Have Your Say on NSW Planning

The State Government is reviewing the NSW planning system and last week I met with the Independent Panel made up of former Ministers Tim Moore and Ron Dyer to discuss my concerns about the current system and share my ideas on how it could be improved.

Planning has such an effect on our lives—on how we live, work, play and travel. Good planning offers many opportunities to improve and protect our communities. A strong, clear and accountable planning system is essential for good planning decisions that provide the best for current and future generations.

The Planning System Review is looking at NSW's Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979. The Act sets out how planning works and the basis on which decisions can made about what people can or can't do with their land. The Review is asking for feedback on four key themes:

  • What should be the objectives and philosophy behind the planning system and its laws;
  • What types of plans (such as Local Environmental Plans) are needed, how should they be made, and how should people be involved;
  • How should proposals for development be assessed and decided upon; and
  • What opportunity should there be for reviewing, mediating or appealing planning decisions.

A planning system should be clear, easy to understand and easy to work with and should involve local communities in decisions about their neighbourhoods and consider future generations. It should also address climate change and sustainability.

Planning legislation should enshrine long term strategic plans and visions for the state, its regions and councils as well as encourage the community to be involved in making those plans. A planning system needs to integrate transport and planning so that improved public transport can be secured alongside urban renewal.

The Review is currently in its 'listening and scoping' phase hearing from interested people about how the system works now and what it should look like in the future.

The Panel intends to release an Issues Paper in December and will invite public comment until February 2012. An Options Paper and Draft Legislation will be released in following stages.

I encourage you to get involved by attending one of the community forums to be held at Sydney University on Monday 14 November. You can also make a submission with your ideas and suggestions through the Planning System Review website until 4 November.

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