The Government’s flawed planning bill has passed the NSW Upper House today, having been subject to substantial, but insufficient, amendments and it still represents a pro-developer and anti-environment planning regime.
Amendments made to the bill were significant. They removed code assessable development as a class of development, re-introduced affordable housing provisions for new developments and provided some improvements to how mining approvals are considered.
Greens MP and Planning spokesperson, David Shoebridge, said:
“After two and a half years of consultation it is safe to say that the Planning Minister has achieved a historic failure of planning reform.
“Even amended, this bill still delivers for developers and the property industry, leaving communities and the environment on the sidelines.
“Though this bill has been substantially amended, its essential pro-developer characteristics remain and it takes planning backwards in NSW.
“In the end, the Greens were the only party in the Parliament to vote against the adoption of these damaging laws.
“The continued failure to in make Ecologically Sustainable Development the principle object of this bill sets it up to fail the environment from day one.
“The amended bill still imposes top down strategic planning with state government bureaucrats having the power to force unpopular planning outcomes on local councils.
“The bill will also allow Strategic Compatibility Certificates to bypass local planning controls and approve seriously damaging development that is otherwise prohibited under local planning laws.
“This Government promised to return planning powers to local communities, with the passage of this bill even as amended it has comprehensively failed to deliver on this commitment,” Mr Shoebridge said.
The Bills, as amended, will be considered by the lower house tomorrow.
You can read David’s contributions to the parliamentary debate here.
To voice your opposition to the proposed planning laws you can sign the petition here.