CANAL estates have again escaped a total ban in Tasmania — for the moment.
Environmental groups had hoped that by excluding canal developments from a new landuse strategy they would be off the agenda, permanently. However, the State Government has decided they will still be considered as part of the Southern Tasmania Regional Land Use Strategy 2010-2035, one of the key parts of the massive overhaul of Tasmania’s planning system.
Environmental groups have been campaigning to keep canal developments out of the strategy and are outraged a ban would not be included. The rejection of the $300 million Ralphs Bay canal development last year by the Tasmanian Planning Commission was a major victory for the groups after a six-year fight. But since then legislation introduced by the Greens and supported by Labor to ban such developments has failed in the Upper House.
The Environmental Defenders Office Tasmania, Environment Tasmania, Save Ralphs Bay Inc and Birds Tasmania said the decision not to ban canal developments from the strategy would expose Tasmanian communities, taxpayers and governments to unacceptable environmental and economic risks.
The Planning Minister Bryan Green said that based on advice to the Government, issues associated with canal estate developments would now be considered as part of the State Coastal Policy Framework and associated statutory instruments. The Tasmanian Planning Commission has formed a coastal-planning advisory committee to develop the framework. According to Mr Green there are currently no applications for canal estate-style developments in Tasmania.