Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania Platform 

April 2017

The Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania considers that, to achieve the best future for Tasmania and all Tasmanians, the planning system must be underpinned by the following key principles (to be read in conjunction with the explanatory notes).

1. Community and Environment: Prioritise the health and well-being of the whole community, the liveability of cities, towns and rural areas, and the protection of the natural environment (a) and cultural heritage (b).

2. Strategic Vision: Establish and implement a community endorsed, sustainable, long-term strategic vision for Tasmania.(c,d)

3. Transparency & Independence: Ensure that planning and decision-making processes are open and transparent (e), and overseen by an independent commission, with appeals heard by an independent tribunal.

4. Community Involvement: Provide opportunities for informed community input in planning matters and decisions, including provision of  appeal rights.

5. Integrated Approach: Provide an integrated (f) assessment process across all types of developments(g) on all land tenures(h) which includes consistent provision of mediation, public comment and appeal rights.

6. Implementation: Consistent with the above principles, planning to be shared between state and local government, with local governmenti to retain primary responsibility for local planning and development decisions (j,k) through community consultation.

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Explanatory notes

a Including freshwater, marine, terrestrial and the coastal zone. 

b Both Aboriginal and European/historic. 

c Including social, economic and environmental goals. 

d Supported by community endorsed state and/or regional policies on a wide range of issues (e.g. affordable housing, biodiversity, fire management, climate change, coastal development, energy efficiency, equity, health, infrastructure, population, public transport, residential amenity, good design, social inclusion, visual amenity, wastewater, water quality). 

e i.e. all information, including details of proposal and assessment documentation, is available to the public. 

f Some types of developments will require specialised assessment by a referral agency with appropriate expertise, but the planning system must define an integrated approach which incorporates these specialised assessments and ensures
a single planning outcome (analogous to the manner in which current legislation integrates specialist EPA assessment of industrial activities with the Council assessment). 

g Including mining, forestry, aquaculture, dams and tourism developments. 

h Including reserved land (e.g. national parks), public land allocated to timber production (formerly known as state forest), and the marine environment. 

i i.e. a restricted role for state government (including the Coordinator-General) or the Minister and the  maintenance of the role of local government  as: i) The authority responsible for preparing planning provisions; and ii) The planning authority (the decision making authority) for the vast majority of development applications, subject to advice from appropriate referral agencies. 

j Consistent with state and regional policies. 

k It is acknowledged that an alternative approach, such as assessment by the Tasmanian Planning Commission, is needed for projects which affect multiple councils  (e.g. pipelines) and projects which meet the criteria for  Projects of State Significance.