Law change plan to satisfy councils

PLANNING Minister Bryan Green has signalled a possible circuit-breaker to the planning reform deadlock gripping several Northern councils.

Mr Green said he was considering changing the legislation that was effectively blocked the planning schemes of Meander Valley, Northern Midlands and West Tamar Councils.

Mr Green admitted it had deteriorated to a ``stand-off'' scenario after his rejection of the schemes followed by the councils then refusing to change them.

The schemes set out the rules for development in a council area, including everything from height restrictions to noise levels.

The government, heavily lobbied by the property industry, wants to make the schemes as uniform as possible between Tasmania's 29 councils.

The three Northern councils had their schemes knocked back last year mainly due to proposed rural living zones in traditionally farming areas.

Yesterday, Mr Green said he was looking to  ``amend LUPA (the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act) overall so as to facilitate a better outcome''.

``I would like councils to think of getting as much as we can through,'' he said.

``And then allow us to work on some of the active rezoning issues as part of another look at the LUPA legislation overall.''

Mr Green said he would like to avoid a situation where he had to tell the Tasmanian Planning Commission to alter the schemes because the councils were refusing to.

``I'd rather work with them,'' he said.

``I understand their issues, they've consulted widely with their community, they believe under the circumstances that we should allow for these rezonings to take place.''

``But my view is we have to be very careful about it so as to ensure we don't impact on farming, for example.''

Mr Green's refusal to declare the scheme was based on advice from the commission which had sought a legal opinion from Solicitor-General Leigh Sealy.

Mr Sealy's advice convinced the commission that the three councils schemes were not in line with the law.

The councils said they had their own legal advice which said otherwise.


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