A $1 million proposal to hold a cache of specialist planners to deliver development projects sooner has been pitched to the state government.
The Local Government Association of Tasmania in a recent submission to the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council said planners represented one of the top five areas of skill shortages in the sector.
It said 69 per cent of councils experienced a skill shortage and 50 per cent experienced skills gaps.
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Councils also needed engineers, environmental health officers and building surveys, the submission from LGAT chief executive Katrena Stephenson said.
It said locations of certain councils, the inability to compete with private sector remuneration, and a lack of vocational education and training in the skills required were among the reasons for shortages.
The body has requested the state government provide it with $1 million over two years for it to implement a shared service model and create a cache of planners.
It said the model should be self-sufficient in two years’ time and expanded to include environmental health officers.
The body said PESRAC’s interim report suggested planning matters be given “the tighest attention” and recommended local government should prioritise resourcing of planning approvals to better meet time frames.
“Tasmanian councils will always find it difficult to attract EHOs and planners and so typical workforce development options … will have limited impact,” the submission said.
“What we need to do is re-imagine how we deliver the services to the community.”
LGAT has also requested $700,000 from the state government to fund the first two stages of a circular economy plan for Tasmania.
It has requested money so the body can start a digital transformation project to make councils easier to deal with.
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