Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Stop the NSW O'Farrell Government selling your rights to developers!

Better Planning Network email 14 August 2013:

Dear NSW Resident
Within the next 2 to 6 weeks, the NSW Government will introduce its new planning legislation to Parliament, legislation driven by powerful developer lobbies whose primary focus is profit-making. If it is adopted, the outcomes of this legislation for ordinary residents and communities will be dire. In particular, the legislation will:    

·  Remove our right to have a say on up to 80% of developments. This means that you won’t have the right to comment 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 up to 20 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.

In exchange for all this, the NSW Government says that we will be able to have a say in the planning controls that guide development in neighbourhoods. 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.
Act now to stop this legislation from being introduced to Parliament. Sign our petition To the Premier of NSW - the Hon. Barry O’Farrell, MP: Withdraw the NSW Government’s Planning Bills! 

Yesterday (13/08/13), the SMH reported that Mr Sam Haddad, Director General of Planning and Infrastructure, had admitted that:

"...a proposed overhaul of planning laws has ''gone further than the government intended'', reducing the community's ability to fight bad decisions" and that department staff may have unintentionally spread ''inaccurate or misleading information'' about the changes, touted as the biggest overhaul of the state's planning system in more than 30 years."

This admission by the State’s top planning official is simply unacceptable and the Government’s legislation must be withdrawn immediately, re-drafted and re-exhibited, with accurate information provided on its effect on communities, our environment and heritage.
Most importantly, spread the word by asking your neighbours, family, friends and community networks to sign our petition as well.
It’s not too late to make our voice heardTogether, we are stronger.
Thank you for taking action!
Sent on behalf of the Better Planning Network

(The Better Planning Network is an independent, non politically-aligned affiliation of over 420 community groups across NSW, striving to achieve a fair and balanced planning system that delivers responsible and sustainable development)

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