The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 enshrined community involvement in development, in response to the ravages of the Askin Government, which saw development excesses and rapid loss of heritage.
Over the last decade, the former Government reversed these achievements, gutting heritage and environment protections, and handing decisions to unelected people who don't live locally.
In 2005, Part 3A gave the Minister development approval power and moved assessments behind closed doors. I told Parliament the bill was "a recipe for environmental degradation, urban chaos and social dysfunction" and called a division.
I opposed 2006 changes that allowed the State to override development controls and environmental assessments, spend development contributions away from impacted communities, and appoint administrators to run councils. In 2008, I opposed further changes that created unelected panels and bodies to make development decisions.
I welcome the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Part 3A Repeal) Bill which creates a planning process for development previously caught under Part 3A including handing some back to councils.
While I am concerned that an unelected Planning and Assessment Commission will still make decisions and that the Minster retains call-in powers for State significant development, the Government has said that the situation is temporary while they review the planning system.
I told Parliament we need a 21st Century version of the 1979 Act to ensure the best social and environmental planning outcomes.
- My speech www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3HHBSpeaker?open&vwCat=Moore,+Ms+Clover