While the TLC remains apolitical, we do advocate for strong protections of our natural values through legislative and planning mechanisms. Read our recent submissions.
State planning scheme - local schedules (April 2020)
The Tasmanian Government is reforming the state’s planning system by introducing a single state-wide planning scheme. All 29 councils across Tasmania are reviewing their Local Provisions Schedule, proposing zone categories for individual titles. This may have implications on permitted land use and the protection of values. Representations are invited, giving landholders the opportunity to consider their properties and the most suitable zoning.
While the TLC’s reserves are protected under conservation covenants, we are also requesting that they be zoned either Environmental Management or Landscape Conservation. We are also asking for the Natural Assets Code and the Priority Vegetation Layer to be applied in all zones across the landscape to prevent developments or land use at odds with the protection of natural values.
Landholders who would like to participate in the review of their schedules should contact their local council.
EPBC Act (April 2020)
Our environment is Australia’s greatest asset, and here in Tasmania we are fortunate to still have native habitat for a huge diversity of species. The national environmental law that protects these assets, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), is currently under review.
The EPBC Act provides important mechanisms to protect Matters of National Environmental Significant (MNES), for example nationally threatened species and ecological communities, Ramsar wetlands, migratory species and heritage-listed sites. It has resulted in some exceptional conservation outcomes and underpins the National Reserve System (NRS). The NRS has facilitated the purchase of some of the TLC’s high conservation value reserves, including the Vale of Belvoir, Egg Islands, Skullbone Plains, Long Point and Flat Rock. Strengthening this legislation is critical to improve protections and in April the TLC made a submission in response to potential changes to the EPBC Act.
Draft Planning Provisions (May 2016)
As an organisation with land and associated partnerships throughout the state we have a strong interest in planning provisions, particularly regarding the recognition and protection of natural assets. TLC welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on the Tasmanian Planning Scheme – Draft State Planning Provisions. We support the general proposition of improving efficiencies and providing consistency across the state. Extending the Environmental Management Zone to private land Applying the Environmental Management Zone to public/Crown land presumes it is only public land in reserves and/or only public land that requires the level of protection that the Environmental Management Zone provides. With 98,582 hectares in privately owned reserves, private land conservation makes a significant contribution to the protection of biodiversity and under-represented ecosystems in Tasmania. While serving a purpose, the Landscape Conservation Zone may not be adequate as a protection mechanism for some private land reserved for nature conservation. Private land reserved for nature, could be zoned by the planning system to recognise important natural values and to further its ongoing protection.
Effectively applying the Natural Assets Code
The application of the Natural Assets Code will be an important tool in the protection of biodiversity. Effective state-wide mapping is critical for the application of this code and there is an opportunity within the Tasmanian Planning Scheme to apply mandatory provisions to protect important natural assets for future generations. Species and vegetation communities listed under the Threatened Species Protection Act, Nature Conservation Act and the EPBC Act are important to include. There is also a unique opportunity to apply a landscape-scale, cross-tenure approach that identifies habitat linkages, corridors and climate refugia. The inclusion of non-threatened species would be an innovative way to recognise the value of common species as natural assets into the future.
Aligning the Scheme to the principles of sustainability
Sustainability remains a cornerstone of good planning and while the provisions propose a framework of zones, zone purposes, uses and use standards, the alignment to sustainability principles there is an opportunity for those provisions to be strengthened. Clarity on the integration of the Draft Scheme with state-wide policies would also be welcomed.