COUNCILLORS elected in this month's Local Government elections will have to deal with two of the big issues facing the state following announcements by Local Goverment and Planning Minister Peter Gutwein today.
Municipal amalgamations are back on the agenda, with Mr Gutwein saying he will talk to Tasmania's mayors about this after the council elections. While the minister has not yet shared his thoughts with councils, I heard his remarks on ABC Radio this afternoon. I support a reduction in council numbers and have long held the opinion that there should be a single council along the length of the Lyell Highway from Granton to Derwent Bridge.
Mr Gutwein also announced that the State Government would introduce new laws to create a single, statewide set of planning rules. He said these Bills would go before Parliament in the first half of next year. Under the expert guidance of our council planner, councillors have done a lot of work on a new Derwent Valley Council Planning Scheme over the last two years to replace the 20-year-old New Norfolk Planning Scheme and to my knowledge this is awaiting ministerial approval to progress from "draft" to "interim".
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