Petition Closed

In a few weeks’ time, the O’Farrell Government will introduce new planning legislation to the NSW Parliament that will primarily benefit the big end of town. If adopted by Parliament, this legislation will result in the most significant reduction in community participation, environmental and heritage protection in over 30 years.

Letter to
Member for Heffron Ron Hoenig
Member for Marrickville Carmel Tebbutt
Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley
and 25 others
Member for Toongabbie Nathan Rees
Shadow Minister for Healthy Lifestyles Tania Mihailuk
Attorney General Greg Smith
Leader of the Opposition John Robertson (Leader of the Opposition)
Deputy Leader of the Opposition Linda Burney (Deputy Leader of the Opposition)
Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Luke Foley (Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure)
Shadow Minister for Transport Penny Sharpe (Shadow Minister for Transport)
Minister for the Environment; Minister for Heritage Robin Parker (Minister for the Environment; Minister for Heritage)
Minister for Local Government Don Page (Minister for Local Government)
Shadow Attorney General Paul Lynch (Shadow Attorney General)
Member for Hawkesbury Ray Williams
Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres
Premier, New South Wales Barry O’Farrell
Minister for Planning and Infrastructure; Minister Assisting the Premier on Infrastructure NSW Brad Hazzard
Greens member David Shoebridge
Christian Democratic Party member Fred Nile
Christian Democratic Party member Paul Green
Independent member Greg Piper
Independent member Alex Greenwich
Deputy Leader of the Opposition - Legislative Council Adam Searle
Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner
Shadow Minister for Local Government and Housing Sophie Cotsis
Treasurer Mike Baird
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian
Shadow Minister for Ageing Barbara Perry (Shadow Minister for Ageing)
Withdraw the NSW Government’s Planning Bills!

In a few weeks’ time, the O’Farrell Government will introduce new planning legislation to the NSW Parliament that will primarily benefit the big end of town. If adopted by Parliament, this legislation will result in the most significant reduction in community participation, environmental and heritage protection in over 30 years. In particular, the legislation will mean that:
- Economic growth will be the primary driver of all planning and development decisions in NSW;
- I will lose the right to comment on up to 80% of developments in my neighbourhood, including major developments such as blocks of residential flats and land subdivisions;
- The Minister will have increased powers to override local planning controls without any community consultation or rights to challenge decisions in court;
- Developers will have the right to appeal development decisions but in most cases, as a resident, I won’t;
- The potential for corruption will be even higher than what it is now.

I respectfully request that the NSW Government withdraw its Draft Exposure Planning Bill 2013 and Draft Exposure Planning Administration Bill 2013 (the Planning Bills) and work with all key stakeholders to prepare new planning legislation, using as a basis the 374 recommendations developed through the extensive stakeholder consultation conducted in 2011-2012 by Messrs Moore and Dyer in their Independent Review of the NSW Planning System.

In 2011, the O’Farrell Government was elected on a promise to ‘return planning powers to the local community’. The Government has broken its promise to the people of NSW.

The basis of the Government’s Planning Bills is fundamentally flawed and despite amendments to these Bills, they cannot be repaired.

I do not support the Government’s Planning Bills because they give overwhelming weight to economic growth and the commercial interests of developers, to the detriment of community wellbeing, our environment and our heritage.

I do not support the Government’s Planning Bills because they remove the rights of ordinary residents to comment on up to 80% of developments, including major developments such as blocks of residential flats and land subdivisions.

I do not support the Government’s Planning Bills because they remove the internationally recognised principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development from our planning legislation.

I do not support the Government’s Planning Bills because they provide the Minister and Director General of Planning with unfettered powers to make decisions without consideration of potential impacts, community consultation or rights of judicial review or merit appeals.

I do not support the Government’s Planning Bills because, as submitted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), they will create a significant risk for corruption associated with planning and development decisions in the State of NSW.

The Government’s Planning Bills represent the most significant reduction in community participation and environmental and heritage protection in over 30 years. These Bills should not be tabled in the NSW Parliament and should never become law.