Media Release - 6 September 2012
The O'Farrell government today rejected a motion in the NSW Upper House relating to government legislation which means councillors are now able to vote on items where they have a direct pecuniary interest.
Greens NSW Local Government and Planning spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
"This government has been delivering for developers from day one.
"The O'Farrell government clearly believes that property developers should be able to get elected to council and then vote on matters where they stand to make financial gains.
"Even during the worst years of the Labor government, when donations from property developers were corrupting the planning system, councillors were not able to vote where they had a direct pecuniary interest.
"The Greens-led campaign closed the door on donations from property developer. Now the O'Farrell government has opened another door to developer greed.
"Over the next four years this government will be responsible for each and every vote by councillors to feather their own nest," Mr Shoebridge said.
Motion as moved by Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge:
That this house notes that:
Local Government and Planning in NSW have a history of inappropriate intervention by developers, resulting in state government intervention in a number of councils, including Cessnock and Wollongong.
Campaigning from the Greens in this area has seen political donations from property developers banned.
Changes to the local government act by the O'Farrell government now allow councillors to vote on planning matters where they have a direct pecuniary interest.
These changes effectively give the green light to councillors to vote on rezoning their own land, to their direct financial benefit.
Proposed changes to the NSW Planning system will additionally deliver for developers by removing the rights of residents to object to, or even be given notice of, developments in their area.
That this house:
Condemns the government for relaxing pecuniary interest laws in NSW and attempting to usher in a developers' paradise in NSW.
Read more about the changes to the Local Government Act here: http://davidshoebridge.org.au/
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