Revised Draft Major Projects Bill

Planning

Revised draft legislation to introduce a new process for declaring and assessing “major projects” is currently out for public comment until 29 January 2018.

The revised draft has responded to a number of issues raised by the community and regulators in representations on the previous draft.  Information about the new draft is available here.

Significant improvements include:

  • The revised draft more clearly prevents a residential or office building that is taller than the acceptable limits set by a planning scheme from being declared a major project
  • To improve the independence of the assessment process, the Minister is no longer involved in appointing the assessment Panel, or developing determination guidelines
  • The Planning Commission is required to publish guidelines for the public hearing process
  • Regulators have been given additional time to comment on major project proposals, draft guidelines and the draft impact statement, and to provide their final advice to the Panel about a major project
  • There are now offences for proponents providing false and misleading information about a major project

Some outstanding issues remain:

  • Projects can be declared major projects if assessment by a local council has been “unreasonably delayed” – there is no guidance as to when delay will be considered “unreasonable”
  • Clarification as to whether tall hotels and visitor accommodation can be declared to be major projects
  • There is still no right of appeal against a decision to approve a major project (on the basis that it has already been through a public hearing process).
  • Where a significant amendment to a major project is proposed, the project must be re-advertised and re-assessed.  Where a minor amendment to a major project is proposed, everyone who made a “relevant” representation must be notified – this should be extended to everyone who made a representation , to remove any discretion as to whether a representation is “relevant” to the minor amendment proposal.

Read our submission and have your say before the due date.

EDO Tas Bulletin 20/2017

ello-optimized-aeffda24

Enjoy the last EDO Tas Bulletin for 2017 – covering climate policies, TWWHA updates, the salmon growth plan and a call for nominations for National heritage places, threatened species and ecological processes.

We’re taking a break over Christmas to get out and enjoy this wonderful State.

We will re-open the office on 8 January 2018.

Have a safe, happy, relaxing, rejuvenating holiday, see you back here in 2018.

Team EDO Tas x

EDO Bulletin 19/2017

Image: The Mercury

Image: The Mercury

Heritage fines, fish kills, wild deer, climate strategies, solar panels, RTI delays, and the world’s largest MPA. Plus heaps of events, and our Christmas cards.

All this and more in the latest EDO Tas Bulletin!

The perfect gift

EDO Tasmania relies on public support to keep doing our important legal, policy reform, and education work.  It’s all aimed at protecting Tasmania’s environment and ensuring Tasmanians have a say in how the island’s abundant natural and cultural values are used.

If you’re looking for a meaningful gift for the nature-lovers in your life this Christmas, consider a tax-deductible donation to EDO Tasmania to make sure we’re here if the places they love need protecting.

All donors receive a great gift card, highlighting areas of our work.  To donate, click here and nominate your chosen card in the comment field.

gift cards

New finfish farming laws commence

Tassal

The Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Act 2017 came into effect on 4 December 2017, making changes to the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995, Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995 and the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994. Key changes include:

  • Formally transferring environmental regulation functions over finfish farms to the EPA Director
  • Introducing a new Environmental Licence for finfish farming operations, and making such activities “Level 2 activities” to be assessed by the EPA.
    • For inland finfish farm facilities and related activities, applications must be assessed by the EPA Board (and subject to public consultation and appeal rights)
    • For marine based finfish farming, the EPA Director will determine whether referral to the EPA Board is required
  • Introducing marine farm exclusion zones and declaring an initial zone over Mercury Passage (excluding the existing Okehampton Bay lease)

For an overview of the new laws, click here.

Ross Sea MPA takes effect

Happy Antarctica Day!

Today celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, and ongoing international cooperation on protection, research and conservation of the continent. Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are home to many species (not just whales and penguins!) and provide critical scientific insights into climate change, fisheries and marine management.

This year, Antarctica Day also makes the coming into effect of the world’s largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea.

To find out more about the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the outcomes of the most recent annual meeting (held in Hobart in October), click here.

Antarctic Petrel 00183_previewImage: Antarctic Petrel, Dr Eric Woehler

PWS to investigate illegal track use

2015-10-13 14.03.42The Parks and Wildlife Service has confirmed that they are investigating illegal off-road activity in takayna / the Tarkine after reports made over the weekend. While we commend PWS for investigating, the Minister needs to explicitly condemn the ongoing unlawful use of vehicles within the Western Tasmania Aboriginal Cultural Landscape.

For information about the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre’s court cases to prevent vehicles in the area damaging significant national heritage values, click here.

EDO Bulletin 18/2017

32-australianibis

04_magpieCourt challenge to the RFA exemption, major projects legislation to be re-worked, how Turkey, Mexico and even the US beat Australia in the climate action rankings, and the fight for national glory between the ibis and the magpie.

All this and more in the latest edition of the EDO Tas Bulletin.

Point to Pinnacle

EDO_PtP_Devil_SquareWe did it!
For the third year in a row, an EDO fundraising team took part in Point to Pinnacle, walking or running from Wrest Point to the top of kunanyi.
Dubbed the “world’s toughest half marathon”, this year’s event was held on a a warm and sunny day, with the heat providing some additional challenges.

After some late substitutions and last-minute additions, our final team took to the road on 19 November.  This year we had a record 32 members!  See the team here.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who has donated to date.
Online fundraising will remain open for a short while, so there’s still time to chip in a few dollars and help the team reach our target of $25,000.  Donate here.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for event photos.

EDO Tas Bulletin 17/2017

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 10.55.15 pmGet up to speed with all the latest planning and environmental law news with the EDO Tas Bulletin.

This edition looks at fish farming, special species, community consultation, and Point to Pinnacle.