Launch of Strategy Land Use Plan for Next 25 Years

The Southern Tasmania Regional Land Use Strategy has been launched – the most significant regional planning project for the past 30 years.

The Lord Mayor of Hobart, Rob Valentine, the chair of the Southern Tasmanian Regional Planning Project Steering Committee, opened the public consultation period, which runs until December 6, 2010.

“This has been an important and challenging task for Local and State Governments,” Ald. Valentine said.

“Our vision for Southern Tasmania is a vibrant, growing, liveable and attractive region.

“One which provides sustainable and development opportunities that build upon our unique natural and heritage assets and advantages as Australia’s southernmost region.”

The Southern Tasmanian Regional Land Use Strategy is a joint initiative between the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority, the State Government, the Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority and the 12 Southern Councils of the STCA.

“What we are trying to achieve is a Regional Planning Strategy for the next 25 years and beyond,” Ald Valentine said.

“After the public consultation period, the Southern Tasmanian Regional Land Use Strategy will enter a formal process of endorsement which we hope will culminate in its declaration as a statutory instrument under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act.

“It would be our expectation that prior to the approval of any new planning scheme of planning scheme amendment, it must be demonstrated to be in accordance of the Southern Tasmanian Regional Land Use Strategy.”

The Lord Mayor said strategy information panels will be on display at all Southern Councils offices, along with copies of the document and maps.

“Each year, Southern Tasmania – like the rest of the State, Australia and the rest of the world – is increasingly impacted by broader challenges:

  • rising energy costs
  • peak oil
  • climate change & sea level rise
  • competition for resources
  • the need for greater social inclusion
  • and the need for improved environmental sustainability

“Reorientating our cities and towns, and the infrastructure linkages between them, towards a more sustainable pattern of development is critical in addressing these challenges and ensuring our long-term prosperity.

“Southern Tasmania is the Capital City Region; it has a unique set of natural and cultural assets. Southern Tasmania’s living environment and nationally & internationally competitive industry sectors needs a robust strategic land use planning system.

“We need to both proactively facilitate and manage sustainable development. We must protect and improve our amenity and quality of life. We need to provide greater certainty and direction to the community and development industry.

“And it is at the regional level that strategic land use planning can be undertaken most effectively, combining local initiative with Statewide direction.”

Ald. Valentine said far better results can be achieved when debate over “what should happen where” is conducted within a strategic planning process.

“This Strategy acknowledges that Greater Hobart is one settlement and that major land use planning decisions in one part of Greater Hobart have consequences that reverberate across the whole metropolitan area and often across the entire Southern region.

“Greater Hobart contains more than 86% of the region’s population. It is therefore the most significant single settlement within the region and should be planned for as a single entity.

“Outside of Greater Hobart, residential development is fragmented and dispersed across more than 110 other settlements.”

The Lord Mayor said the Strategy includes a Regional Settlement Strategy with specific metropolitan urban growth boundary and rural-residential moratorium to encourage better utilisation of our existing settlements.

“The average density of new residential areas is now between 7 to 10 dwellings per hectare. Across other jurisdictions in Australia, it is now recognised that a minimum density of 15 dwellings per hectare is required for basic cost recovery efficiency in the provision physical infrastructure.

“And it is recognised that preferably greater than 25 dwellings per hectare is required for key public transport corridors. Beyond more efficient use of physical and transport infrastructure, other benefits of increased residential densities include:

  • reduced ecological footprint of urban development
  • increased opportunities for social interactions
  • better utilisation of other public infrastructure including parks and open spaces.

“If we continue to expand our urban limits – as we have done in the past 10-20 years — based on dwelling growth projections, we will need another 4000ha of additional residential land

“4000ha is nearly half the size of Greater Hobart again; put simply, our region cannot sustain that growth.”

The moratorium placed upon rural-residential development is intended to be re- examined as part of the review and update of the Southern Tasmanian Regional Land Use Strategy.

For further information, contact: A. Mark Thomas, CPR, 0422 006 732