Tasmanian Planning System



The framework for Tasmania’s planning system is set out in the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993. Other parts of the framework are called up under the Act. In this section, each is briefly described with relevant links to more information where applicable.

Planning legislation

Planning legislation

In Tasmania the key Act setting out the planning process, including the roles and functions of the Minister for Planning and Local Government, the Commission and Councils, is the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993. It also sets out the various requirements and timeframes that apply to the planning process in Tasmania, for example, making an application for a permit or requesting an amendment to a planning scheme.

The Act is supported by regulations. The regulations include requirements for notification and fees.

There may be other Acts that also apply depending on the development proposed. For example, the Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1993 or the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1993.

State policies

State policies

State Policies describe the Government's position on issues of sustainable development. They are policies about:

  • land use planning
  • land management
  • environmental management, and
  • environment protection.

State Policies are made under the State Policies and Projects Act 1993. The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC) is responsible for the Act and the Premier is the relevant Minister. The Commission becomes involved when directed by the Minister to review a draft State policy.  When the review is complete, the Governor gives effect to the State policy. The Governor of Tasmania has made three State Policies, available via the DPAC website at www.dpac.tas.gov.au with links provided below:

As well as the State policies above, the Act also recognises National Environmental Protection Measures (NEPMs) as State Policies. Information about NEPMs can be found at www.epa.tas.gov.au

Planning schemes and planning scheme amendments must be consistent with State Policies.

Planning directives

Planning directives

The Act allows the Minister for Planning and Local Government to issue planning directives.

A planning directive provides direction on planning matters, including standards that must be included in all planning schemes. For example, Planning Directive No. 5.1 – Bushfire-Prone Areas Code requires that each council’s planning scheme includes the code.

Some planning schemes can override the requirements of a planning directive if the Minister issues a planning purposes notice. Planning purposes notices can be found in the appendices of the relevant planning schemes in iplan.

Planning directives issued by the Minister for Planning and Local Government are:

Find out how planning directives are issued.

Regional land use strategies

Regional land use strategies

Regional Land Use Strategies set out the long term planning goals for the three Tasmanian regions (North West, Northern, and Southern regions). For example, a Regional Land Use Strategy may indicate how much land should be made available for industrial development in the region.

Planning schemes must be consistent with the relevant Regional Land Use Strategy.

Regional Land Use Strategies can be amended but it is the Minister’s responsibility to keep the three strategies under regular review.

Tasmanian regions

The Minister for Planning and Local Government has declared regional strategies for the following three regions:

Planning schemes

Planning schemes

A planning scheme regulates  the way land can be used or developed.  It sets out the overall approach to planning in each council’s area and the specific requirements or standards for the use, development and protection of land.

A planning scheme has two parts:

  • text that sets out the requirements or standards for use and development, and
  • maps that show  zones and overlays indicating where different requirements or standards apply.

The planning scheme can’t make development occur , but  it sets out the standards that must be met to gain planning approval.

Some parts of each council’s planning scheme are common to all planning schemes as required by a Planning Directive issued by the Minister for Planning and Local Government.  Other parts of the planning scheme have been developed either regionally, with other councils or locally, by the council responsible for the planning scheme.

Tasmania’s 29 councils each have a planning scheme, with the exception of the Hobart City Council which has two planning schemes (a separate scheme for the Sullivans Cove area and another for the remainder of the council area).

To find the planning scheme that applies to your Council area go to www.iplan.tas.gov.au.

For further information about the provisions of the relevant planning scheme, contact your Council.