Housing and Planning Minister Roger Jaensch’s defence of his government’s fast tracking of land at Huntingfield for housing is not convincing (“Rezoning will fast-track more housing where it’s needed”, Talking Point, July 29).
Tasmania’s housing crisis has been recognised for at least two years but frustratingly three big issues have not been part of the discussion. The state government has not committed to fixing the housing crisis and no one is asking them to; there is no mention of the main causes of the housing crisis and what this tells us about solutions; and no mention of the state government’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2015-25 which has remained unchanged while the housing crisis has unfolded.
Letters to the Editor
The Federal Minister for the environment Susan Ley is to be congratulated for accepting the advice of her independent Scientific Advisory Committee to list as critically endangered Tasmanian forests and woodlands dominated by Eucalyptus ovata and Eucalyptus brookeriana. Congratulations also to Humane Society International (Australia) for making the nomination way back in 2013.
While I expect the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association to complain about new listings of threatened species and communities, TFGA CEO Peter Skillern shows a complete misunderstanding of the listing process when he claims that 'these species are not endangered and indeed the distribution of both is widespread throughout Australia' (Mercury Saturday 6 July 2019) .
First, the listing relates to a specific forest and woodland community and not to every example of the trees. Second, the community is only endangered in Tasmania. Third, rather than being wide spread the Scientific Advisory Committee's advice states that there has been a 90% reduction in the area of this forest and woodland since European settlement.
As for claims of 'belated consultation with farmers', the draft listing was open for submissions from 16 November 2016 to 27 January 2017. Plus, the previous Minister Josh Frydenberg delayed his decision last year for six months 'to allow for appropriate consideration of any relevant recommendations arising from the Review of the Interaction between the EPBC Act and Agriculture and Food Production'. I would say farmers received special consideration.
And as for the claims that this listing will 'lock up further private farm land' and make 'on farm infrastructure improvements' difficult, according to the Scientific Advisory Committee's advice, the Commonwealth listed forest and woodland corresponds very closely with two forest communities that have been listed as threatened on Tasmanian legislation since 2002. Farmers have coped with these state listings for 17 years and little will change with Federal listing except we have a safety net if the state authorities make a mistake.
Tasmanian Conservation Trust
I last put out my rubbish bin in October 2011. Yes, seven years and I have not put the rubbish out once at home.
In October 2011 a friend of mine, Robyn McNicol, did a marine plastic pollution art project with Taroona High School called ‘Plastic Swirl’ that aimed to increase awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean. It affected me so much that I wanted to see if I could stop producing plastic and other waste.
TCT HAS BEEN WRITING ON CONSERVATION ISSUES IN TASMANIA FOR 50 YEARS.
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There is a long list of controversial developments on public land where the Clarence City Council has treated the community terribly. The Council is acting as a property developer and pushing a development agenda on Council and State government land while failing to consult the most important people, the rate-payers.
For more than 100 years this project has reared its ugly head. It has been defeated every time, more or less always for the same reasons:
A lack of strong business case.
A lack of local support and interest.
The land is publicly owned, and inevitably the developer wants the people to make a gift of the publicly owned land.
On 1 January 2018 China’s National Sword Policy came into effect, reducing acceptable contamination levels for 24 types of recyclable materials to between 0.5% and 1.0% (down from 5%). For Australia, the biggest impact will be on paper, cardboard and plastics. There is likely to be little impact on recycling of metals because Australia exports most of its recyclable metals to countries other than China.
The State Government’s changes to planning legislation have sown the seeds for over-development in Tasmania’s iconic cities, coastal hideaways, heritage towns and wilderness areas, whilst creating opaque processes that empower the Planning Minister and strip the community’s rights. They have plans for more draconian changes.