Applicant means a person who lodges an application (for example, a development application or an application for a water licence).  For civil enforcement proceedings, the person who applies to the Tribunal for particular orders to be made is also called the Applicant.

Board of the Environment Protection Authority is an independent statutory body with responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994.  Board members include representatives from government, industry and the community.

Business day means a day on which a relevant government’s or council’s office is open for business, excluding weekends and public holidays. Sometimes referred to as “working day“.

Civil enforcement proceedings are commenced when a person with a proper interest applies to the Tribunal for orders to prevent or remedy an alleged breach of legislation.  See “Challenging Decisions”.

Clearing means removal or destruction (by cutting, pushing down, burning or any other means) of native trees, and any seedlings, shrubs or woody plants that have the potential to grow to a height of five metres or more.

Commission means the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

Coordinator General is the government officer appointed to facilitate major projects and oversee the Tourism Expressions of Interest process.

Costs (in relation to legal proceedings) are professional fees and expenses directly incurred in conduct of the appeal.  Costs do not include the cost of your time (for example, if you have taken leave from work to attend a Tribunal hearing).

Development permit means a permit issued to authorise use or development.  Also called a planning permit.  See “Planning and Development“.

DPIPWE is the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment.

DPEMP is a Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan.  A DPEMP must be prepared as part of the assessment of Level 2 activities that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment.  See “Pollution and Environmental Harm

Directions hearing is a hearing to consider procedural and administrative issues, before the full hearing of the merits of an appeal or application for judicial review.  For planning appeals, the initial directions hearing will generally take place within 10 days of the appeal being filed.

Director, depending on the context, may refer to the Director of Mines, the Director of the EPA or the Director of National Parks and Wildlife.  The Director is an officer with a range of responsibilities under the relevant legislation.

Discretionary use means use of land that is within the discretion of a planning authority to refuse or permit.  The planning scheme identifies which uses are discretionary within a particular zone.  Development applications for discretionary uses will be advertised in the newspaper and comments from the public will be invited.  See “Planning and Development“.

EER is an Environmental Effects Report.  An EER is a less detailed document prepared for an assessment of a Level 2 activity considered to present low risk to the environment.  The EPA will determine whether to require an EER or a full DPEMP.

EIA or EIS is en environment impact assessment or statement required by legislation to assess the potential impacts of a proposed activity.  In Tasmania, an EIA is generally provided in the form of a DPEMP or EER. See “Pollution and Environmental Harm“.

EMPCA means the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994.

Environmental harm means any adverse effect on the environment.  Environmental harm includes serious environmental harm, material environmental harm and environmental nuisance.  See “Pollution and Environmental Harm

Environmental nuisance includes emissions, discharges, deposition or disturbance of a pollutant that unreasonably interferes with another person’s enjoyment of the environment.  Environment Protection Policies may also specify emissions that are considered to be an environmental nuisance.  See “Pollution and Environmental Harm“.

EPA is the Environment Protection Authority, the independent statutory body responsible for assessment of Level 2 activities and oversight of the operation of the EMPCA.

EPBC Act means the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth).

EPN is an Environment Protection Notice, issued by Council officers or the EPA in response to environmental harm incidents.  See “Pollution and Environmental Harm”.

FOI refers to Freedom of Information requests.  For information held by Commonwealth agencies, requests are made under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.  In Tasmania, the FOI Act has been replaced by the Right to Information Act 2009 and what were previously known as FOI requests are now called RTI requests.  See “Gathering Information“.

Forest operations (under the Forest Practices Act 1985) includes planting trees, managing trees before they are harvested, harvesting forest products and any related land clearing, land preparation, burning-off, access construction or transport operation (also known as “forest practices”).

Forest Practices Authority (FPA) is the statutory body responsible for the development, management and enforcement of the Forest Practices System.  The FPA develops the Forest Practices Code, a range of implementation tools and forest management plans and certifies Forest Practices Plans (often through delegated Forest Practices Officers).

Forest Practices Code provides a set of guidelines and standards to ensure reasonable protection of the natural and cultural values of the forest during forest practices.  All forest practices plans must be in accordance with the Forest Practices Code.  See “Forestry Operations”.

Forest Practices Officers (FPO) are employed either by forest owners or the forest industry to prepare, monitor and enforce Forest Practices Plans. They are trained, authorised, directed and monitored by the FPA.  Selected FPOs are authorised to certify FPPs.

Forest Practices Plan (FPP) are coupe-specific documents containing prescriptions and maps detailing how forest practices must be carried out in the coupe. FPPs must be consistent with the Forest Practices Code and certified by the FPA or an FPO.

Forest Practices Tribunal is the independent body conducting hearings and making determinations in relation to appeals lodged under the Forest Practices Act 1985 (see “Forestry Operations”). The registry of the FPT is administered by staff from the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Frivolous and vexatious is used to describe an issue or an appeal that is raised merely to annoy, embarrass or harass the other party, raised for an ulterior motive or that has no merit (that is, has no chance of succeeding).  Raising frivolous or vexatious matters increases the risk of a costs order and may result in an appeal being dismissed without a hearing.

Future Potential Production Forest Land (FPPF land) includes areas designated under the Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) Act 2014 as FPPF land.  FPPF land includes land that was previously identified as future reserve land under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement. Harvesting, other than special species harvesting, is not permitted on FPPF land, however from April 2020, FPPF land may be converted to PTPZ land. For more information, see “Forestry Operations”.

Grounds of appeal are the issues that you wish to raise in the appeal.  Generally, your grounds are set out in your notice of appeal and should be detailed enough to allow the other parties to understand your concerns.  For more information about grounds of appeal, see “Challenging Decisions”.

Leave means permission granted by the Tribunal (for example, the Tribunal may grant leave to lodge an appeal after the appeal period has ended).

Level 1 activity means any use or development that is not regulated as a Level 2 activity or Level 3 activity. See “Planning and Development”.

Level 2 activity is an activity listed in Schedule 2 of EMPCA. These activities are assessed and regulated by the EPA.

Level 3 activity is a Project of State Significance.

LUPAA means the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

Marine Farming Development Plan (MFDP) refers to a plan setting rules for the location, capacity and operation of marine farming leases within a specified area.  MFDPs must be approved by the Minister under the Marine Farming Planning Act 1995.  See “Marine Farming“.

Matters of national environmental significance are those matters listed in Part 3 of the EPBC Act as needing oversight by the Commonwealth government, including World Heritage areas, National Heritage places and Ramsar wetlands.

MECOP refers to the current Minerals Exploration Code of Practice.  See “Mining and Exploration“.

Merits review means a review of the merits of an application (such as whether a development is appropriate) rather than the procedural aspects of the decision (such as whether proper notice was given or whether the person making the decision had the authority to make the decision).  In a merits review, the decision-maker (generally, the Tribunal) will consider all the evidence and make a fresh decision based on the merits of the application.

MNES means matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act.

MRDA means the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 (Tas).

MRT means Mineral Resources Tasmania.

Notice of appeal refers to the form you need to lodge to commence an appeal.  See “Templates and Samples” for an example of a notice of appeal.

Objection means a written statement opposing a proposed mining or exploration activity.  Statements opposing development applications are sometimes referred to as objections, but are more correctly referred to as representations or submissions.

Partial harvesting is harvesting of a single tree or groups of trees whilst retaining other trees including advanced growth trees, seed trees and shelter wood trees.  Also called selective harvesting.

Permitted use means use of land that is permitted under a planning scheme. Development applications for a ‘permitted use’ will not be advertised and the planning authority must grant a planning permit for the use (but may impose conditions).  See “Planning and Development“.

Permanent Timber Production Zone (PTPZ) means areas of State forest designated for logging.  These areas are available for harvesting, subject to a certified FPP.

Person whose interests are affected means a person for whom the impacts of a decision will be greater than the impacts on the general public.  A general interest in protecting the environment will not generally be sufficient to show that your ‘interests’ are affected by a decision, but a specific interest in a particular area may be sufficient. For examples of persons whose interests may be affected, click here.

Petition is a document, signed by a number of people (“signatories”) requesting action on the subject matter of the petition.  Petitions may be informal, or formal statutory petitions under the Local Government Act 1993 or rules of parliament.  See “Influencing the Decision“.

Planning Authority means a Council.

Planning Commission means the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

Planning Scheme includes any declared Planning Scheme, Interim Planning Scheme or the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.  See “Planning and Development“.

Pollutants include a gas, liquid or solid, odours, organisms (including bacteria and viruses), noise, radioactivity & electromagnetic radiation or any combination of these things that may cause environmental harm.  See “Pollution and Environmental Harm“.

Private Timber Reserve (PTR) is an area of private land declared to be a private timber reserve under the Forest Practices Act 1985.  A PTR must be used only for forestry. Forest practices in PTRs do not require approval from the local Council but do need a certified FPP.

Prohibited use means a use of land that is prohibited under a planning scheme.  A planning authority cannot grant a planning permit for a prohibited use.  See “Planning and Development“.

Project of Regional Significance is a project declared by the Planning Minister to be a Project of Regional Significance underLUPAA.

Project of State Significance is a project declared by the Premier to be a Project of State Significance under the State Policies and Projects Act 1993.

Proper interest means an interest in a matter that is more than a general emotional concern or philosophical objection.  To have a proper interest you will need to show that you will be affected in some tangible way by the outcome of an appeal.  Click here for some examples.

PWS means the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service.

Question of law is an issue relating to legal principles rather than factual situations. Examples of questions of law include the interpretation of legislation, whether relevant or irrelevant considerations were taken into account and whether all parties were given an opportunity to present their case.

RAA is a Reserve Activity Assessment, a document used by PWS to assess proposals for activities and development within national parks and reserves.  See “Protected Areas and Reserves“.

Recorder of Titles is the government officer responsible for administering the Land Information System in Tasmania.

Registrar is a legal officer responsible for case management and administration of a court or Tribunal.  Correspondence in a legal matter should be addressed to the Registrar of the relevant court or Tribunal.

Representation means a written statement supporting or opposing a proposal (including proposed amendments to a planning scheme, a development application or an application for a water licence. Sometimes referred to as a “submission” or an “objection”.  See “Writing Representations”.

Respondent means the person who is responding to an appeal or other legal action. For actions commenced by a member of the public, the Respondent will generally be the person doing the activity alleged to be in breach of the legislation (for example, a developer failing to comply with permit conditions) or the government agency whose decision is being challenged (sometimes both).

RMPAT means the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal

RMPS is the Resource Management and Planning System, a suite of environmental and planning legislation sharing common objectives aimed at achieving sustainable development.

RTI requests refer to requests for documents made under the Right to Information Act 2009.  Similar requests were previously referred to as FOI requests and made under the (now repealed) Freedom of Information Act 1991.  See “Gathering Information“.

Serve  means to formally deliver a document to a person (such as a summons). The method of service is generally set out in legislation.

Sitting day means a day on which members of the relevant house of parliament are required to attend.  For example, for matters before the Legislative Council, sitting days will include any day on which the Legislative Council is in session.  You can find a calendar of sitting days for Tasmanian parliament here.

Special species timber means blackwood, myrtle, celery-top pine, sassafras,  huon pine, silver wattle and any other species prescribed in forestry regulations to be “special species” for the purposes of the Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) Act 2014.

Special species timber harvesting is harvesting of special species timber by partial harvesting.

Special species management plan is a plan establishing a level of supply of special species timber in a certain area.

Standing refers to a person’s eligibility to commence legal proceedings.  Generally, a person will have “standing” if they can demonstrate that they have a proper interest in the subject matter of the legal proceedings.  For planning appeals, any person who made a representation will have standing to appeal.

State Policy means a formal Sustainable Development policy adopted by the Tasmanian government under the State Policies and Projects Act 1993.  To date, these include the State Coastal Policy, State Policy on Water Quality Management and the State Policy on the Protection of Agricultural Land.  See “Planning and Development“.

Submissions are written documents detailing concerns, support or suggestions for various proposals, such as government law reform proposals.  In relation to development proposals, submissions may be called representations or objections. See “Writing Representations”  

Summons is a document requiring the person named in the summons to appear at the Tribunal or the court to give evidence or to produce documents.

Sustainable development is defined in RMPS legislation as managing the use, development and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, that enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic and cultural wellbeing and for their health and safety, while:

(a) Sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations; and

(b) Safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems; and

(c) Avoiding, remedying or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment.

Table of Uses (or Use Table) is a table set out in a planning scheme classifying types of uses that a permitted, discretionary or prohibited in the relevant zone.  See “Planning and Development“.

Threatened native vegetation community means a community listed in Schedule 3A of the Nature Conservation Act 2002.

Threatened species means a species of flora or fauna listed in the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tas) or the EPBC Act.  Threatened species are further classified as Critically Endangered, Endangered, Rare and Vulnerable.

Tribunal means the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal.

Vulnerable land (under the Forest Practices Act 1985) is land which is within a streamside reserve, is steep, is very erodible, contains threatened species, contains karst (limestone or dolomite) soils, contains areas of reserved forest or contains rare, vulnerable or endangered forest communities.

Water allocation means a quantity of water that a licensee is entitled to take and use under a water licence.

Water licence means a licence to take water granted under Part 6 of the Water Management Act 1999.

Watercourse means a river, creek or other natural stream or defined channel, whether water flow is constant, intermittent or seasonal.  It includes dams collecting flow, lakes through which water flows, diversion channels and floodplains.

WMA means the Water Management Act 1999.

Zone in a planning scheme means a designated area, identified on a scheme map, to which particular use and development standards apply.