A bill seeking to provide financial assistance to property owners whose homes were impacted by a landslip at Brickmakers Point has unanimously passed the House of Assembly.
The Brickmakers Point Landslip Bill 2020 will allow the owners of five properties impacted by the 2016 landslip at Deviot in Northern Tasmania to request an offer on their home from the government.
Owners will be offered 75 per cent of their property's pre-landslip value with that value to be calculated by the Valuer-General as though the property had not been impacted by the landslip.
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It is an opt-in scheme and there will be no compulsory acquisition of properties.
If an owner accepts the offer the Crown will acquire their property.
Owners will have two years to voluntarily apply for the government to make an offer on their property from the date the legislation is enacted.
Housing Minister Roger Jaensch said, in consultation with the property owners and the West Tamar Council, the package had been designed to help individuals recover.
"Financial assistance is being offered on compassionate grounds, and not as a result of any legal liability on the government's or the council's part for the damage caused by the 2016 landslide event," Mr Jaensch said.
"Many members would be aware that the Brickmakers Point landslide has taken a substantial toll on these property owners - both financially and emotionally.
"One property has been rendered uninhabitable, and the others have all been subject to varying degrees of structural change."
Both Labor and the Greens questioned if this legislation was urgent given Parliament had suspended standing orders to pass legislation to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Labor housing spokeswoman Alison Standen said from the outset Labor was going to support the bill.
Ms Standen said allowing 24 months for owners to consider the offer would let them pursue other legal action in this time if they wished.
"It's an opt-in process [and] this bill wouldn't preclude the opportunity to pursue civil remedies," Ms Standen said.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said she was certain the residents of Deviot would be relieved this legislation was going through the Parliament four years after the landslip.
She said the bill set a precedent for future property owners who may be impacted by coastal erosion as the result of climate change.
Clark independent MHA Madeleine Ogilvie said the Parliament needed to work out how to maintain governance during the pandemic.
"This is the first example of a bill that's come though during the crisis and we do need to be able to transact business as normal," Ms Ogilvie said.
She also expressed her support for the "sensible" legislation.