The King Island Council is reeling from an email from the Resource Planning and Development Commission on Friday afternoon, saying that RPDC approval of an amendment to its planning scheme, banning tree farms on the Bass Strait island famous for its dairy produce and beef, was under threat.
Mayor Charles Arnold told Crikey this morning that the RPDC, which is headed by executive commissioner Julian Green, former Secretary of the Justice Department, was advised by Tasmania’s Solicitor General on Friday that the decision was inconsistent with the State Policy on the Protection of Agricultural Land 2000.
Worse, the council had until 9am this morning to lodge a submission in support of the amendment, which was done over the weekend with difficulty.
However, this morning, the RPDC delaying consideration of the Solicitor General’s letter for 21 days, to give the council more time to prepare its case. Mayor Arnold is furious. “I think it’s most unreasonable, beyond the pale,” he told Crikey. “The amendment has gone through all the proper processes over nearly 12 months.”