This post has been updated several times…..Please start at the bottom of page…..
28 November 2013 Update: The bill was sent back to the Lower House today and the amendments were rejected by the Government majority. The bill will come back before the house in 3 months time. At least this will allow some breathing space and an opportunity for more scrutiny of the details and the implications of the bill for the community. We will be posting more analysis on this important issue soon.
Apolitical information on this is difficult to find, this is a very political matter. However for those who are interested in getting a handle on this very complex matter the Greens have released some good background information on their website and it is the only reasonable critical analysis that I can find at this time.
Warning! If you are allergic to Green, please just ignore the partisan politics and concentrate on the issues.
27 November 2013 Update: TRRA representatives attended the meeting in the post below and discovered with some concern that the NSW Legislative Council had in fact passed the Governments Planning bills with some amendments, (The subject of the meeting) just half an hour before the meeting commenced. BPN PRESS RELEASES
An excellent PowerPoint presentation was given by Cessnock Cllr James Ryan from the Better Planning Network. We endeavoured to obtain it to post here but the Councillor was reluctant to release it because a lot of it had been overtaken by the fast moving events in the Parliament that very day. The full details of the amendments passed and their implications were not available.
The meeting was well attended and some passionate discussion ensued. The fact that the words ‘climate change’ did not even appear in the bill was of great concern, but symptomatic. Sea level rise has not even been considered. The unacceptable focus on ‘growth and financial advantage’ over the previous policies of ‘environmental sustainable development’ was the thrust of the legislation. This is a ‘developers’ bill. ‘Community consultation’ will be extremely limited and housing affordability was not addressed in any meaningful way. The way that incredible power is invested in the Minister, the Director General and the top down hierarchal structure of the 4 stage panels below will do nothing to address the corruption and the recent excesses of the previous Government.
One of the things the Government wants is 80% ‘Codification”. This means that if a development complies with a ‘planning code’ and does not exceed 20 dwellings in size it can be ‘Code Assessed’ and passed within 25 days without even having to notify any neighbours!! An Industrial site up to 20,000 sq mt (2 Hectares) can be ‘Code Assessed’ the same way………..
We will be doing some in depth analysis of the implications of this paradigm shift in planning laws and how it will affect our Lower Hunter region and our Council’s powers and us as individuals. Watch for updates!
29 October 2013 TRRA received the letter below from EccoNetwork, and we recommend that our membership support the initiative taken here and the efforts of the Better Planning Network that our organisation is an active member of.
To all EcoNetwork affiliates and members
Attached for wide distribution, a notice and flyer for a Special Meeting convened by EcoNetwork for 27th November. HERE
Due to very pressing and important issues, as in the NSW Draft Planning Laws now before the Parliament, we have suspended the usual November General Meeting in order to specifically address the adverse changes to environmental protection and community rights laws in this State. This legislation will be followed by the new Lower Hunter Regional Strategy also favouring vested interests.
We request the widest possible distribution of this flyer to your members and supporters. The NSW Parliament will be debating the Draft Planning Laws this week so these will be widely reported in the daily media during the week.
Thanking you for your co-operation.
EcoNetwork-Port Stephens Inc