein to rule out using new ‘major projects’ powers to fast-track the approval of the Fragrance Tower, that is proposed for 28-30 Davey Street in Hobart.
“The only way that the 210 metre high Fragrance Tower can ever be built in Hobart is if it is approved under ‘Major Projects Legislation’ that planning minister Peter Gutwein will introduce to the state parliament soon,” said TCT Director Peter McGlone.
“The Hobart community has voiced its strong opposition to this extraordinarily high building and it cannot possibly be approved under the current Sullivan Cove Planning Scheme.”
A July 2017 ReachTEL poll commissioned by the Mercury found 75% of people in the Hobart-centred electorate of Denison were opposed to skyscrapers such as the Fragrance Tower.
“We believe that the Fragrance Tower proponent will ask for a special deal from the state government because it cannot be approved under the normal planning rules.
“The Tasmanian Conservation Trust wants Peter Gutwein to categorically rule out cutting a deal with the Fragrance Group.”
The Liberal State Government promised at the last state election to introduce major projects legislation and a draft bill is expected to be tabled in parliament as early as this week.
The TCT understands that the new laws will give the Planning Minister power to take a development away from a local council and have an unelected ‘planning panel’ assess it and grant a permit.
The planning panel’s permitting powers are referred to in Section 11 of the Draft Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (Tasmanian Planning Policies) Act 2017, that was quietly released for public comment in April 2017.
“This government is prepared to cut special deals with property developers that do not respect community concerns or proper planning process.”
“The state government will be tabling special legislation this week to fast-track the Mount Wellington cable car proposal against the wishes of the community.
“The Fragrance Tower may be the next major project to win favour from the Liberals.
“We know that the Tasmanian Branch of the Property Council supports taking development approval powers away from local councils and this government’s planning policies are guided mainly by its desire to please this type of big business lobby group.”
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