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Department of Justice

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.