A major development on the east coast of Tasmania has been blocked by a decision of the Tasmanian Planning Commission, in part on the basis of submissions made by EDO Tasmania for a local community group.

The Tasmanian Planning Commission found that Glamorgan Spring Bay Council’s decision to initiate a planning amendment for the Cambria Green estate was invalid. The amendment aimed to rezone agricultural land near the Moulting Lagoon Ramsar wetland for the huge resort development.

The East Coast Alliance, which considers the estate inappropriate and unsustainable development, has been challenging the proposed rezoning and changes to planning laws. EDO has been advising the Alliance since early 2018 and made written submissions for them on the legal question on which the amendment was ultimately rejected. 

The proposed $140 million resort near Swansea and facing the Freycinet National Park includes 240 units, 70 villas and a luxury hotel. The 3100-hectare site contains the heritage-listed Cambria homestead and a number of registered Aboriginal sites.

Following the decision, the East Coast Alliance expressed their gratitude to the Environmental Defenders Office: “This decision is a resounding win for community action and reinforces the critical, continuing need for a genuinely independent Tasmanian Planning Commission. 

“The Environmental Defender’s Office provided the legal representation for the East Coast Alliance, with key points raised in EDO’s submission reflected in the Commission’s decision. ECA has worked closely with the EDO from April 2018 (the month Glamorgan Spring Bay Council initiated the Cambria Green Draft Amendment) and we can’t thank them enough for always being available to advise and support.” 

The decision means Cambria Green would have to begin the two-year rezoning application process anew to resurrect the development.