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Department of Justice

New Tasmanian Planning Scheme

Proposed amendments

The Government is currently seeking feedback on the exposure draft Land Use Planning and Approvals (Tasmanian Planning Scheme) Amendment Bill 2015.

Proposed amendments 

  • The Land Use Planning and Approvals (Tasmanian Planning Scheme) Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill) replaces the current provisions for local planning schemes with provisions for a new Tasmanian Planning Scheme.
  • The draft Bill gives effect to a proposed structure for the Tasmanian Planning Scheme that consists of a set of statewide planning controls (State Planning Provisions) and Local Provisions Schedules that contain the Local Planning Provisions including the zone and overlay maps for each local area.
  • The current provisions for planning directives and planning schemes (including interim directives and interim schemes) will be replaced with new provisions for a Tasmanian Planning Scheme.
  • The State Planning Provisions and the relevant Local Provisions Schedule will together form all of the planning controls that apply to a local area (the local application of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme). These will be administered by local planning authorities.
  • Specifically, the Bill -
    • provides for the making of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme, including separate processes for the making of the State Planning Provisions and the Local Provisions Schedules
    • provides for amendments to the Tasmanian Planning Scheme, including separate processes for amending the State Planning Provisions and the Local Provisions Schedules
    • includes a range of amendments to ensure the provisions of the current Act are consistent with the new structure for a Tasmanian Planning Scheme
    • provides transitional arrangements to allow the current planning schemes to operate until the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is in place in a municipal area and for other matters, including any permits being dealt with under the current planning schemes when the Tasmanian Planning Scheme comes into force in that municipal area
  • The Bill also introduces a 21-day statutory timeframe for assessing permitted use and development applications when the Scheme takes effect.

Download documents 

Comment period 

Comments on the Bill should be provided to the Department of Justice by Monday 10 August 2015.

Email

legislation.development@justice.tas.gov.au

Mail

Department of Justice
Office of Strategic Legislation and Policy
GPO Box 825
Hobart   TAS   7001

Overview

The Government is undertaking a suite of planning reforms to provide a fairer, faster, cheaper and simpler planning system for Tasmania.

The first reforms were delivered in 2014 with the passage of changes to the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 to streamline the processes for finalising interim schemes and amending planning schemes, and for a range of measures to improve the planning system.

The Government intends to consult on and introduce further legislation in 2015 for a statewide planning scheme (the Tasmanian Planning Scheme).

This is a significant reform to deliver a high level of consistency in the planning controls across the State, providing greater certainty to investors and the community.

The Planning Reform Taskforce established in 2014 is providing advice to Government on the planning reforms, particularly on the delivery of a statewide planning scheme.  

The Taskforce is undertaking initial drafting of the statewide content of the scheme.

State planning policies will be prepared and consulted on, after the implementation of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme. 

The Government also intends to introduce further legislation to deliver on its remaining reforms for major projects including in-principle approval, Ministerial call in powers and changes relating to third party appeals.

2014 Reforms

The Land Use Planning and Approvals (Streamlining of Process) Bill 2014 made a range of changes to the principal Act to assist in finalising the interim scheme process to support the introduction of a statewide planning scheme.  

A streamlined process for amending planning schemes was also introduced to replace the previous dispensation process and provide new and shorter statutory timeframes.

A shorter timeframe of 28 rather than 42 days was introduced for permitted use and development approvals. The timeframe for additional information requests to applicants was also reduced to 14 days.

The Government intends to further reduce the timeframe for assessing permitted use and development to 21 days once the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is in place.  

Other changes included allowing planning authorities to extend permits by another
2 years, allowing interim planning directives to replace existing directives, and clearer provisions for where minor amendments to permits can occur. 

Changes were also made to the Local Government (Building and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1993 to allow planning schemes to regulate subdivision as either a permitted or discretionary development.

Tasmanian Planning Scheme

The Tasmanian Planning Scheme will deliver a high level of consistency in the planning controls across the State, and provide the necessary flexibility to address local issues.

The Taskforce, reporting to the Minister for Planning and Local Government, is undertaking initial drafting of the statewide content of the Scheme in consultation with local government and stakeholders.

The Government will consult publicly on a draft Exposure Bill that implements the Taskforce's proposed model for delivering a statewide planning scheme.

The draft Bill will provide for statutory public consultation and assessment of representations by the Tasmanian Planning Commission before the Minister makes the final statewide content of the Scheme.

Local planning authorities will then each develop any local content for their area and apply the statewide content spatially, through zone and overlay maps.

This mapping will be a translation from the current interim planning schemes, with any amendments necessary to implement the new statewide provisions. 

Strategic zoning changes can either be achieved through the streamlined amendment process prior or subsequent to the commencement of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.   

Planning authorities will continue to apply and administer all of the planning controls that apply to their local area.

A single set of procedures and documents will also be developed for all applications and permits to support the new Scheme.

State Planning Policies

Once the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is in place, the Government will consult with local government, stakeholders and the community on a suite of new state planning policies.

The new state planning policies will inform a review of Tasmania's three regional land use strategies and the first review of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

The Government intends to commence consultation on the state planning policies in the second half of 2016.

It is anticipated these new policies will cover a range of matters to support the planning system, include principles to support economic development and the future needs of the community.

An Interdepartmental Committee has been established, reporting to the Minister for Planning and Local Government, to oversee the development of the new state planning policies.

Regional land use strategies

The Government recognises the important role of regional strategies in guiding strategic planning and the spatial application of zones across the State.

Under the Act, the Minister may declare a Regional Land Use Strategy for each regional area and must keep these strategies under regular and periodic review.

These strategies are considered when a local planning authority decides whether to initiate an amendment to local provisions, such as the zoning applying to that land.

Once the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is in place the Government will consider whether any changes may be required to the regional strategic planning framework to support the implementation of the Scheme and the new state planning policies.

As noted above, the new state planning policies, once finalised, will guide a review of the three Regional Land Use Strategies, in turn providing rationale for further strategic rezoning.

Fact Sheet 1: Overview (pdf, 115.8 KB)  |  DOCX

The Tasmanian Planning Scheme

The introduction of a statewide planning scheme is a key part of Government's reforms for a fairer, faster, cheaper and simpler planning system. 

The Government intends to introduce a Bill to Parliament in 2015 to provide for the Tasmanian Planning Scheme, following consultation on a draft Exposure Bill. 

The Tasmanian Planning Reform Taskforce, reporting to the Minister for Planning and Local Government, will undertake initial drafting of the statewide content of the Scheme.

Why are the changes needed?

The Tasmanian Planning Scheme will deliver a high level of consistency in the planning controls across the State, providing greater certainty to investors and the community.

The proposed model will also provide the necessary flexibility to address specific local planning matters where this is required. 

What will change?

The Bill will replace the current provisions for planning schemes and planning directives with provisions for the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

The Scheme will consist of a single set of State Planning Provisions and a Schedule of Local Planning Provisions for each council area.

The State Planning Provisions will include the use and development standards for each zone and a suite of statewide codes.

Local Planning Provisions will include the zone and overlay maps that apply these standards spatially, and any approved local variations.

The Minister (through the Department or an appointed expert panel) or the Tasmanian Planning Commission will prepare the State Planning Provisions while planning authorities will prepare the Local Planning Schedules.

Local planning authorities will continue to implement all of the planning controls that apply in their local area.

What consultation will occur on the Tasmanian Planning Scheme?

The Taskforce will consult broadly with local government and stakeholders on the draft State Planning Provisions as these are developed.

A statutory public consultation will then occur on the draft provisions once these are approved by the Minister.

The draft provisions will be publicly exhibited for 42 days, followed by an assessment by the Tasmanian Planning Commission of the representations. The Minister will approve the final provisions.

The Local Planning Schedules will then be developed. These will also be subject to a statutory public exhibition and an assessment by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

When will the Tasmanian Planning Scheme come in?

The Government intends to publicly consult on the State Planning Provisions in early 2016, with a view to finalising these in around mid-2016.

Planning authorities will then prepare their Local Planning Schedules based on their existing interim schemes, with public exhibition and assessment by the Commission before these are finalised.

The Tasmanian Planning Scheme will take effect in each local council area when that Local Planning Schedule is approved, allowing for a staged introduction of the Scheme if required.

The Local Planning Schedules are expected to be released for exhibition in the second half of 2016, and finalised in 2017.

Fact Sheet 2: The Tasmanian Planning Scheme (pdf, 119.8 KB)  |  DOCX

Legislation for a Tasmanian Planning Scheme

The introduction of a statewide planning scheme is a key part of Government's reforms for a fairer, faster, cheaper and simpler planning system.

The Government intends to introduce a Bill to Parliament in 2015 to amend the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 to provide for a Tasmanian Planning Scheme, following broad consultation on a draft Exposure Bill.

The draft Exposure Bill gives effect to a proposed structure for the Tasmanian Planning Scheme that is consistent with the recommendations of the Planning Reform Taskforce.

What is the Tasmanian Planning Scheme?

The Bill will replace the current provisions for planning schemes and planning directives with provisions for a Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

The Scheme will consist of a single set of Statewide Planning Provisions and a Schedule of Local Planning Provisions for each council area.

Local planning authorities will continue to implement all of the planning controls that apply in their local area.

How will the Tasmanian Planning Scheme be made?

The Minister or the Tasmanian Planning Commission at the direction of the Minister will prepare the State Planning Provisions while planning authorities will prepare the Local Planning Schedules.

The Commission will undertake the statutory public exhibition and assessment and provide advice to the Minister in relation to the draft State Planning Provisions.

Once the final State Planning Provisions are made by the Minister, planning authorities will prepare their Local Planning Schedules based on their existing interim schemes.

The Local Planning Schedules will undergo public exhibition and assessment by the Commission including hearings.

The Tasmanian Planning Scheme will take effect in each local council area when that Local Planning Schedule is approved.

What will the State Planning Provisions include?

The State Planning Provisions will include the use and development standards for each zone and a suite of statewide codes.

They will also include the purpose and objectives of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme and administrative provisions, including a template for the Local Planning Schedules.

What will the Local Provisions Schedules include?

The Local Provisions Schedules will include the zone and overlay maps that apply the State Planning Provision standards spatially, and any approved local variations.

For example, an overlay for a statewide heritage code would show the land to which that code applies in a local area.

They will also include a local purpose and objectives and any particular purpose zones, specific area plans and additional local controls that may be required.

For example, a particular purpose zone could be used for a complex site where the standard statewide controls do not readily apply, such as a university or a hospital.

How will the Tasmanian Planning Scheme be amended?

It is proposed that the making and amending of State Planning Provisions will follow a broadly similar process to the making and amending of planning directives under the current Act, involving public exhibition, representations and assessment by the Commission, with the Minister responsible for making the final provisions.

It is proposed the making and amending of Local Provisions Schedules will follow a similar process to the current processes for planning schemes under the Act.

Planning authorities will continue to be able to initiate amendments to their Local Planning Provisions. It is proposed this will follow the current amendment processes under the Act, including the combined permit and amendment process.

The power to make amendments to both State and Local Planning Provisions for urgent and minor matters will continue, based on the current provisions.

How will the Tasmanian Planning Scheme be reviewed?

It is proposed that the Minister will be required to keep the State Planning Provisions under regular review and will also be able to direct planning authorities to review their Local Planning Schedules.

Planning authorities will also be required to keep their Local Provisions Schedules under regular review in accordance with the process set out in the draft Bill.

Fact Sheet 3: Legislation for a Tasmanian Planning Scheme (pdf, 124.0 KB)  |  DOCX

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the Tasmanian Planning Scheme look like?

It is proposed that the Tasmanian Planning Scheme will consist of two parts:

  • a set of statewide planning controls (State Planning Provisions); and
  • Local Provisions Schedules that contain the Local Planning Provisions for each local area

Who will prepare the Tasmanian Planning Scheme?

The Taskforce is undertaking initial drafting of the State Planning Provisions, in consultation with local government and stakeholders. The Minister will approve the final version for public exhibition.

The draft Bill will provide that the Minister or, where directed by the Minister the Tasmanian Planning Commission, will be able to prepare draft State Planning Provisions, including amendments to these.

Planning authorities will prepare the Local Provisions Schedules, in accordance with the templates provided as part of the State Planning Provisions.

Will I be able to make representations on the Scheme?

The draft Bill provides that any person can make a representation on the draft State Planning Provisions.

The processes for making representations on the State and Local Planning Provisions are similar to the processes under the current Act for planning schemes.
How will representations on the draft Scheme be dealt with?

State Planning Provisions

The draft Bill provides that the Commission will undertake the statutory assessment of representations on the draft State Planning Provisions and report to the Minister.

After receiving this advice the Minister will decide if the State Planning Provisions need to be modified prior to their declaration.

Local Provisions Schedules

Representations on the draft Local Provisions Schedules will be able to be made on the Local Planning Provisions and the application of the State Planning Provisions to the local area. Representations will not be able to be made on the content of the State Planning Provisions, which are subject to a separate process.

The draft Bill provides that the Commission will undertake the statutory assessment of representations on the draft Local Provisions Schedules.

The role of planning authorities and the Commission in the making of Local Planning Schedules will be similar to their roles under the current Act for local planning schemes.

How will the Scheme be amended?

The proposed process for amending State Planning Provisions is similar to the process for making the initial provisions.

The processes for amending Local Provisions Schedules will be similar to the current processes for amending planning schemes.

The Minister will be able to direct planning authorities to amend their Local Provisions Schedules for certain purposes, including to be consistent with a State Planning Provision.

The processes for combined permit and amendment applications and minor amendments to permits will be retained.

The draft Bill also retains exemptions from the requirement for public exhibition for certain minor and administrative types of amendments where the public interest will not be prejudiced.

How will the Scheme be reviewed?

The draft Bill provides that the Minister must keep the State Planning Provisions under regular and periodic review.

It provides that planning authorities must also regularly review their Local Provisions Schedules to ensure they remain consistent with the State Planning Provisions.

The Minister would also be able to direct planning authorities to review their Local Planning Schedules at any time, including in light of any new State Planning Provisions.

What is happening with the interim planning schemes?

The changes to the Act that commenced on 1 January 2015 provide a more streamlined process for finalising the interim planning schemes, to allow for the Tasmanian Planning Scheme to be introduced.

It is anticipated that all interim planning schemes will be finalised by the end of 2015.

How will the new state planning policies be develop ed?

Once the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is in place, the Government will develop new state planning policies to support Tasmania's planning system.

It is anticipated these new policies will cover a range of matters to support economic development, and the future needs of the community.

The Government intends to commence consultation on the development of state planning policies in the second half of 2016. 

How will the new state planning policies be use d?

The new state planning policies will inform a review of Tasmania's three regional land use strategies and the first review of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

Will the current State Policies be reviewed?

Once the new state planning policies have been developed, the Government will consider whether any review of the current State Policies under the State Policies and Projects Act 1993 may be required.

What will happen to the Regional Land Use Strategies?

The Government recognises the important role of regional strategies in guiding strategic planning and the spatial application of zones across the State.

Once the Tasmanian Planning Scheme is in place the Government will consider whether any changes may be required to the regional strategic planning framework to support the implementation of the Scheme and the new state planning policies.

As noted above, the new state planning policies, once finalised, will guide a review of the three Regional Land Use Strategies.

What is happening with the other planning reforms?

The Government intends to introduce further legislation to implement a range of other planning-related reforms, following the development of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

This includes the Government's election commitments relating to major projects, ministerial call-in powers and third-party appeals.

Fact sheet 4: Frequently Asked Questions (pdf, 119.2 KB) | DOCX