Thursday, 6 November 2008

Local Communities Marginalised in Planning Changes

The state government has given itself even greater powers over local development decisions under new planning procedures announced today.

“These new procedures will see decision-making power taken away from elected local councillors and handed over to planning panels dominated by state government appointees,” said Greens MP and planning spokesperson Sylvia Hale.

“I am appalled that the Minister is proposing to appoint property developers to these panels. It’s not an independent panel if it’s appointed by the Labor Planning Minister and includes representatives of companies that donate millions of dollars to the NSW Labor Party.”

“The panels will not be accountable to local residents, they will only be accountable to the Minister for Planning.”

“This is the latest example of the way this government is cutting the community out of local planning decisions.”

“Sending development applications from big party donors to a Planning Assessment Commission that is appointed by and answerable solely to the Minister is not good enough.

“People don’t just want developer donations disclosed, they want them stopped.”

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