Planning laws

416 community groups call for rejection of proposed laws

Extremist laws are being debated in the NSW Parliament and Better Planning Network Coordinator, Corinne Fisher has demanded the Government stick to its election promises and “…. stop being bullied by developer lobby groups and properly address the concerns of the local residents who voted them into power.”

The Government of NSW has a responsibility to develop a planning system that will provide a fair, transparent and responsible framework for our future. One that increases housing supply, provides jobs AND gives all residents a genuine say in local planning and development proposals, protects community well-being, environment and heritage, and provides affordable housing solutions.

Prior to the election in 2011, the NSW Liberal Party said it would give powers back to the community, create a simpler system, and restore certainty and transparency back into planning, fail the community in all these aspects.

But the proposed laws are a sham, championed by cashed up radical developer lobby groups like the Orwellian named “Urban Taskforce!

According to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, (ICAC) the new system “will create a corruption risk, especially when combined with the potential for proponents to obtain huge windfall profits through obtaining an approval”.

The laws would allow corrupt developers gain windfall profits at YOUR expense! You cannot appeal any decision and no one can be held to account!

ICAC has called for strong processes to be established, including defined design quality standards and evidence to justify land uses. Read more at http://www.smh.com.au/national/corruption-warning-on-planning-law-reforms-20121002-26xi7.html#ixzz2lAUafGDD

“The Government may have consulted widely, but they certainly have not adequately addressed community concerns,” said Ms Fisher.

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DOPI) has confessed to telling lies throughout the consultation phase and issued an apology but still refuses to heed community wishes.

Planning and Infrastructure Director-General Sam Haddad also conceded department staff may have unintentionally spread ”inaccurate or misleading information.”  Read more at http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/top-official-admits-errors-over-draft-planning-laws-20130812-2rsht.html#ixzz2lAZpN278

Some of the Better Planning Network’s concerns with the Planning Bills passed by the Lower House last week include:

  • Inadequate resident appeal rights
  • Fundamentally flawed strategic planning framework
  • Inadequate environmental and heritage protections
  • Absence of ecologically sustainable development principles in the Planning Bill’s objectives
  • Lack of affordable housing provisions
  • Code assessable development and the absence of resident rights to have a say in development proposals in ‘growth areas’
  • Extensive powers of the Minister and the Director-General of the Department of Planning and their ability to over-ride Local Plans

“We do not believe that discrete amendments will fix this bad legislation, so we are asking Upper House MPs to reject the Planning Bills. The Bills are one of the most important pieces of legislation of our generation. The Government needs to stop being bullied by developer lobby groups and properly address the concerns of the local residents who voted them into power,” added Ms Fisher.

The legislation is currently in the upper house and so far a majority of upper house members have indicated their displeasure with the reforms.

Both parties have received massive donations from property developers and cannot be trusted with planning laws: the current “developer first, people last” laws will lead to even more corruption.

Please keep the pressure on and take a few moments to call or email the following key Labor MPs in the Shadow Cabinet to let them know that you think the proposed laws must not be passed.

Ask your group members, friend and family to do the same.

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