The Greens NSW have criticised this decision to speed up planning approvals as yet another example of large scale developer and mining interests being prioritised and the Coalition breaking its core promise to return planning powers to local communities.
The Minister has also announced greater funding for the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC), the state's top planning body that acts as little more than a rubber stamp for developers.
Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for Planning David Shoebridge said:
"By fast tracking the planning approval process this announcement marks the complete abandonment by the Liberal Government of their promise to return planning powers to local communities.
"Major mine developments and state significant developments are the very developments which need the most thorough and careful assessment.
"What this Government is saying is that when there is a risk to our water quality, to our forests or biodiversity, or unacceptable social impacts from a development, it will not take the extra time to conduct a proper assessment of those impacts.
"I am particularly concerned that the Cabinet will now be in charge of determining time frames.
"Just this week we have seen the Director of Public Prosecutions issue court appearance notices to Ministers who abused their positions.
"The most harmful developments are the ones that need the most careful scrutiny and this should be done by independent and objective experts." Mr Shoebridge said.
21 November 2014