Planning and Local Government Policy

Planning for our Future

1. Labor recognises that Local Councils, comprising of community elected Councillors and Aldermen are appropriately placed to make planning decisions that meet the expectations of locals and reflect the best outcomes for the local environment.

2. Labor will ensure that Councils, operating  as planning authorities, have access to the best possible Statewide Planning Scheme that provides consistency for decision making and ensures conditions of approval take into account the strategic direction and requirements of the State. 

3. A Labor Government will ensure State Planning Policies (such as liveability, heritage, natural and environmental values, biodiversity, coastal, climate change, settlement, sustainable transport and infrastructure strategies) are developed in consultation with the community.  This important work is currently missing from the process.

Importance of Local Provisions Schedules

4. A Labor Government will ensure Local Councils are appropriately resourced to develop Local Provisions Schedules (LPS’s) for unique areas which may not fit within the generic State Planning Provisions.  This includes the protection of local character, amenity and special values.  This will ensure community expectations for the protection and enhancement of important areas are met and these areas are not automatically available for development.

5. Labor will not set unachievable and unrealistic deadlines for the creation of Local Provisions Schedules.  These Schedules are crucial to get right and require extensive public consultation and community engagement.

6. A Labor Government will always protect third party rights of appeal for discretionary development applications.  Labor recognises that one of the important principles underpinning the decision to have a single Statewide Planning Scheme was to simplify and provide certainty of approval and conditions for permitted use developments. 

7. Labor will continue to provide planning certainty for permitted use applications.

Free and accessable Planning Advice for the community

8. Labor recognises that navigating the planning process is not always easy and clear cut.

9. Labor will ensure a free Planning Advice and Information Service is made available to people to provide professional advice and support for planning scheme and development application issues of $220,000 per year. Funding has been set aside for this service.

State involvement in planning decisions

10. Where a major development crosses over more than one municipal area, or where a Council requests to transfer their planning authority to the State (due to a lack of expertise or resources) the Government will agree to process the development application through the Planning Commission.

11. Labor has no plans to change the current legislation for projects of State and Regional Significance.  Labor does not support giving call-in powers to a single Minister for projects such as high-rise towers, without giving the Parliament the final say.

Review of Statewide Planning Scheme and planning systems

12. Labor recognises that it is consistent with best-practice to ensure time and resources are allocated to review, commencing within 6 months of forming government, the performance of the planning system.

13. Labor will ensure that a review is conducted into the new planning system to give everyone in the community the chance to provide input about ways to improve outcomes and ensure our planning framework reflects contemporary community expectations and values. The review scope will include consideration of important planning matters including, but not limited to, residential development standards (as recommended by the Tasmanian Planning Commission), and the community’s right to comment upon, and rights of appeal in relation to, commercial developments in national parks.

14. A majority Labor Government will support the review of the Reserve Activity Assessment (RAA) process for developments within National Parks, as recommended by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

Open Government

15. Labor is committed to putting people first, and we recognise that technology can help to achieve this. 

Labor understands the value of information that government generates and collects. 

This is why Labor will make real time information and data sets freely available, including planning applications, status and decisions.

Recognition of Local Government’s role

16. A majority Labor Government will continue to only support the voluntary amalgamations of Councils.  Labor plans to continue to work with the Local Government sector to reform and improve outcomes for ratepayers.  In partnership with the Local Government Association of Tasmania,

17. Labor will conduct a Fees and Charges Review, after the completion of the implementation of the Statewide Planning Scheme, to ensure a greater degree of consistency for developers across different municipal areas.

18. Following the review of fees and charges a Labor Government will work with Councils to better understand the roles and functions between State and Local Government to ensure less duplication and better coordination of essential services for all Tasmanians.

19. Labor has a proud history of working together with Local Government to deliver positive outcomes for communities.  The people of Tasmania have every right to expect to be consulted and engaged on local issues.

20. Partnership Agreements between the State Government and Local Councils will be developed to build shared vision and outcomes across community development, infrastructure, education, health, wellbeing and employment.