Tuesday 11 October 2016
Hansard of the Legislative Council
Tasmania Law Reform Institute Report
Mr FINCH question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Dr GOODWIN
An article in The Examiner newspaper on Friday 8 January was in respect of a Tasmania Law Reform Institute report which recommended some method or protocols being established to settle neighbourhood disputes about trees and hedges. You were quoted in the article. I am wondering what has developed from that interest that you have shown and also from that report.
Mr President, I thank the member for Rosevears for his question.
The Tasmania Law Reform Institute report on problem trees and hedges confirms my longstanding view that the law as it currently stands is inadequate to deal with disputes between neighbours concerning trees or hedges which obstruct access to sunlight or views.
The issue was first brought to my attention in 2012 when my constituents informed me of a dispute regarding trees on a neighbouring property which, under current Tasmania laws, cannot be satisfactorily resolved or adjudicated on by an independent body.
As the member for Pembroke, I raised this issue in the Legislative Council in 2012 and helped refer the issue to the TLRI, which agreed to examine the need for law reform.
The principle recommendation of the TLRI is a statutory scheme be implemented to resolve intractable disputes between neighbours. The Government has accepted in principle this recommendation, and is currently in the process of developing legislation to address the shortcomings in current law highlighted by the TLRI. I expect a draft bill will be released for public consultation this month.