Roger Jaensch, Minister for Planning and Minister for Environment and Parks
Tasmania’s recovery from the coronavirus emergency relies on our economy being able to return to normal as quickly as possible once the current restrictions ease.
All development projects have a lead-time in which essential design, planning and assessment processes, including public consultation, are conducted.
Some people are saying that the coronavirus restrictions will prevent these processes working properly, so they should be shut down for the duration of the emergency. Doing this would mean doubling the impact of the virus – a period of reduced economic activity, followed by a period of no activity while we wait for new projects to be assessed.
Tasmanians have been quick to adopt new ways of living and working to slow the spread of the virus. We believe they will be prepared to adjust to some new ways of dealing with planning and consultation that help keep Tasmania moving through this emergency period.
To this end, the Government will be working closely with councils and the independent Tasmanian Planning Commission to ensure all assessment and approvals processes can be kept open and applications can continue to be processed, consulted and assessed under modified processes that take account of coronavirus restrictions.
In the meantime, there are a number of documents already being exhibited online for public information and comment. Acknowledging that the coronavirus has caused significant disruption to businesses, organisations and individuals who have interests in these matters, the timeframes for public comment on these documents have been extended by five weeks.