Thursday 26 May 2011
Legislative Council Hansard
PLANNING AND BUILDING LAW BREACHES - AMNESTY
Mr FINCH (Question) - My question is to the Leader. Can the
Government confirm that it plans a one-off reprieve for residences
that breach council planning and building laws, particularly
homes that have been caught up in the State Policy on the
Protection of Agricultural Land like that of Richard and Joan
Bridge who face eviction from their Moorleah home south of
Wynyard? If there is to be a reprieve when will it happen?
Why is it taking the Government so long to rectify this problem
and end the anguish of people caught out by the PAL policy?
Mr PARKINSON - I thank the member for his question. The former
Minister for Planning tabled the Land Use Planning Approvals
(Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2009 late in 2009. It was
not debated before Parliament was prorogued. The bill introduced
a new enforcement regime within the act. I am advised that
before bringing that bill back to Parliament the minister
is considering whether an amnesty period should be put in
place to allow for illegal use and development to be brought
into conformity with the planning scheme or with building,
health and environmental regulations. The amnesty could be
put in place for a period of around six to nine months to
allow time for planning and building documentation to be prepared
and submitted to the relevant council. The enforcement legislation
would be designed to come into effect after that period.
I should point out that any amnesty would not allow for the
continued occupation of a building that does not meet the
minimum building, health, safety and environmental standards
for a habitable dwelling or could not be made to meet those
Before deciding on whether to proceed with an amnesty, the
Government needs to consult with local government on its exact
extent and parameters. The Minister for Planning has asked
the Tasmanian Planning Commission to seek feedback from local
government on the proposal. A consultation paper has been
sent out for comment, which provides background to the proposal.
Councils have until 3 June 2011 to provide any comments to
The commission has also sought comment from the Department
of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment, Hydro
Tasmania and Forestry Tasmania as managers of major land holdings.
It would not be appropriate to try to predict whether an individual
case would or would not be covered by the amnesty, assuming
I would expect the relevant legislation to be considered by
the Parliament in the second half of this year.