The Land Use Planning and Approvals Act Amendments Bill passed the Legislative Council late yesterday enabling the creation of Tasmanian Planning Policies that have the potential to provide some long awaited policy direction to the Tasmanian Planning System.

The Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania, Tasmanian Conservation Trust and the Tasmanian Planning Information Network welcomed the state government’s Tasmanian Planning Policies legislation and hopes that Minister Roger Jaensch works with the broad Tasmanian community to develop the policies to give strategy direction to land use planning in Tasmania. The groups also urged the state government to develop state polices (under existing legislation) to address the most important issues facing Tasmania over the next decade. A mix of State Polices and Tasmanian Planning Policies will deliver the best results for the planning system.

PMAT coordinator Sophie Underwood said that “Since the Liberal Government commenced its reforms of the Tasmanian Planning System in 2014 our organisations have advocated for State Policies – critically because they bind all state government agencies – but we also believe that the state governments proposed Tasmanian Planning Policies can make a positive contribution if developed appropriately.

Tasmanian Conservation Trust Director Peter McGlone said “Our organisations support the TPP legislation following very significant amendments in the House of Assembly that were proposed by the Labor and Greens parties and supported by the government. The amendments address most of our concerns and importantly the amended bill won unanimous support in the House of Assembly.”

“The State Parliament has worked very effectively in the last few weeks and this bill is an important example of that.”

Tasmanian Planning Information Network Spokesperson, Anne Harrison said “The final legislation reflects the community’s interest to have greater input to decisions about planning and its demand for greater transparency and scrutiny on decisions made by ministers.

“Tasmania faces many serious problems that are in large part related to decades or poor planning and the development of a mix of State Polices and Planning Polices is needed to address these problems.

Sophie Underwood added that “With the potential to develop Tasmanian Planning Polices, we hope the state government does not abandon State Polices. State Polices tend to deal with the most important issues that affect the whole state and critically bind all state agencies to uphold them and to assist with their implementation.”

Anne Harrison added that “The State Policies and Tasmanian Planning Policies can be used to answer fundamental questions about what the Statewide Planning Scheme is meant to achieve. If the minister chooses to effectively reach out to the Tasmanian community and develop policies that reflect the broader community’s interest then he can make a major contribution to Tasmanian’s long term future.

Peter McGlone added that “The Minister has it in his power now to set a new positive direction for the Tasmanian Planning System we look forward to working with him.”

Our Alliance of 60 groups from across the State look forward to robust strong planning policies that are measurable and well integrated with all other planning instruments.

Sophie Underwood, Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania 
Peter McGlone, Tasmanian Conservation Trust 
Anne Harrison, Tasmanian Planning Information Network 

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