Council now provides a Conciliation Service for disputes relating to development applications.
The following information is intended to assist you in understanding the conciliation process and the requirements for the City of Hobart's Conciliation Policy.
What is Conciliation?
Conciliation is a voluntary process, where people in a dispute can come together to find a solution to their dispute with the assistance of an independent and impartial conciliator.
What happens at the Conciliation?
The conciliator will conduct a meeting with the applicant and persons who have made a representation (or in the case of a large number of such people their representatives) to discuss their concerns and issues in relation to the planning application. The parties will be advised of the venue for the meetings.
The conciliator helps the parties to explore options and assists the parties to reach agreement. The conciliator does not make recommendations or decisions on how the issues should be resolved, and is neutral and independent from Council.
There will be no aldermen present at the conciliation. City of Hobart staff will attend to provide advice and assistance where possible.
What are the steps in Conciliation?
If you would like to participate in the conciliation service, the following steps are involved:
1. Lodge a completed request for conciliation application.
2. The request for conciliation application will be considered and it will be determined if the matter is one (given the issues identified in the application) that can be dealt with through conciliation.
3. If it is considered that conciliation should be undertaken, the other parties will be asked if they wish to participate. If all parties agree, the matter will proceed. If one party refuses, the conciliation will not proceed.
4. If the matter proceeds, the parties and the conciliator then conduct the conciliation at a mutually convenient time and place within 21 days of the receipt of the request for conciliation application. The conciliation will result in a signed agreement, a partial agreement or no agreement at all.
How does the conciliation affect Council’s assessment of the Planning Application?
Council’s Development Appraisal Unit will continue their assessment of the planning application while the conciliation process takes place. This can include the assessment by other areas of Council including traffic, stormwater, environment, etc. If an agreement is reached and all parties agree, then this information is generally forwarded to the planning officer for consideration in assessing the planning application. Any agreement must still comply with relevant legislation and planning scheme provisions.
If the matter is called before a full Council the outcome of the conciliation regardless of whether an agreement is reached or not will be included in the report to Council. One speaker from each side may also be given the chance to address Council’s City Planning Committee at its meeting. In this case you will need to contact a Council Support Officer on (03) 6238 2734 for further details.
What is required for residents to attend the Conciliation?
Every person attending the conciliation should be prepared to discuss their needs, concerns and interests; and be prepared to listen to the needs, concerns and interests of others at the conciliation; and be prepared to negotiate in a genuine effort to reach a solution.