Tasmanian councils trial mediation service for environmental disputes
A 12-month mediation service is being trialed in Tasmania to try to resolve environmental disputes over issues such as music and motorbike noise, smoke from wood fires and backyard burning, other air pollution sources, and water contamination.
The trial is jointly funded by Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) member Councils and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Board.
The trial targets those environmental nuisance complaints that are difficult for Council Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) to manage because there is not an obvious regulatory or planning solution. These disputes may have arisen from, or been exacerbated by, a breakdown in communication between the disputing parties. It is in these situations that, if the relevant parties agree, such disputes may be resolved by mediation.
The mediation service will be provided by GetYes Solutions, and will be available state-wide.
GetYes Solutions will work with Council EHOs to determine the suitability of cases for mediation.
Supporting and referral documentation for EHOs have been developed by the EPA and LGAT and are available on GetYes Solutions' website http://www.getyes.com.au/. An information sheet for EHOs is also available here.
Referrals will only be made by EHOs, in consultation with GetYes Solutions to determine case suitability for mediation.