Legislation for the planning permit process

Planning and development in Tasmania is regulated by a series of Acts that are collectively known as the Resource Management and Planning System (the RMPS).

These Acts are all described below, including external website links for more information.

  • The Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA) manages and regulates environmental issues and pollution and defines what level of activity council regulates (Level 1 activities) and what level the state regulates (Level 2 and 3 activities). Any activities that have the potential to cause environmental harm must be considered under EMPCA.

  • The State Policies and Projects Act 1993 defines Tasmania's State of the Environment Reporting requirements, details how state sustainable development policies must be made and enforced, and allows for major projects (projects of state significance) to be approved and regulated. Once a state policy is enacted under this legislation, all existing and new planning schemes must become consistent with that policy (Section 13).

  • The Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995 aims to promote the protection and conservation of places with historic cultural heritage significance. It established the Tasmanian Heritage Council and the Tasmanian Heritage Register.

  • The Major Infrastructure Development Approvals Act 1999 makes special provision for approval of major linear infrastructure such as roads, railways, pipelines, powerlines, and communication cables.

  • The Tasmanian Planning Commission Act 1997 (TPCA) established the Tasmanian Planning Commission which oversees the approval process for planning schemes and scheme amendments, and for projects deemed to be Projects of State Significance.

  • The Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal Act 1993 (RMPATA) established the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal which hears appeals against decisions made under LUPAA or EMPCA and various other Acts.

The Wellington Park Act 1993 aims to establish Wellington Park, which is set aside for the provision of recreational and tourism uses and opportunities. The Act also aims to preserve and/or protect the flora and fauna, natural beauty, water catchment values, and features of historical, Aboriginal, archaeological, scientific, architectural or geomorphological interest contained within the reserve.

All of these Acts share the following common objectives, namely:

  • to promote sustainable development and maintain genetic diversity

  • to provide for the fair, orderly and sustainable use and development of air, land and water

  • to encourage public involvement in resource management and planning

  • to facilitate economic development in accordance with these objectives

  • to promote the sharing of responsibility for resource management and planning between the different spheres of government, the community and industry in the state.

Of these Acts, the ones most relevant to the planning permit process are:

  • Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993
  • Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994

  • Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995

  • Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal Act 1993

Additional pieces of state legislation that may need to be considered when deciding if a planning permit can be issued are:

  • Approvals (Deadlines) Act 1993
  • Crown Lands Act 1976

  • Gas Act 2000

  • Gas Pipelines Act 2002

  • Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995

  • Marine Farming Planning Act 1995

  • Mineral Resources Development Act 1995

  • National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002

  • Nature Conservation Act 2002

  • Public Land (Administration and Forests) Act 1991

  • Strata Titles Act 1998

  • Sullivans Cove Planning Act 1995

  • Threatened Species Protection Act 1995

  • Water Management Act 1999


Australian Government legislation

The following Australian Government legislation may also apply, depending on the nature and location of any proposed development or use: 

The EPBC Act is triggered only when a proposal might impact on issues of national environmental significance. The Act defines these as:

  1. World Heritage properties
  2. Ramsar Convention wetlands of international significance
  3. Nationally listed threatened species and ecological communities
  4. Nationally listed migratory species
  5. The Commonwealth marine environment
  6. Nuclear Actions

Heritage legislation includes an amendment to the EPBC Act to allow places listed on the National Heritage List also to be assessed under it. The EPBC website includes Information for local government – Frequently asked questions.