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Department of Premier and Cabinet

State Policies

State Policies, also known as Tasmanian Sustainable Development Policies, are made under the State Policies and Projects Act 1993 (the Act) to articulate the Tasmanian Government's strategic policy direction on matters of State significance. While State Policies do not override legislation, they are statutory instruments designed to guide the provisions of local government planning schemes and a range of other mechanisms identified in the relevant legislation comprising the Resource Management and Planning System (RMPS).

The Premier is the Minister responsible for State Policies.

 State Policies may contain matters relating to one or more of the following:

  • sustainable development of natural and physical resources;
  • land use planning;
  • land management;
  • environmental management;
  • environment protection; and
  • any other prescribed matter (no other matters are currently prescribed).

A State Policy:

  • must seek to further the objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System (which are set out in Schedule 1 of the Act);
  • may be made only where there is, in the opinion of the Minister, a matter of State significance to be dealt with in the State Policy;
  • must seek to ensure that a consistent and coordinated approach is maintained throughout the State with respect to the matters contained in the State Policy; and
  • must incorporate the minimum amount of regulation necessary to achieve its objectives.

Further detail about the development and assessment process for State Policies can be found on the website of the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

Existing State Policies

There are currently three State Policies operational in Tasmania.  

State Policy on the Protection of Agricultural Land 2009 (PDF, 137KB)

The State Policy on the Protection of Agricultural Land provides a framework for planning decisions involving agricultural land. Its purpose is to conserve and protect agricultural land so that it remains available for the sustainable development of agriculture, recognising the particular importance of prime agricultural land.

State Coastal Policy 1996 (PDF, 105KB)

The State Coastal Policy applies the sustainable development objectives of the RMPS to Tasmania's coast, and is guided by three main principles:

  • Natural and cultural values of the coast shall be protected
  • The coast shall be used and developed in a sustainable manner
  • Integrated management and protection of the coastal zone is a shared responsibility.

The State Coastal Policy has been subject to review and an associated statutory assessment. Further information about the review and the outcome of the assessment process can be found on the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment website.

Additional information on ongoing work to develop a Coastal Protection and Planning Framework can be found here.

State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997 (PDF, 222KB)

The State Policy on Water Quality Management provides a framework for the development of ambient water quality objectives and the management and regulation of sources of emissions to surface waters (including coastal waters) and groundwater.  It aims to achieve the sustainable management of Tasmania's surface water and groundwater resources by protecting or enhancing their qualities, while allowing for sustainable development in accordance with the objectives of the RMPS.

Further information about the Policy can be found on the Environment Protection Authority website.