Planning

The Tasmanian Greens believe that an independent, fair and accessible planning system is crucial in guiding sensible development and resource management, protecting conservation values and the public interest. An impartial and well-resourced arbitrator is crucial to the success of any planning system, as is the encouragement of public participation.

The Tasmanian Greens support a state planning authority, with comprehensive powers of investigation and review. It should be independent of both government and prospective proponents of development, allow public representation, integrate with local government, other planning bodies and tribunals, and have a transparent process of appeal.

The Greens will ensure a workable system where compliance with the findings of an independent planning authority is followed so that public faith in the system is regained. Local councils, often lacking the resources necessary to integrate with state planning initiatives, will be given the necessary support.

Recognising the effect that the built environment has in the lives of Tasmanian communities, the Greens will also address urban issues including traffic calming, cycling and pedestrian flows, shading, energy and water efficient urban design, and the maintenance of public open space.

The planning system in Tasmania should be structured to arrive at good decisions, not simply quick decisions, and to maximise the potential for the community to engage in the decision-making process.

Measures

Planning Schemes

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. monitor the new 2013 and 2014 planning schemes to ensure that they do achieve the state-wide consistency desired, whilst maintaining local and regional character;

  2. establish a review of the system of combined rezoning and development application to see if they can be part of the reviews of each Planning Scheme, at which applications for change of zoning would be assessed;

  3. require the regional strategies to be reviewed between 2 and 1 year before the earliest 10-year review of a scheme within that region;

  4. require each Planning Scheme to be reviewed every 10 years.

State Policies

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. introduce a suite of policies to guide the development of a properly constituted planning authority and peripheral planning bodies;

  2. finalise, as a matter of urgency, the comprehensive State Coastal Planning and Protection Framework.

State Policy Authority

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. create a state policy authority to monitor, and report annually to Parliament on compliance with, and effectiveness of, state planning policies.

Legislation

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. legislate to provide full appeal rights for decisions made under the Projects of Regional Significance and State Significance processes;

  2. legislate to ensure that local councils investigate a complaint or proceed against a party where professional advice from the General Manager or a council’s legal adviser suggests that such action should occur;

  3. legislate to bring marine farm planning and forestry planning under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal (RMPAT)

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. extend the right to appeal a RMPAT decision to third parties, irrespective of whether they were the original applicant for a development approval;

  2. review Tasmania’s Resource Management and Planning System to ensure that community groups are not prevented from becoming involved due to the fear of costs being awarded against them, maintaining the proviso that the actions are not frivolous or vexatious;

  3. ensure that appeal fees are not tiered to discourage people from appealing decisions.

Public Participation

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. establish an annual State Government contribution to the Environmental Defenders Office or Legal Aid Commission to act as an advocate for planning review and enforcement matters pursued in the public interest;

  2. increase resourcing to provide a planning advocate.

State of the Environment Unit

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. establish separate legislation for the State of the Environment Report [SOE];

  2. introduce an annual reporting process by government departments against recom-mendations made in the SOE Report;

  3. better resource the SOE Unit to ensure legislated timelines are met.

Built Environment

The Tasmanian Greens will work to:

  1. upgrade the Skylines and Hillface Guidelines to state policy status and ensure that existing guidelines are applied in the interim, using the upgraded planning policy directives thereafter;

  2. improve social and environmental outcomes in urban areas through a ‘liveability plan’ under the State Policies and Projects Act 1993;

  3. participate in interstate and national initiatives on building codes which support greater energy and water efficiency, and healthier residential and commercial buildings.

The full policy is available for download below.