Major Projects assessment process
The Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (the Act) sets out the Major Projects process, which assesses significant and complex projects that have impacts across more than one municipal boundary. Existing assessment requirements for complex projects are coordinated into a single Major Projects assessment process. If the project is approved, a consolidated major project permit relating to land use planning, heritage, environmental management, water and sewerage infrastructure, and conservation can be issued. Major Projects are assessed in three distinct stages, as shown below.
Stage 1 - Eligibility
- The Minister for Planning (the Minister) to determine whether a major project proposal is suitable for consideration under the process, based upon eligibility and ineligibility criteria and guidelines issued by the independent Tasmanian Planning Commission (the Commission).
- A range of interested parties are consulted and have 28 days to advise whether they think the Minister should declare a project.
DECISION MAKER: Minister
Stage 2 - Initial assessment
- The independent Assessment Panel (the Panel), established by the Commission, determines the appropriate assessment criteria for the major project proposal, following public exhibition of and comment on the draft assessment criteria.
- Regulators can recommed to the Panel, and the Panel can advise the Minister to revoke a project proposal based on a 'no reasonable prospect' test if it is unlikely to be approved.
DECISION MAKER: Assessment Panel and Minister
Stage 3 - Final assessment
- Includes public exhibition of Major Project Impact Statement, public submissions and hearings and a final report by the Panel including the Regulators advice.
- The Panel issues major project permit if proposal approved.
DECISION MAKER: Assessment Panel
What is the role of the Minister?
The Minister for Planning is the decision maker in Stage 1 of the assessment, which is whether to declare, or not declare, a proposal as a major project. The decision of the Minister must be based upon the eligibility criteria set out in section 60M and 60N of the Act and have regard to any Determination Guidelines made by the independent Tasmanian Planning Commission when they have been issued. The Commission has 6 months from the commencement of the legislation to prepare these Guidelines but the Minister can declare a project any time before these are issued.
The Minister is required to prepare a report stating the reasons for a decision on the eligibility of a proposal to be assessed as a major project.
The Minister has no role in the key decisions during Stages 2 & 3 of the assessment that include determining the content of the assessment criteria; the assessment of a major project; or the decision to issue, or refuse to issue, a major project permit.
The Minister may only revoke the status of a major project proposal upon request from the applicant or advice from the independent Assessment Panel at any time during the final 2 stages of the assessment process.
Eligibility of projects
Not all projects are eligible to be declared as a major project. The major projects process sets out the terms and conditions for projects to meet before they can be declared as a major project.