Thursday 22 August 2013


Many community members and community organisations have  been concerned for months about the NSW Government's proposals for a new planning system for the state.  An earlier CVCC post outlined  some of these problems. ("Open slather for developers in NSW" - CVCC post of 1 June 2013.)

The campaign of those concerned about the NSW Government's proposed new planning system  has been strengthened by admissions from the state's chief planning bureaucrat, Planning and Infrastructure Director-General Sam Haddad.

According to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald of 13th August Mr Haddad confessed that the proposed new laws had "gone further than the government intended."

He also conceded 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.

He was responding to a formal complaint from the Better Planning Network community group, which claimed statements by department officials at public forums that the new laws would not reduce ''judicial review rights'' - residents' ability to appeal planning decisions where the law may have been breached - were wrong.  (The Sydney Morning Herald )

The Better Planning Network (BPN) has been campaigning vigorously for many months to have the planning system that replaces the current system made responsive to the needs of the general community rather than just the development industry and the Government.  The Government's Planning White Paper and its Draft Planning Bill, which were on public exhibition until recently, centralised planning in the hands of the planning minister and his agents, favoured the development industry, disempowered the general community and made economic development of over-riding importance, downgrading  local community concerns and impacts on the natural environment.

Now that the Director-General of Planning has conceded that there are problems with the planning proposals, the BPN has called on the Premier of NSW, Barry O'Farrell, to withdraw the bill. 

If you have concerns about the government's proposed planning system, you could sign the BPN's online Petition .

Alternatively, you could email or write to Barry O'Farrell, the Premier of NSW, urging him to withdraw the bill which is likely to come before parliament within three weeks, unless much more pressure is put on the Government to discard the current bill and start again.  The Premier's email address is:

His postal address is:  

Hon. Barry O'Farrell
Premier of NSW.
GPO Box 5341

Lobby Day Earlier This Week           Photo Source:  BPN