The complete transcript of this hearing is available here.
- The degree of consultation offered to the NSW public at various stages of the planning laws.
- Whether the department of planning has outsourced the reading and review of submissions to a contracted external entity.
- The contradiction of the Director-General stating that principles of ecologically sustainable development are enshrined in the legislation, but then leaving out the precautionary principle of the new legislation
- The removal of judicial review rights from the new planning legislation
- That the proposed legislation would allow a State environmental planning policy to override local environmental plan
Questions were asked about whether the Department for Planning itself had read through the submission on the white paper or whether that task had been contracted out. The Minister stated that all of the questions are considered and that public consultation is a challenge in any circumstance. He also pointed out that the current Liberal Government is allowing more public consultation that the previous Labour government which is a good thing.
It was also questioned whether the principles of ecologically sustainable development have been given proper weight in the draft planning bill. The Minister for Planning was not prepared to state whether the precautionary principle will definitely be left out of the new legislation., and only commented that the bill was still in the planning stages.
The Minister for Planning advised that $3 million has been allocated for improving community engagement in New South Wales in the current year. Beyond this, more community consultation will take place to develop broad planning principles.
The answers to the questions taken on notice during the hearing can be found here.
After the hearing a number of supplementary questions on notice were also submitted, the answers to these questions can be found here.