The Minister for Planning Brad Hazzard has today been forced to admit reality and effectively abandon the O’Farrell government’s deeply unpopular planning bill which had betrayed its promise to return planning powers to the community.
Greens MP and Planning Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“United opposition from hundreds of resident, environment and heritage groups, and thousands of individuals, has delivered this win for local democracy and the environment.
“For almost two years Brad Hazzard has been attempting to sell his dead cat of a new planning regime to the people of NSW and today he finally realised that no one was buying it.
“The Minister’s angry outbursts during the last day of Parliament in 2013 showed he had clearly lost control of his portfolio and today’s announcement that he is not proceeding with his Planning Bill is final confirmation of that.
“In a direct breach of his government’s promise to return planning powers to the community, Minister Hazzard is now threatening to force through undemocratic planning decisions using the existing Planning Act.
“If this happens it will be a double betrayal by the O’Farrell government and communities will not forgive it.
“Premier O’Farrell needs to take responsibility for his government’s comprehensive failure on planning laws.
“The Premier must now immediately intervene to ensure that the promise he made to voters that he would return planning powers to local communities is honoured.
“When it was first elected the O’Farrell government had genuine goodwill in the community and the Parliament to deliver a simpler and more democratic planning system.
“This goodwill was abused by the O’Farrell government who ignored the views of the majority and sought to force a shamelessly pro-developer planning Bill through the NSW Parliament. That strategy has now comprehensively failed.
“While not formally withdrawn, it is now clear that the 2013 Planning Bill has no friends in Parliament apart from Minister Hazzard, and even he has given up on it.
“Despite this announcement by the Minister the Greens remain committed to assisting any government deliver an honest, democratic and sustainable planning regime in NSW”, Mr Shoebridge said.