Dear NSW Resident
The NSW Government is in the final stages of reforming our planning system and has released draft legislation in the shape of 2 Planning Bills scheduled for introduction to Parliament within the next 3 months.
If it is adopted, the outcomes of this legislation for ordinary residents and communities will be dire. In particular, the legislation will:
- Remove your right to have a say on up to 80% of developments in your neighbourhood. This means that you won’t be able to comment or object if your neighbour wants to build a new 2-storey house next door and you will have no right of say if someone wants to build 18 terrace houses in your street or even put up a block of flats nearby.
- Use the planning system to drive economic growth and fast track development at the cost of our quality of life, environment and heritage. Economic considerations are an important component of our quality of life, but they are not the only component. The new planning system is about ‘development at any cost’ and drastically reduces the need for decision-makers to consider the social, environmental and heritage impacts of new development.
- Increase the risk of corruption associated with planning and development decision-making. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has warned that the new system will carry serious corruption risks, but the Government has not addressed the matters raised by ICAC in its final proposals.
In exchange for all this, the Government says that you will be able to have a say in the planning controls that guide development in your neighbourhood. However, the Minister will have broad discretion to amend these planning controls without community consultation. And developers will be able to apply to exceed these controls as well.
In its Contract with NSW (2011), the O’Farrell Government promised to return planning powers to local communities. If the Government’s proposed changes worry you, please ACT NOW TO HOLD THE GOVERNMENT TO ITS PROMISE!
Ø Use our template letter or even better, your own words, to CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MP TODAY and tell them that you do not approve of ‘development at any cost’ and that you want a fair and balanced planning system that gives ordinary residents a genuine right to have a say, and protects community wellbeing, our environment and heritage.
Most importantly, spread the word by asking your neighbours, family, friend and community networks to write as well!
It’s not too late to make your voice heard. Together, we are stronger.
Thank you for taking action!
Better Planning Network http://betterplanningnetwork.good.do/
Posted on June 8, 2013 for Jan Macindoe