Planning Reforms

BradHazzardThe following motion requesting the government to ‘withdraw’the bill was defeated, but was supported by the majority of councillors with the word ‘defer” the planning bill.

 ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING 25 NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 159 ITEM – 22.2 Notice Of Motion: Concerns With The Proposed Changes: Planning Bill 2013

22.2 NOTICE OF MOTION: CONCERNS WITH THE PROPOSED CHANGES: PLANNING BILL 2013
MEETING DATE: 25 NOVEMBER 2013

Purpose of Report
Councillor L Saville has indicated her intention to move the following Notice of Motion.
Motion
THAT Willoughby City Council:
(a) Notes its deep concern at the changes proposed to the NSW planning system in the Planning Bill 2013.
(b) Calls on the Government to defer the Planning Bill 2013.
(c) Requests the Mayor to write to the Minister for Planning, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP and the Premier, the Hon Barry O’Farrell MP calling on the NSW government to defer the Bill.
(d) Requests the Mayor to write to the Minister for Planning and, the leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary representatives from the Greens, the independents, the Shooters & Fishers, the Christian Democrats advising them of this resolution and Council’s concerns.
Background
The NSW Government has responded to community anger at the first draft of its Planning Bill 2013, which seeks to dramatically overhaul the way planning is done in NSW.
The O’Farrell government was elected on a pledge to return planning powers to local communities, yet the proposed bill will fall far short of this promise, despite recent changes.
The legislation continues to provide for fast-track approval of ‘code assessable’ development, without community consultation or merit based environmental assessment.
The legislation concentrates planning powers in sub-regional planning boards which will be dominated by state-government appointments, and provides those boards with effective authority to force councils to rezone land and intensify development in local government areas.
The legislation proposes to allow the Director General of Planning, or a JRPP, to unilaterally overturn council’s planning controls wherever they are seen to conflict with state, regional or sub-regional planning policies and in doing so they will allow development that would otherwise be prohibited by council’s LEP. 
ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING 25 NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 160 ITEM – 22.2 Notice Of Motion: Concerns With The Proposed Changes: Planning Bill 2013 
The lack of objective criteria under which the Minister can intervene in planning matters (including in approving state significant development in breach of local planning rules), strategic compatibility certificates can be granted in breach of local planning controls and merit based planning decisions will be made under the proposed laws has attracted persistent and ongoing criticism from ICAC as providing a corruption risk.
Members of our community have concerns about the direction of this legislation including:
• the failure to enshrine ecologically sustainable development as the principle object of the bill;
• the absence of any reference to addressing climate change;
• the absence of mechanisms for providing affordable housing;
• the unenforceable nature of most community participation requirements;
• the imposition of code assessable development (which removes the community’s right to have a say) in many areas in NSW;
• the use of discretionary strategic compatibility certificates to override local planning laws; and
• the expanded reliance on private certifiers, despite the obvious conflict of interest in having them selected and paid for by the developer.
General Manager’s Comments
Council considered a motion on 11 November 2013 as follows:-
That Willoughby City Council:
(a) notes its deep concern at the changes proposed to the NSW planning system in the Planning Bill 2013.
(b) calls on the Government to withdraw the Planning Bill 2013.
(c) requests the Mayor to write to the Minister for Planning, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, and the Premier, the Hon Barry O’Farrell MP calling on the NSW government to withdraw the Bill.
(d) requests the Mayor to write to the Minister for Planning and, the Leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary representatives from the Greens, the Shooters & Fishers Party and the Christian Democrats, and the two independent Members of Parliament advising them of this resolution and Council’s concerns.
The resolution was not carried by Council. This resolution calls for the government to defer the legislation. 
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