Media release: 14 July 2012
Communities will lose what little control they have over their own
neighbourhood under the O'Farrell government's new planning scheme,
according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
(See SMH: <http://smh.com.au/nsw/plan-
Dr Kaye, who is acting planning spokesperson, said: "The O'Farrell
government promised to restore local community control over planning.
"What Planning Minister Brad Hazzard has delivered is the very opposite of
"Putting state-appointed bureaucrats in charge of development decisions
will completely disenfranchise neighbours and community members.
"It is a massive gift to developers at the expense of communities and the
environment they live in.
"The O'Farrell government is deliberately confining public involvement to
having a say in the abstract plans. Developers will then be able to build
what they want, free of community criticism.
"Planning Minister Brad Hazzard knows how hard it is to involve the
community in the debate over theoretical planning instruments and character
statements that have little meaning until a developer moves in and destroys
a block to build a glass and concrete monster.
"Excluding the community from the assessment process might make the
proponents much richer but it will result in more inappropriate
developments that degrade urban and rural environments.
"Labor ran the planning system as a gravy train for the developers using
the threat of large developments being called in by the state government.
"The O'Farrell government now wants to operate the entire development
assessment process using bureaucrats many of whom they appoint.
"It turns out the Coalition is every bit as bad as Labor when it comes to
facilitating developers wrecking local communities.
"Community involvement in the writing of strategic plans and neighbourhood
character plans would be a valuable step but any benefit is completely
undone by locking the public out of the development assessment process.
"Behind-closed-doors approvals will heighten community anger and lead to an
environment of even greater corruption.
"The Greens will campaign with the community to secure a driving seat for
the public in every stage of the planning process," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455