It is a deliberate policy designed to facilitate the ‘get-big-or-get-out’-of-the-country stance of the Tasmanian Government.

Interesting to note that the massive landholdings under corporate entities are not in the name of investors in these forest schemes. These investors only own a share of the trees growing on the land.

The ramifications of the PAL policy will be felt for many generations to come as we continue to cop the flack from corporate devastation of water catchments, soil and our air. Absentee ownership of land is behind a very long history of environmental destruction.

Why no-one else is talking about this has got me beat. I have mentioned this issue in my submission on the Waratah-Wynyard Planning Scheme found at www.members.iinet.com.au/~rkildar1

The PAL Policy was implemented against the protests of the majority of people who put in a submission at the time. As is the usual case when it comes to economic, social and environmental ‘planning’ in this state.

[Steep slopes, by the way, are used for ‘forestry’ in Tas – replacement of native forest with plantations.]

Brenda Rosser
shelter@tassie.net.au

Some months ago, I offered a beautiful bush block under Mt Roland, near Sheffield, for sale. It had a small cleared area suitable for a house.

There were a number of interested buyers, but the Real Estate agent wrote
To me, “… the town planner … is continuing to tell people that you Cannot build on the block even though under the current scheme you can.”

As a result, they were deterred.

Yet on 20 November 2003, the same Kentish Planning Co-ordinator had written to me, “A house is permitted provided the certificate of Title existed prior to November 1993”.

The agent explained, “… Under the current planning scheme it has the Right zoning to be able to be built on … The new planning scheme which is hoped to be through by about July. Under this new planning scheme the block would not be able to be built on … Yes that’s right all blocks in the Kentish municipality. It is becoming a real problem. Meander Valley (Deloraine) has already implemented it. It will become statewide in the near future.”

The new planning scheme is enacted in the name of “State Policy on the Protection of Agricultural Land” (PAL), whose aim is that “the productive capacity of agricultural land is considered in all planning decisions”.

Yet this bush block is too steep for farming. It has never been cultivated, apart from the small cleared area.

It was selectively logged for sawmill logs in the past, over 20 years ago. But allowing a house would neither faciliate, nor hinder, any further selective logging.

Those interested in buying such a block to build on, would be unlikely to log it or damage it in any way. They would want to preserve its beauty.

The upshot is that I can neither build on the land (after July), nor sell it. Yet I must still pay Rates & Land Tax on it.

The Resource Planning and Development Commission’s implementation of PAL
legislation is driving small farmers, and communities in marginal hill country, into the hands of the Plantation forestry corporations, directly contrary to the stated purposes of the Act.

To prevent people building on bush blocks, and to force them instead to live in new subdivisions, will change the social landscape. This smacks of Social Engineering.

The RPDC’s talk of “sustainability” is mere Newspeak.

Can our future be left to unelected bureaucrats wielding Big Brother laws?

Peter Myers
Childers Qld