Bid to ensure canal estate ban, Tasmania

CANAL estate opponents are preparing to lobby Tasmania’s Upper House members in a bid to secure a statewide ban on the controversial developments.

About 35 Save Ralphs Bay lobbyists attended Parliament yesterday to watch the Lower House pass the Legislation, despite Liberal opposition.

Liberal planning spokeswoman Elise Archer said the party opposed the blanket ban because it was anti-development.

“The only way to achieve certainty for developers and communities is through appropriate planning reform and an updated State Coastal Policy, not blanket-banning development,” Ms Archer said.

“We believe in a proper independent process where we can assess projects based on their merits, on a case-by-case basis.”

Uncertainty surrounds how members of the Upper House will vote, with 11 of the 15 members being independent.

Today, Save Ralphs Bay sent emails to more than 400 members urging them to call, email and write to Legislative Councillors urging them to support the legislation.

SRB spokeswoman Jane MacDonald said lobbyists had been working for a ban on canal estates for seven years, since the group formed to oppose the canal estate development proposed at Ralphs Bay at Lauderdale.

Mrs MacDonald said the group was very excited that the legislation passed its first hurdle, but now was no time to rest.

Mrs MacDonald said she did not believe that passing the legislation was equivalent to putting up a closed-for-business sign across the state.

“Bad legislation wastes the developers’ time and money, the community’s time, money and efforts and at the end of it if the development gets knocked back it reduces the community’s trust in development, so who wins?” she said.

The Upper House could debate the legislation as early as next week.