Eligibility of projects
Can any project be assessed under the Major Project process?
No, for a project to be considered under the Major Project process, the major project must meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Major Projects Bill. The Major Project process requires a major project to meet at least 2 out of the 6 criteria, which is more stringent than the Project of Regional Significance (PORS) process.
Further, when the Minister makes a decision on whether the project is eligible, that decision must have regard to the Determination Guidelines prepared by the Tasmanian Planning Commission (the Commission). Unlike the PORS process the Major Projects Bill specifically provides ineligibility criteria.
The Major Projects Bill, as with the current PORS process already in place, is designed to assess a development application that meets the eligibility criteria. While the major project may require an amendment to the planning scheme, it is not designed as an alternative way of rezoning land to facilitate future development. The Major Project proposal must be an application for an actual development which meets the eligibility criteria. The Minister cannot declare a project that is ineligible.
Is the consent of the landowner required with the Major Project process?
Where a major project is proposed to be located on land owned by the Crown, a Council or land managed by the Mt Wellington Park Trust, the Minister cannot declare the project as a major project without the written consent of the land owner/manager.
For land that is privately owned, the proponent is required to show proof to the Minister, before the process begins, that the proponent has written to the land owner to advise them of the intent to have their project assessed as a major project.
What does the Major Projects process not do?
The Major Project process is designed to assess projects that are larger than normal developments and smaller than projects that are considered to be a Project of State Significance. Accordingly, the major projects process has limitations. These are as follows:
- The Major Project process cannot be used for rezoning land in isolation of a development application for a project which itself meets the eligibility.
- The Major Project process cannot be used if a local council, the Crown or the Wellington Park Trust withholds its consent as a landowner.
- The Major Project process cannot be used if the proposal is inconsistent with the regional land use strategy in place and it cannot amend that strategy as part of the MP process.
- The Major Project process cannot issue a permit if any one of the normal Regulators of the Project Associated Acts advises that it should be refused.
- The Major Project process cannot be subject to interference by the Minister or Parliament.
- The Major Project process does not provide for any land acquisition that the Major Project may require.
- The Major Project process does not provide the necessary license for land in a national park to be developed.
- The Major Project process does not provide a mining lease, permit for a Dam or final approval to conduct works in a road reserve.