Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants - Have your say

The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that public consultation processes are open and transparent and we are seeking your input on Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants Amendment Bill 2019 (PDF, 146.5 KB).

A five-week period of public consultation on a Bill to amend the Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants Act 2017 (the Act) has commenced.

The Act established a dispute resolution mechanism for neighbourhood disputes about plants. Since the Act commenced operation on 1 December 2017, it has been identified that the Act would benefit from the following minor technical and operational amendments.

The Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants Amendment Bill 2019 provides for the following amendments to the Act.

Enforcement provisions

The Bill inserts new enforcement provisions for orders made under the Act, to allow defaulting parties to be penalised for failing to comply with an order. The current mechanism which is available under section 33 of the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal Act 1993 is inadequate for a number of reasons, including that the non-defaulting party is unable to recover costs if the defaulting party refuses or fails to perform the work required under the order.

Notice of intention to enter land

The Bill clarifies that under the branch removal notice provisions of the Act, a person is required to give at least 24 hours’ notice of the person’s intention to perform work on another person’s property. Currently under the Act it is not clear whether the person is required to provide 7 days’ notice or 24 hours’ notice to the other person.

The Bill clarifies that the requirement to provide at least 7 days’ notice of the intention to enter land to perform work under the Act does not apply where an emergency interim order is made by RMPAT. Interim orders can only be made in situations where there is an immediate risk of injury to persons or property.

Matters to be considered by Tribunal – Where reasonable attempts have been made to resolve a dispute

The Bill provides that RMPAT has a broad discretion to consider any other matter that the Tribunal considers relevant when it is determining under section 26(2) whether parties have made reasonable attempts to resolve disputes. Currently under section 26(2) of the Act, RMPAT may only take into account a limited range of matters.

Section 39 of the Act requires an independent review of the operation of the Act to be carried out as soon as practicable after 1 December 2021. The proposed amendments are minor technical and operational amendments which are being addressed prior to the fourth anniversary review of the Act.

The comment period for this consultation is now closed...

Publishing submissions

Other than indicated below, submissions will be treated as public information and will be published on the Department of Justice website.

Submissions will be published once the Government’s consideration of submissions has concluded.

Submissions will be published once the Government’s consideration of submissions has concluded.

No personal information other than an individual’s name or the organisation making a submission will be published.

For further information, please read the Tasmanian Government Public Submissions Policy (external link).

Important information to note

  1. Your name (or the name of the organisation) will be published unless you request otherwise.
  2. In the absence of a clear indication that a submission is intended to be treated as confidential (or parts of the submission), the Department will treat the submission as public.
  3. If you would like your submission treated as confidential, whether in whole or in part, please indicate this in writing at the time of making your submission, clearly identifying the parts of your submission you want to remain confidential and the reasons why. In this case, your submission will not be published to the extent of that request.
  4. Copyright in submissions remains with the author(s), not with the Tasmanian Government.
  5. The Department will not publish, in whole or in part, submissions containing defamatory or offensive material. If your submission includes information that could enable the identification of other individuals then either all or parts of the submission will not be published.

Accessibility of submissions

The Government recognises that not all individuals or groups are equally placed to access and understand information. We are therefore committed to ensuring Government information is accessible and easily understood by people with diverse communication needs.

Where possible, please consider typing your submission in plain English and providing it in a format such as Microsoft Word or equivalent.

The Government cannot, however, take responsibility for the accessibility of documents provided by third parties.

The Right to Information Act 2009 and confidentiality

Information provided to the Government may be provided to an applicant under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI). If you have indicated that you wish all or part of your submission to be treated as confidential, your statement detailing the reasons may be taken into account in determining whether or not to release the information in the event of an RTI application for assessed disclosure. You may also be contacted to provide any further comment.