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Accommodation sharing – supporting Tasmania’s visitor economy

Visitor accommodation just got easier

The home sharing or accommodation sharing market is a key component of tourism in Australia.

That is why the Tasmanian Government is making it easier for Tasmanians to share their own homes—whether they’re taking off on a rare holiday and giving a visitor cheap rates in exchange for dogsitting or they’re regularly letting out spare rooms to folks coming down for festivals and events.

Visit Tasmanian Planning Reform for more information.

Tasmanian State Planning Provisions

State Planning Provisions of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme

The State Planning Provisions provide a consistent set of planning rules for all of Tasmania.

The rules include consistent and contemporary planning definitions, exemptions, use classes, and administrative provisions such as development application requirements.

The Provisions also include 23 generic zones - including residential, business, agriculture, utilities, environmental and recreational - which indicate appropriate land use and development.

In addition, there are a suite of 16 codes which provide clear pathways for dealing with land use issues which occur across Tasmania and may apply across a range of zones, covering matters such as natural hazards, local heritage values and electricity infrastructure.

Finally, the Planning Provisions include a template for each council’s Local Provisions Schedule. Councils choose provisions from the suite of planning rules to best express their community’s land use strategies and needs.

Read more on Tasmanian Planning Reform.

Changes to the Mental Health Act

Mental Health Act changes

A number of changes have been made to the Mental Health Act. These come into effect on 1 July 2017 and affect doctors, patients and others who deal with the Mental Health Tribunal.

This Act authorises people in Tasmania with a mental illness who lack decision-making capacity to receive the treatment they need for their health and safety, or for the health and safety of others.

Patients’ rights and protection have not been removed or reduced by these changes.

Some of the changes specific to patient care include:

  • Streamlining the processes for patient assessment, treatment and care.
  • Improving the way patients are provided with emergency ‘urgent circumstances’ treatments when needed; and streamlining the process for authorising these treatments.
  • Ensuring that eligible people (for example, victims of an offence or parents/ guardians of a child victim) are consulted about extending or varying the leave granted to certain patients.

Some of the changes specific to treatment orders include:

  • Extending the timeframes for the Tribunal’s review of treatment orders, from 30 to 60 days; and 90 to 180 days.
  • Allowing the Mental Health Tribunal to make treatment orders that span different settings; and in certain conditions, authorising patients to be re-admitted or detained in an approved hospital.

For more information

You can find further information about all the changes and how they may affect you at  the Mental Health Tribunal website.

Refer to the Mental Health Act in full at the Tasmanian Legislation website.

Director of Consumer Affairs warns consumers about Viagogo

Director of Consumer Affairs warns consumers about Viagogo

The Director of Consumer Affairs is warning consumers about buying event or concert tickets from ticket resale website Viagogo.

Viagogo, headquartered in Switzerland, promotes itself as a ticket reseller to major events, including concerts, sporting events and theatre.

The warning follows the announcement earlier today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it had commenced action in the Federal Court of Australia against Viagogo. The ACCC alleges that Viagogo has made false or misleading representations in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

The ACCC’s court action is separate to the warning issued by the Director of Consumer Affairs under section 223 of the Australian Consumer Law (Tasmania) Act 2010.

A large number of consumers across Australia have reported that tickets purchased are provided with incorrect names, are fake, or are not provided at all. Claims of hidden fees and charges are common, and consumers also often report not being aware they were dealing with a secondary ticket seller.

To date, Viagogo has refused to engage with Australian Consumer Law Regulators, and has made no attempt to resolve complaints received from Australian consumers.

Consumers should use authorised ticket sellers for an event, rather than secondary sellers like Viagogo.

Until such time as Viagogo improves its business practices, consumers are advised to think twice before dealing with them.

While making individual decisions, Australian Consumer Law regulators have worked cooperatively in considering consumer issues arising in relation to ticket reselling.

Tasmanian consumers who have had a negative experience with Viagogo may make a complaint to Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS):

  • By phone: 1300 654 499
  • By email: cbosinfo@justice.tas.gov.au

Further information about consumer issues can be found on the Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading website.

Neighbourhood disputes about plants

Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants Scheme – Coming soon

The Tasmanian Parliament has recently passed legislation to implement a scheme for the resolution of neighbourhood disputes relating to plants.

While the scheme has not yet commenced, below are a few key points about the scheme and some things to keep in mind if you are considering making an application.

It is anticipated the scheme will commence operation later this year, and at that time, further information on how to search the database and apply for an order will be available on the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal website.

Information about the informal dispute resolution process and template forms will also be available from the Department of Justice website.

What is the Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants scheme?

The Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants Act 2017 (the Act) establishes a cost effective, efficient and accessible scheme for the resolution of neighbourhood disputes relating to plants.

This scheme outlines processes for neighbours to resolve issues or disputes that arise in relation to their land in a reasonable and amicable manner.

In circumstances where a dispute cannot be resolved between neighbours, remedy may be available under the scheme in the following circumstances:

  • Where branches of the plant overhang their land; or
  • Where the plant has caused, is causing or is likely within the next 12 months to cause, serious injury to a person on their land, serious damage to the land or property on their land, or substantial, ongoing and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment by a person of their land.

Substantial, ongoing and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of land may include severe obstructions to views and sunlight.

Who will manage this scheme?

The Resource Management and Planning Tribunal of Tasmania will hear disputes.

What types of plants are covered in this scheme?

All plants, trees, hedges, and parts of those plants including the seeds, leaves, flowers and roots are covered under this scheme.

What is not covered?

Plants that are planted on a farm that are necessary or desirable for the management and operation of the farm and plants that are planted for commercial purposes.

A plant that forms a live boundary fence.

Excluded land, which includes some council owned or managed land, some crown land, and other such land that is prescribed land.

If I think I have an issue with a plant affecting my land, what should I do first?

Under the Act, you are first required to make reasonable attempts to resolve a plant dispute informally with your neighbour.

This means talking with or writing to your neighbour to ask them to take action in regards to the plant affecting your land.

If you can’t resolve the issue through this process, you may then give your neighbour a notice which asks them to take specific action in relation to the plant. The relevant notices are a Branch removal notice and a Notice about land affected by plant.

Template notice forms will be made available on the Department of Justice website once the scheme commences.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue?

If disputes can’t be resolved informally, the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal can hear and determine disputes.

What is the cost of making an application to RMPAT?

The application fee for seeking orders from the Tribunal in relation to affected land is $322.40.

The fee to search the Tribunal database for orders and applications is $23.25.

Further Information

Further information on how to search the database and apply for an order will soon be available on the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal website.

Information about the informal dispute resolution process and template forms will soon be available from the Department of Justice website.

Disability Justice Plan

Improved justice outcomes for people with disability

Tasmanians with disabilities will have improved access to the state justice system through the implementation of the Disability Justice Plan for Tasmania, which is released today.

People with disability often experience barriers to accessing justice services because they are not identified as requiring additional assistance or because the modifications or supports they require are not available.

The Disability Justice Plan for Tasmania identifies changes that will be implemented to ensure equality before the law for those who may otherwise be denied this fundamental right.

It aims to generate change in the way disability is identified and thought about in the justice system and to lead to more seamless service delivery arrangements and greater ease in dealing with the diversity of client and users’ needs.

The plan recognises the significantly higher rates of disability among those in contact with the justice system, both as victims and offenders, and will guide Government agencies towards goals including

  • Developing, promoting and implementing disability-responsive police and legal services.
  • Preventing and responding to violence, abuse and neglect.
  • Responding to the needs of people with disability who are at risk of experiencing family violence.
  • Safeguarding the rights of people with disability to make decisions that affect their lives.

The Disability Justice Plan for Tasmania was developed by a cross-agency steering committee, chaired by the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, in consultation with a community reference group.

It will be implemented in collaboration with service providers and its progress will be monitored by the Premier’s Disability Advisory Council.

Both the plan and action items can be downloaded from the links below.