Simple 2D ad campaign to outlive a very real, 3D planning policy problem

The Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania has launched a television and social media campaign that raises the issue of the Hodgman Government’s weakened planning laws and the reduced ability of the community to participate in planning decisions and challenge bad developments. 

The ads use simple 2D graphics to convey a complex issue that is creating very real concerns playing out in suburban backyards across the state. An associated crowdfunder and short film showing case studies has also been developed. 

“Concerns over the Hodgman Government’s unfair planning laws have grown since our alliance was formed and horror stories continue to emerge about developments that pit neighbour against neighbour because of lost sunlight, privacy and limited ability for the affected party to do anything about it,” said Sophie Underwood, co-ordinator of Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania. 

The ad highlights the loss of sunlight and privacy due to changed planning laws that allow higher buildings to be built closer to boundaries, with no notification to neighbours and no third party rights of appeal. 

“This ad is as simple as it gets, and so too is the message we are sending - the Liberal’s planning laws are scary and need to be unwound.” 

The alliance now has 58 member groups from across the community, including social justice organisations like Anglicare, environment groups like the Tasmanian National Parks Association and local community groups like the Huon Valley Ratepayers Association. The alliance has been working with all political parties to understand and help develop their planning policies. It will release a policy scorecard as polling day approaches. 

“We’ve met with all political parties and urged them to adopt policies that restore proper protections for urban heritage an amenity, natural and cultural values and the rights of the community,” said Ms Underwood. 

“While the Greens have released a policy that we’ve been happy to welcome, Labor’s policy is currently lacking in several key areas and we hope to see some progress in fixing them up. 

“As the ad campaign outlines, the Hodgman Government’s approach to planning is the key concern for alliance members and those concerns are not limited to urban issues of sunlight and privacy. 

“We are a diverse alliance and our members are also concerned with planning processes pertaining to development in national parks, the protection of colonial and Aboriginal heritage, the protection of unique, regional character and a fair go for the community in decision making.” 

The Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania campaign will build during the election campaign, with associated events at Eaglehawk Neck, Bridport, Deloraine, Falmouth and Hobart and a range of stalls and other initiatives.