Planning & Heritage


The planning and development of our communities affects us all, whether it is our natural environment, our history, or our cultural identity. The Greens have long been outspoken defenders of the right of citizens to have a strong voice in the planning of their communities. Greens campaigning led to the banning of political donations from property developers.

The Greens also led the campaign against Labor’s notorious Part 3A of the Environmental Protection and Assessment Act, which removed planning decision-making from local communities and pushed unwanted developments on neighbourhoods. This forced the O’Farrell government to repeal Part 3A and promise to reform the broken planning system.

The NSW Government has now released a planning White Paper – the outline of their plans for the NSW planning system. A key aspect of the Green Paper is that environmental sustainability as the guiding principle for planning and development in NSW has been thrown out. Instead, the Green Paper delivers exactly what developers want, including by removing the right of residents to object to developments in their area, and proposing the introduction of rules-free Enterprise Zones.

Without significant pressure from the community, these changes are likely to become law in late 2013.

The Greens will be at the forefront of opposition to Barry O’Farrell’s developer-driven planning system and continue to advocate for a planning system which is for the benefit of communities and the environment of NSW, not for the profit margins of developers.



Heritage is not just about old buildings. It is about our natural, cultural and built treasures that have made, and continue to make, a unique contribution to who we are and where we live. Our heritage has been bequeathed to us by previous generations, and it’s our responsibility to safeguard it for future generations.

Unfortunately, the heritage system in NSW is currently geared towards reported destruction rather than managed protection.

David has worked to expand the contribution of The Greens to progressive heritage policy in NSW, resulting in the release of a new Greens NSW Heritage Policy which will form the basis for action in this area in the community and NSW Parliament.

Particularly, Aboriginal heritage continues to be needlessly destroyed in NSW. Greens’ amendments to the Heritage Act in NSW Parliament will now see an expert in Aboriginal Heritage required by law to be on the Heritage Council NSW. We recognise that Aboriginal peoples should be the primary decision makers in relation to Aboriginal culture and heritage.

The Greens are putting significant pressure on the Government to protect historic trees from unnecessary removal, following the destruction of the iconic Laman Street figs in Newcastle. At present, trees are in danger of removal to suit developer interests. A Greens amendment would ensure that Section 88 of the Roads Act 1993 was changed so that the removal of trees for reasons other than being an immediate danger is subject to the environmental, planning and heritage controls that should otherwise apply to tree removals and prunings on public land.


Have your say on the Cumberland Forest

170905 Submission guide for Hills Cumberland Forest development Mirvac has a development proposal to rezone more than 28 hectares of heavily forested land adjoining the Cumberland State forest to allow for 400 apartments and 200 medium density houses. The proposed rezoning is to allow apartment dwellings on the entire site with no protective environmental zoning […]

Grill the Ministers at Budget Estimates

It has been a busy year in NSW Parliament, and once again budget estimates are almost upon us. Hearings will be from Thursday 31 August to Friday 8 September 2017. We’d love to hear your thoughts about issues to raise and potential questions to ask. Budget Estimates happen once a year and are one of […]

The Sydenham to Bankstown Priority precincts

Between 100,000 – 200,000 new residents Not a single new school site identified Not a single new hospital site Not a single new park Not a single new community centre Download in PDF:  170731 Canterbury Overdevelopment Download in PowerPoint: 170731 Canterbury Overdevelopment          

Sky high plans overshadow Chatswood community

Willoughby council will tonight consider plans to let developers build buildings as tall and as large as they want in a recipe for disaster for Chatswood. News that Liberal dominated Willoughby Council is using its last few months in office to further a proposal to remove height restrictions and floor space ratio requirements on development […]

Another incompetent effort from the Coalition struck down by the courts

The Coalition has faced another embarrassing blow in the Land and Environment Court with a decision setting aside the approval for the redevelopment of Walsh Bay. As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: The proposed $210 million redevelopment of Sydney’s Walsh Bay has suffered a major blow after planning approval for the project was declared invalid […]

More decision making powers to be stripped from democratically elected councils

Stripping local councils of their powers to make decisions about development applications will do nothing to restore integrity or accountability to the NSW planning system. Under the Coalition’s proposed changes contentious planning decisions will be made by unelected “independent” planning panels rather than democratically elected councillors. The Greens know that restoring trust in our local […]

2017 so far: gun money talks and local democracy walks

Dear friends, We’re a quarter of the way through 2017 and despite how busy things are it seems a good time to reflect a bit on what we’ve done so far. Building on our work on council amalgamations that has already saved a number of councils around the state, I introduced a bill into Parliament […]

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:  […]

Greater Sydney Commission: Draft district plans on exhibition

The Greater Sydney Commission’s draft district plans are on public exhibition until 31 March 2017. This district plans are of particular importance to your local area because when it is finalised every local council in the district will be required to amend their Local Environment Plan to be consistent with it. In other words whatever is in […]

Ray Williams must go

Premier Berejiklian must take a stand and immediately remove Ray Williams from her cabinet amid evidence of thousands of dollars in property developer donations being funnelled through the Hawkesbury Club for Liberal party campaigning. Leaked financial records from the NSW Liberal Party indicate that thousands of dollars of illegal donations from property developers were delivered […]