The Property Council today reiterated its support for improvements to planning legislation in Tasmania.

Executive Director TAS Brian Wightman said that while they looked forward to receiving further detail, the suggested proposals were sound.

“Tasmania is experiencing improving economic conditions, beginning in Hobart, and now more evident statewide.

“The strengthening of planning legislation which ensures job creating investments are approved in a more streamlined and consistent fashion is always most welcomed.

“A residential dwelling approved within 24 hours is an excellent initiative, which when coupled with the First Home Builders Grant of $20,000, will make Tasmania an outstanding place to invest,” he said.

Mr Wightman said that Property Council Members supported Ministerial Call in Powers in certain circumstances and a restriction on third party appeals, both of which would strengthen confidence in the sector, and ultimately the state.

“The Minister of the day should have the mechanisms at their disposal including a range of call in powers when the project is deemed of state or regional economic significance.

“And of course, individuals or groups objecting to certain proposals should have to demonstrate that they are directly affected.

“Investments and developments should not be prevented or delayed by objectors who reside hundreds of kilometres from the site in question,” he said.

Mr Wightman also acknowledged the plan of the State Government to implement Development Assessment Panels, an idea which the Property Council had championed for many years.

“It’s fantastic news that the State Government has heeded the calls of the Property Council to implement Development Assessment Panels.

“Independent, expert planning panels, free from the perceived political influence of the local government sector is just what this state needs to determine the merits of significant projects,” he said.

The Property Council praised the work of the Planning Reform Taskforce, and looked forward to examining the additional proposed legislation which should lead to increased private sector confidence, further investment opportunities, and most importantly, jobs.