The Major Projects process is used to assess eligible projects of a scale, impact or complexity that affects multiple municipal areas. 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.
Projects of State Significance
Projects of State Significance (PSS) are referred to as Level 3 developments for the approval process which is conducted by the Tasmanian Planning Commission. The Commission liaises with the EPA and other agencies before recommending conditions that should be imposed if the development is approved. The final decision is made by the Government and the agencies responsible for enforcing the conditions specified.
The EPA has responsibility for regulating the environmental impacts of one activity declared to be a PSS by the Premier under the State Policies and Projects Act 1993. That activity is Basslink, which provides a means of exchanging electricity between Tasmania and mainland Australia.
Major Infrastructure Projects
Major Infrastructure Projects (MIP) are recommended by the Minister after consultation with affected Councils. Once declared under the Major Infrastructure Development Approvals Act 1999, Major Infrastructure Projects are assessed either by a Combined Planning Authority set up for the project, or the Tasmanian Planning Commission. Once the development is officially approved, the relevant local Councils again become responsible and the project becomes subject to normal environmental regulation. The EPA regulates one MIP, the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline.
Major Development and Projects Related Publications and Resources
- The Environmental Law Handbook
The Environmental Defenders Office has produced an easy to read, practical guide to Tasmania's environmental protection and planning laws for citizens, local councils, conservation groups, landowners, business operators and regulatory authorities. Chapter 5 deals with Projects of State significance and Major Infrastructure Projects.
Other Relevant Organisations