- Protect our land and water from mining.
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- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Better Planning Network Media Release

PO Box 989
Lane Cove NSW 1595

An affiliation of more than 310 community groups 

Planning? What Planning? 

The Better Planning Network has slammed the Government’s proposals for Urban Activation Precincts as ill-timed and contrary to its own proposals for good planning. 

‘The O’ Farrell Government is promising a new planning system that relies on evidence-based strategic planning in consultation with the community,’ said Corinne Fisher. ‘It is extraordinary that the Government has decided to rush ahead with Urban Activation when it hasn’t even managed to produce a White Paper for its proposed planning reforms. It would be easy to conclude that the Government is hell bent on development but doesn’t really care about planning.’ 

‘The urban renewal sites announced yesterday were apparently chosen because of their proximity to transport hubs. The problem is that they are largely reliant on transport infrastructure that won’t be built for many years, if at all. Until then, many new residents will have to use their cars, adding to already congested road corridors. What sort of planning is that?’ 

This Government seems addicted to big development. The community is supposed to be placated by the promise of more housing, but where are the houses? It’s all medium and high density. While 15 to 30 storey residential towers are certain to maximise profits for developers,’ said Ms Fisher, ‘there seems to be no mention of affordable housing and surely that should be an essential element in any urban activation proposal.’
Where are the new public parks? Where are the provisions for new schools or land allocations for expansion of existing schools? Where are the local sustainable jobs when residential development is considered more important than commercial?’ 

Ms Fisher pointed out that the changes proposed for these areas are profound but the Government is allowing a mere six weeks for community comment. ‘You have to wonder whether they are really open to suggestions. These changes are so major, with such grave implications for residents that most people will not be able to absorb and comment on them in such a short time. Once again, the community that has to bear the consequences of these grand plans is the last to know and has the least influence. This is unacceptable and just a continuation of the bad planning and poor community engagement processes we saw under the last State Government.’ 

For more information, contact Corinne Fisher 0421 831 889. 17th March 2013

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