On 1 December 2017 the Neighbourhood Disputes About Plants Act 2017 came into operation.
It vests the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal with jurisdiction to hear and determine applications made under the Act with respect to nuisance vegetation.
The Tribunal is obliged to keep and maintain a database with respect to any applications received and orders made under the Act (see Section 37). That database is searchable upon written application and payment of the required fee (currently 15 fee units) under the Regulations (See Section 37(4) and Regulation 7).
Given the operation of Part 2 Division 2 of the Act, the Tribunal anticipates (and is already experiencing) a large number of applications for searches of this database. In the State of Tasmania in the previous financial year, approximately 20,000 conveyances of properties occurred. It is not unreasonable to expect that as part of due diligence in the course of conveyancing, a similar number of applications may be made to the Tribunal for searches.
The Tribunal currently manages these applications and searches through processes that are overly dependent on manual handling. Anticipating a large number of applications, the Tribunal has implemented and will shortly introduce (anticipated start date of the end of April 2018), an interim, online application interface on its website. That service will allow the completion of an on-line form with capacity to pay by use of credit card. The service will not provide the search result but is simply the making of the application for a search.
It is hoped in the longer term that a fully automated, searchable database will be available.
I strongly encourage and urge the profession to make use of this interface.
It will substantially assist the Tribunal in reducing its internal workload to process these applications ensuring they can be processed in a timely way. Those applications made through the use of this interface will result in a more timely result than those applications made through manual applications.
I thank you in anticipation of your assistance.
Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal