State Significant and Major Project Assessments

A system of well-coordinated, holistic and transparent assessment processes for large scale or complex development of land in Tasmania is critical to protect and enhance everything that makes this State such a special place to live.

With the introduction of the Major Projects process through amendments to the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993, Tasmania builds on existing processes and now provides for three types of assessments:

  • Project of State Significance (POSS)
  • Major Projects
  • Major Infrastructure Development Approvals

Each of these processes is tailored for different types and scales of development and has its own processes and procedures.

Major Projects Assessment Process Diagram

Comparison of major projects assessment options
(PNG, 268.0 KB)

The diagram shows how the different planning processes relate to each other in terms of complexity and scale of impacts ranging from development applications considering local issues to projects of statewide significance considering whole of state issues. The Major Projects sits in between the two, as the process considers projects that are larger than local projects, but not quite large enough to have whole of state impacts.

Projects of State Significance (State Policies and Projects Act 1993)

The Projects of State Significance process is used to assess projects of a scale significant to the State or that are of national interest. The process cannot start without approval by both houses of Parliament. The independent Tasmanian Planning Commission oversees the integrated and robust assessment process of all the relevant approvals that are required to be issued under a single order. Opportunity for public involvement is provided through consultation and exhibition processes as well as public hearings. The final decision on the project is made by the Governor issuing an order on recommendation of the Minister for Planning. If that recommendation is in accordance with the report of the Tasmanian Planning Commission, the order takes effect straightaway but if the recommendation is different to the advice of the Tasmanian Planning Commission, approval from both houses of Parliament is required. The final decision is not subject to any appeal rights on process or merit.

For further information visit the Tasmanian Planning Commission website

Major Projects (Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993)

The Major Projects process is used to assess eligible projects of a scale, impact or complexity that affects multiple municipal areas. Once the project is declared eligible by the Minister for Planning, an independent panel, assembled by the Tasmanian Planning Commission, oversees the assessment. The process includes a coordinated and robust assessment of land use, heritage, Aboriginal heritage, environmental, threatened species and infrastructure requirements. Opportunity for public involvement is provided through consultation and exhibition processes as well as public hearings. The final decision on the project is made by the independent panel and is not subject to an appeal on planning merit but can be appealed under judicial review on legal matters.

For further information click here

Major Infrastructure Development Approvals Act 1997

The Major Infrastructure Development Approvals process is intended to assess long linear projects, such as gas pipelines or transmission lines. The process cannot start without approval by both houses of Parliament. The project is assessed, as if it were a development application under the normal planning process, by either the Tasmanian Planning Commission or a Combined Planning Authority (which consists of a member from each municipal area where the project is located). The process requires land use, heritage and environmental approvals and includes opportunity for public involvement through consultation and exhibition processes. The process may include land acquisition for the proposal to proceed. The final decision on the project is subject to appeal rights as it is deemed a discretionary application made under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

For further information visit the Tasmanian Planning Commission website