Media Release – 16 April 2013
The planning white paper released today by the O’Farrell government lays out a blueprint for a developers’ paradise in NSW which will see communities sidelined and the environment trashed.
Greens NSW MP and planning spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“This plan will tear the heart out of community consultation and is a direct betrayal of the O’Farrell government’s pre-election promise to return planning powers to the community.
“This legislation removes the rights of residents to have any say on up to 80 per cent of developments.
“Local councils will be reduced to rubber stamping decisions made by Regional Planning Panels and Sub-Regional Planning Boards.
“Urban Activation Precincts with little or no planning controls will deliver rampant development with no provision for adequate accompanying infrastructure.
“Developers will be given a free pass to make little or no contribution towards crucial infrastructure to accompany new developments, with new home buyers across the state being forced to subsidise endless urban sprawl.
“This proposal takes the environment out of planning in NSW. In two pages the Premier’s press release doesn’t mention the environment once – the word ‘environment’ has been removed from the title of the legislation.
“In 1979 the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act enshrined the best interests of the environment and placed communities at the heart of the planning system, in what was recognised as world-leading planning legislation.
“Labor spent decades trashing that legislation, including the much maligned Part 3A, and we’re seeing the results of Labor’s failings play out in ICAC.
“With developers getting freebies for infrastructure and up to 80% of all new development being approved in 25 days or less, this is the O’Farrell government delivering on the previous Labor government’s discredited pro-developer agenda.
“The Greens will continue to stand side by side with community groups and residents to demand planning laws driven by the long-term needs of communities not the market driven profits of big business,” Mr Shoebridge said.