Planning & Heritage

PLANNING

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.

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HERITAGE

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.

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