In a win for home owners, the Hodgman Liberal Government’s Neighbourhood Disputes (Vegetation) Bill 2016 has officially taken effect from today.
The landmark legislation will address gaps in the previous legislation by providing a cost effective, efficient and accessible scheme to better resolve disputes between neighbours where plants affect access to natural sunlight or views.
This is a great outcome for all members of the community who were frustrated with the previous laws that were inadequate in resolving these disputes.
The scheme better services the community by encouraging informal dispute resolution as a first step. Where disputes are unable to be resolved in this way, an application can be made for the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal to resolve the matter.
The legislation sets out a comprehensive list of matters that must be taken into account by the Tribunal before a decision is made, in addition to imposing new obligations on landowners and their agents who wish to sell property that is subject to an application or order that is made under the scheme.
I wish to acknowledge and thank the former Attorney-General and Liberal Member for Pembroke, Dr Vanessa Goodwin, who first raised the issue in the Legislative Council in 2012 and helped to refer the issue to the Tasmania Law Reform Institute, which agreed to examine and provide recommendations.