REGIONAL LAND USE STRATEGIES AND THE INTERIM
Mr HALL (Western Tiers - Motion) - Madam President, I move -
That the Legislative Council acknowledges -
(1) The significant resources invested
by local government in good faith and in accordance with the memorandum of
understanding in the development of regional land use strategies and the
interim planning schemes.
(2) That 'planning reform' for
'consistency' is delivered through the application of a strategy based on
current information, not the continuation of out-dated land zoning regimes; and
(3) That the Solicitor-General's advice
as interpreted by the Tasmanian Planning Commission indicates a failure to
implement 'planning reform' and significantly disadvantages some councils and
their communities by disregarding years of local strategic work undertaken in
preparation for new planning schemes.
This motion is due to the frustration and concern that have
been raised by councils, particularly in the northern area and some other
areas, as I understand. I apologise that I must give some technical information
to give some background. I know a lot of it is 'gibby-gobby' speak, but gives
the context of this motion. In 2001 I launched the new Meander Valley
planning scheme, but it still has not come to fruition some 11 years later. I
am reflecting here some of the frustrations and anxieties being expressed by
many of the elected members, the staff and also the citizens of some of those
(Extract from Greg Hall’s motion)
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - I do not have the local government experience of
other members, so I am interested to listen to their arguments. These are very
complex issues. I know from my own research that trying to understand planning
laws in Tasmania
is complex and confusing. Over time I have had quite a bit of advice on our
planning schemes and I am none the wiser.
Mr FINCH - I want to support the member's motion because I cannot remember
a time in Tasmania
when planning has not been in a mess. I get that sense from my constituents who
talk to me, particularly developers. People who want to subdivide pieces of
land want to know what is going on. The Protection of Agricultural Land
- PAL - policy has really confused things on the West Tamar. People were in a
bind trying to find a pathway through, and a way forward for their development,
house, land or property.
The member for Western Tiers seems to have gone to the heart
of long-term zoning and land-use problems in Tasmania. It seems to go back to 1992 when
the Tasmanian Liberal government advertised for submissions for proposed
right-to-farm legislation. What followed was the PAL scheme based on the
American right-to-farm laws. It caused a de facto devaluation of their land for
many of my constituents because they no longer had a right to build a home on
their land. I remember going to a meeting called by the West Tamar Council and
there was a young fellow there, about 25 or 26. He and his new wife had bought
25 acres of land on the West Tamar and had built a shed and wanted to use it to
build their home. They took a long time planning it and were very excited about
it and suddenly the PAL policy said, 'No, you can't build a home on 25 acres'. That
investment, and the time he had put into building the shed, was worth zilch. It
was a very disappointing outcome. That was one story of many that we heard at
that time with the West Tamar Council and their submissions regarding the
impact of the PAL policy on the land in the West Tamar.
Since that time there have been some minor adjustments made
to the planning areas in the West Tamar. I have raised questions on some of
those in the chamber from time to time. There have been some noble cases that
have been resolved through our legal system. One I can recall resulted in the
local council 'spot rezoning' one property in the Waratah-Wynyard municipality:
a couple, named Bridge, both in their 80s, who had been asked to vacate their
cottage because the council had no record of their home being legally approved.
There are a lot of instances like that.
Ms Forrest - That is not a typical example. There are a lot more other
challenges up there with the PAL policy.
Mr FINCH - Absolutely, but I cite that one because it received a lot of
publicity. That was an example of our planning system being in a mess. I do not
know how developers in the state have coped over the years trying to progress
for their business colleagues the things that they are trying to achieve for
Ms Forrest - They throw their hands in the air.
Mr FINCH - I have only to look at Ross Harrison[To be confirmed.].
He has torn his hair out. Ross had an article in the Examiner this week.
He has been one of our really solid developers. He has been challenged over
many years. He has a lot of great ideas, a lot of energy, and he has put that
to good use in the north of the state. I know that through this fog of
confusion and lack of support, that he feels the clarity in what he is able to
achieve. Nonetheless, he has kept going and he has some really interesting
developments on the books.
The honourable member for Western Tiers' motion goes
straight to the heart of the problem. Local government has done much good work
in the development of regional land use strategies, but years of local
strategic work undertaken in preparation for new planning schemes seems to have
been disregarded. Is that a waste of ratepayers' resources, energy and effort?
I strongly support the honourable member for Western Tiers' motion and hope
that it will be noted and acted upon.