A mediation service was trialed in Tasmania to try to resolve environmental disputes over issues such as music and motorbike noise, smoke from wood fires and backyard burning, and other air pollution sources. The trial commenced on 1 February 2012 and ended on 31 July 2013.
The trial was jointly funded by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Board and the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) member Councils. It targeted those environmental nuisance complaints that are difficult for Council Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) to manage because there is not an obvious regulatory or planning solution. These disputes may have arisen from, or been exacerbated by, a breakdown in communication between the disputing parties. It was in these situations that, if the relevant parties agreed, such disputes may have been resolved by mediation.
GetYes Solutions Pty Ltd were contracted to run the mediation service, which was available state-wide. GetYes Solutions worked with Council EHOs at the point of referral to determine the suitability of cases for mediation.
A Final Report has been prepared that analyses the trial results and outlines some recommendations. The report can be accessed here:
Report on the Trial Environmental Dispute Mediation Service