Environmental worriers and warriors have been critical of the NSW government’s Green Paper so far, which aims to overhaul town, rural and city planning.
But let’s just pause and look at the state government’s own propaganda. Its website’s statements include ‘promoting a “can do” culture’ and ‘reducing red tape and delay’... and so on.
Despite the motherhood claims of transparency and efficiency, it also claims to have ‘community consultation at the forefront of planning decisions’.
And the 30-year-old planning document needs to be revised, according to www.planning.nsw.gov.au, as the ‘legislation has been modified over 150 times’.
Okay, fair enough. But here’s what the paper says about streamlining development: ‘To depoliticise decision making, it is proposed that development applications be streamed
to appropriate independent and expert decision makers. State and regional scale development will be assessed by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) and the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP). One option being considered by the
NSW government is for local level development applications to be considered by an independent expert panel... There will be targets set for timeframes for different types of assessment and the achievement of these targets will be monitored and reported, with implications for poor or inefficient decision making.’
The state government is disingenuous to say that community consultation will be at the forefront of planning decisions.
Its stated aims are to take away a community’s right to decide state and regional scale development.
Despite public feedback being now closed, NSW councils have their chance to have input until October 5. Hopefully councils across the state will apply what little wedge they can to resist innapropriate developments that the state plans to enforce in the name of economic rationalism.