Frequently asked questions - About public hearings

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Why does the Commission hold hearings?

When does the hearing happen?

How will I know about a hearing?

Do I have to go to the hearing?

Can I attend the hearing if I didn’t make comments to Council?

What happens at the hearing?

Further submissions were invited at the hearing – how do I make a further submission?

What happens after the hearing is finished?

Can I get copies of the hearing documents?


Why does the Commission hold hearings?

The Commission holds hearings, as required under legislation for planning and other processes.  The purpose of a hearing is to explore relevant issues to help the Commission reach a decision about an amendment or combined amendment and permit.


When does the hearing happen?

Hearings are held after a draft amendment or combined amendment and permit have been publicly exhibited and the Commission has received a report from the council about any comments received.


How will I know about a hearing?

If you have made comments to the council, the Commission will write to you to confirm whether you wish to attend the hearing.  The Commission’s hearings are also advertised in the newspaper and on www.iplan.tas.gov.


Do I have to go to the hearing?

Anyone who made comments to the council can speak at the hearing but it is not necessary for you to do so.


Can I attend the hearing if I didn’t make comments to Council?

Hearings are public and anyone can go, but unless you made comments to the council, you will only be able to have a say at the hearing if the Chair agrees.


What happens at the hearing?

The Commission appoints delegates to hold the hearing, including a Chair.  At the hearing, the Chair will set out the procedure for the hearing.

Although there are some formalities, the Commission’s hearings are not as formal as going to court. For example, you may have a lawyer or planner represent you, but it is not essential.

It is a good idea to be present at the start of the hearing.  This is when the Chair explains the procedure and in what order each person will be heard.

Generally, if there are any legal issues, these are dealt with first.  The Chair may request that submissions be made in writing to clarify any legal issues. This may mean the hearing is deferred or adjourned to allow time for the written submissions to be made and for everyone to have had the opportunity to read them and respond.

Once the hearing is underway and when it is your turn to be heard, there is no need to read your original comments to Council out aloud. Simply highlight the issues you think are most important and stick to relevant planning issues.  Don’t raise new matters.

At the end of the hearing, each person will be asked to make a closing statement.  This happens in the reverse order to the initial proceedings.

The hearing is recorded, but only to help the delegates (the recording is not transcribed).  Others at the hearing are not allowed to record the hearing.


Further submissions were invited at the hearing – how do I make a further submission?

If the Chair directs you to make a further submission or a response submission, you must do so within the required timeframe. Send your submission to tpc@planning.tas.gov.au and it will be published on www.iplan.tas.gov.au so that others can view it.


What happens after the hearing is finished?

The council and all those who made comments to the council will be advised of the decision and it will be available on www.iplan.tas.gov.au.

The decision is final, unless appealed to the Supreme Court on a matter of law.


Can I get copies of the hearing documents?

Council’s reports and other relevant documents are available at www.iplan.tas.gov.au by selecting 'assessments and hearings' and searching for the relevant assessment.

If you require any further information about the hearing process, please contact the Commission on  03 6165 6828.