A fundamental but unstated intention of the Liberal Government’s planning changes is likely to remove planning from local councils, with more centralised control and less local community voices. This issue is as big, if not even bigger, than amalgamation. I want to keep planning local.
I think it's super important for the health of our democracy and the vision of our communities that planning remains with local governments. The Liberals plan to remove planning from council would take away our community's ability to have a say on future developments in their local area; which means we won't have the nuances that come from local knowledge and expertise shaping our built environment. That sounds pretty crappy to me!
I will always advocate and vote for planning to remain in the hands of local government, because our community deserves more of a say in our future, not less.
I affirm my support for PMAT's demands outlined below:
- Commit to keep Planning within Local Councils
PMAT considers that a fundamental but unstated intention of the Liberal Government’s planning changes is likely to be to remove planning from local councils with more centralised control and less local community voices. This issue is as big, if not even bigger, than amalgamation. PMAT wants to keep planning local.
- Commit to keeping planning within local councils – keep planning local.
- There may be problems with how councils make planning decisions but these can and are being addressed without resorting to such a dramatic and undemocratic change.
- Councils can represent their ratepayers and their community voices; they have local knowledge, understand local character and infrastructure needs.
- A planning panel in Launceston or Hobart may not make the best planning decisions about the northwest coast for example.
2. Commit to allowing the current implementation of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme (TPS) to run its course
PMAT understands that the Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (Tasmanian Planning Scheme Modification) Bill 2020 allows for the fast tracking of the implementation of some components of the TPS putting the places that you love at risk. This Bill is likely to be debated in the first Parliamentary session after the state election. Please reject/amend this Bill for the following reasons:
- The Gutwein Government looks to be fast tracking components of each Council’s Local Provisions Schedule (LPS), the critical final step in the implementation of the TPS. This would result in less community input on local character and greater ministerial power. The current process should be allowed to run its course.
- A new process will also circumvent public input on substantial modifications of a draft LPS. Proponents of developments like Cambria Green could use this process to obtain new zoning to allow for their development without any community input.
- These changes sadly represent a broken promise made by the Liberal Government, who committed to giving the community a real say in protecting local character through the LPS process.
- These changes will also make the planning system more complex, confusing and uncertain resulting in poorer planning outcomes for the community and developers.
3. Commit to maintaining a robust planning appeals tribunal
The Draft Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendments Bill will threaten your rights to appeal developments (or appeal planning decisions/approvals) undermining our democracy. This Bill is likely to be debated in the first Parliamentary session after the state election. Please reject/amend this Bill for the following reasons:
- Oppose the Liberal Government's proposed changes to the planning appeals process, in particular, to refuse the proposal for security for cost orders. This will make it too expensive for the average person or community group to appeal developments.
- Commit to a robust planning appeals tribunal, which is fundamental to a healthy democracy – appeal rights ensure that the community has a say over its future.
Together with the new Major Projects planning assessment process, the above proposed changes will fundamentally undermine community engagement in the planning system; impact our quality of life, our heritage, natural environment, and democracy.