Tasmanian Government Logo

Independent review of the Tasmanian Planning Commission’s roles and functions

The Department of Justice has announced the engagement of Professor Roberta Ryan and Mr Alex Lawrie through their consultancy, Forward Thinking Australia Pty Ltd, to conduct an independent review into the roles and functions of the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

The Minister for Planning called for the review in light of:

  • administrative changes to the Commission’s role in policy making;
  • the importance of the Commission remaining completely at arm’s length from Government;
  • the recent resignation of long-term Executive Commissioner Mr Greg Alomes; and
  • questions around the Commission being the most appropriate agency to conduct reporting on the State of the Environment.

Professor Ryan and Dr Lawrie will prepare a report for the Minister addressing the Terms of Reference (below) and after consulting with relevant stakeholders including government, industry, academic and community groups.

The report will be completed by 30 June 2020.

Further information on the review can be obtained from the Department of Justice, Planning Policy Unit:  (03) 6166 1429 planning.unit@justice.tas.gov.au

Terms of Reference

Review of the Tasmanian Planning Commission – Membership and Functions

The Minister for Planning requests that the Secretary of the Department of Justice conduct a review of the Tasmanian Planning Commission and the Tasmanian Planning Commission Act 1997 (the Act) to examine:

1.The structure of the Commission and the Act to ensure that:

  • The Commission is able to continue to perform its role as an independent decision maker and advisory body, in a fair, just, efficient and effective manner;
  • the Commission’s statutory functions are not compromised by its membership including representatives of State Agencies or bodies that are proponents of matters that the Commission’s functions extend to;
  • the ongoing structure of the office of the Commission and its resourcing is reflective of its extended role in the planning system as an independent decision maker and advisory body on the new components of the Tasmanian planning system; and
  • its functions are not undermined by the demands of historically designated roles under other legislation that might be better reallocated to another agency or body, in particular the State of Environment Reporting function.

2.The conflict of interest provisions in the Act and the process of delegation to ensure they operate transparently and meet public expectations;

3.The ongoing structure of the office of the Commission, including the staffing profile and required capabilities;

4.The roles, functions and appointment provisions of the Executive Commissioner to ensure that they:

a) provide for the appointment of an appropriately qualified person;

b) align with the State Service expectations of a senior executive;

c) provide flexibility of appointment; and allow for the effective management of the Commission and the Commission’s office.

  • The Secretary may be assisted in addressing any or all aspects of the terms of reference by a third party consultancy, subject to the terms of the consultancy being agreed with the Minister for Planning.
  • The Secretary may establish a Steering Committee or Reference Group to oversee the review with representatives from the Local Government Association Tasmania (LGAT), the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), and the Law Institute.
  • The Secretary will ensure the Department provides secretarial support to the review through allocation of project officers for the review generally and the specific consideration of the State of the Environment Reporting function.
  • The review is to be completed with a report to the Minister for Planning by 30 June 2020.