The new Launceston Interim Planning Scheme, the first new local council scheme under the state government’s overhaul of the state planning system, is expected to provide immediate stimulus for investment in Northern Tasmania.
The scheme is the first of many being prepared by councils in the state’s northern region and builds on reforms already implemented, including a single state-wide template, new residential building code and regional land use strategies.
“The reform of Tasmania’s planning system is delivering greater consistency, certainty and clarity for investors and developers,” said Deputy Premier Bryan Green. “Developments worth more than $100 million are already on the drawing board and this is the breakthrough investors have been waiting for.”
The Government has committed $6 million over four years to ensure planning laws keep pace with the needs of local communities and potential investors.
The Tasmanian Greens Planning spokesperson Tim Morris MP said today that public awareness remained the major hurdle for the successful rollout of the new Launceston Planning Scheme and subsequent schemes around the state.
“These changes have taken longer than expected, but this is a good step forward,” he said. “It’s of critical importance now that this scheme is in force that the landowners be thoroughly consulted, because there will be significant confusion and delays if developers don’t understand the new zoning requirements.”
“The Greens are urging the Minister and the Launceston City Council to do more than the minimum requirement in advising landholders of the changes embedded in the new scheme,” he added.
Planning Institute of Australia Tasmanian president Matthew Clark said the new schemes include an increased range of issues and create simpler regulatory pathways for many types of development.
“The new schemes are based on a Regional Template and will have a common structure and standard provisions,” he said. “Whilst this might sound a bit technical, its further evidence the planning processes in Tasmania are being streamlined making investment and development more attractive.”
Clark said the new schemes will get rid of outdated provisions that have caused strife and led to a slowing down of the system, a step he says will be a boon to the industry.
“This is good for the planning and development industry and at the end of the day good for communities,” he said.