Major Projects Assessment Reform
The PORS process provides for the assessment of projects that have significant regional impacts and importance, by an independent expert panel established by the Tasmanian Planning Commission. The PoRS process reflected similar processes in other States, but history shows it did not prove to be an attractive option for project proponents, possibly due to uncertainty with process timeframes, lack of an early indication of any fundamental issues that would likely result in a refusal, and the requirement to outlay substantial upfront fees for an assessment. Whilst the process has been specifically designed to provide assessment of important and complex regional projects, the PoRS process does not even provide the range of approvals available through an ordinary Council DA process.
In 2014 the Government committed to review and modify the PoRS framework to deliver a process for assessing major projects that is contemporary and fit-for-purpose alongside the other approval pathways in the Tasmanian planning system.
Major Projects Bill
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.
In 2014, the Tasmanian Government committed to reviewing the current Projects of Regional Significance (PORS) process. The Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (Major Projects) Bill 2020 (Major Projects Bill) intends to improve and build upon the PORS process.
The intent of the Major Projects process is to ensure a comprehensive independent assessment that:
The Major Projects Bill draws upon feedback received from the community, industry, experts, local and State government through three rounds of consultation between 2017 and 2020, and incorporates a range of changes to address key issues raised.
Submissions and Consultation Report Released
Consultation on the 2020 version of the Tasmanian Government’s draft Major Projects Bill has helped frame key improvements to the Bill.
Submissions from the third consultation on the Major Projects Bill are available:
The privacy of all submissions is ensured through redaction of all personal information.
A comprehensive review of the submissions has been conducted and a Major Projects Consultation Report is available summarising the key issues raised in the submissions and proposed key modifications to the Major Projects Bill.
The final Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (Major Projects) Bill 2020 has been tabled in Parliament.
Consultation Stages - time line
The first period of public consultation on the first draft of the Major Projects Bill closed on 2 October 2017 and 198 submissions received. In response to the submissions received, the draft Major Projects Bill was amended and re-structured to clarify its operation.
Given the amendments that were made to the revised draft Major Projects Bill, it was released for a second period of public consultation that closed on 29 January 2018 and over 150 submissions were received. Policy Planning Unit, within the Department of Justice, prepared a second consultation paper and Fact Sheets that explain key aspects of the major projects assessment process.
The recent third consultation closed on 15 May 2020 and primarily targeted stakeholders, who previously provided submissions, through direct communication inviting further response. The draft Bill was also made available to the general public during this period, resulting in 363 direct submissions. These included batches of submissions compiled by particular groups, so that just over 1700 people provided input.
Contributions to this consultation are closed for evaluation and review. The Project team will report back on key outcomes.
The final outcomes of the consultation are documented here as a summary of contributions and recommendations for future action.