The government’s major projects legislation is likely pass the House of Assembly on Thursday through support from Labor.
Under the proposed laws, a proponent, council or the Planning Minister can refer a development considered to be a major project to an independent panel for assessment.
Leader of Government Business Michael Ferguson said the legislation was critical to the state’s economic recovery from coronavirus.
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“The rules don’t change, but the process is better,” he said.
“This is about ensuring complex projects can be given a fair opportunity to be assessed and so we can get projects moving in our state.
“This is not about approving more projects, it’s about assessing them in a more professional, contemporary way.”
Mr Ferguson said the bill offered the same opportunity for public input into development projects as was already offered to the community.
Labor’s building spokeswoman Jen Butler said the party supported the bill.
“We would like to see there being a really good appetite for development in Tasmania, but it must be development with good community consultation,” she said.
Greens planning spokeswoman Rosalie Woodruff said the legislation weakened third party rights of appeal.
“Communities having a say has always been, and should remain, central to planning laws,” she said.
“The major projects legislation would open the door for fast-track approval of Cambria Green, developments in our National Parks and wilderness areas, and skyscrapers in our cities.”
Planning Matters Alliance Tasmania spokeswoman Sophie Underwood said the government’s argument that the legislation was key to the state’s coronavirus recovery was opportunistic.
“[It highlights] the fact the government has failed to articulate a meaningful reason as to why existing processes do not work and new fast-track approval is required,” she said.
Legislation to impose a charge non-essential travellers to Tasmania $2800 to cover the cost of 14 days in hotel quarantine will be debated this week.
That too is expected to pass with Labor’s support.
Legislation to improve cat management in Tasmania will also be debated.
The parliamentary sitting schedule was thrown into disarray this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules.
This means there will be 14 sitting weeks of Parliament over the next five months.
The year will wrap up with four days of government business enterprise hearings which will conclude on December 15.
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