The government’s controversial major projects legislation is set to pass through Parliament without significant amendments.
This is despite almost 30 amendments from Nelson independent MLC Meg Webb, including one to introduce into the legislation a rights of appeal mechanism against a major project approval and another to require a project to comply with reserve management plans.
The right to appeals was debated at length on Wednesday and won support from Launceston independent MLC Rosemary Armitage, McIntyre independent MLC Tania Rattray, and Hobart independent MLC Rob Valentine.
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Ms Webb said the absence of a merits review had been the highest priority for community groups during consultation on the legislation.
“Merits review of planning decisions is an absolutely fundamental part of our planning system and of public participation,” she said.
Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Council, Leonie Hiscutt, said community members would be able to participate in approval process by a panel appointed by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.
“The TPC will make the decision through an open, fair and accessible process,” she said.
Ms Hiscutt said the commission’s decisions had never been subject to merits-based appeals before.
She said unnecessarily time delays and costs to major projects could be caused by a review system.
Labor’s Sarah Lovell said the party would not support the amendment because it did not want to jeopardise the bill nor undermine the TPC’s independence.
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