Coalition’s planning reforms: another fail

The Coalition’s draft planning bill is out and our verdict? It’s a fail.

The bill completely fails to mention climate change, climate preparedness or planning for a carbon constrained world, even though our planning system is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions in NSW.

We think this omission is unacceptable.

What else does the bill do?

The good: 

  • New requirements for community participation plans
  • New object of the Act: “promoting good design in the built environment”
  • Proponents of State Significant Development must consult with the community prior to lodging plans
  • Requiring planning authorities to give reasons for their decisions

The bad: 

  • Rename the Planning Assessment Commission the “Independent Planning Commission” without actually making it independent
  • Power to override heritage, environment and fire safety controls to speed up development
  • Internal review rights for proponents but not for third parties and the community
  • Development applications decided by planning panels or council staff rather than elected councillors
  • Reduce the consultation time for State Significant Development projects from 30 days to 28 days – this means coal mines and motorways!

The not quite sure yet:

  • Introduction of a standard form DCP – presently optional
  • Ends transitional arrangements for Part 3A projects, but will give big mines 2 months to put in final modifications

What can you do? Have your say, public submissions close on the 31 March 2017: http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Legislative-Updates

If you need some help for preparing your submission, have a quick look at:

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