The concerns of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, community environment groups, hundreds of citizens and local councillors who opposed the concentration of planning powers in the hands of the Planning Minister under Part 3A laws have been vindicated in a report released yesterday by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
“It’s time to restore balance, integrity and legitimacy into the NSW planning process. Too many times the process has been shown to favour financial outcomes for private development, locking out meaningful community consultation in decision making and turning a blind eye to environmental assessments and impacts,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said today.
“The views of local communities and the protection of the natural environment must be taken into genuine consideration for a more sustainable era of development and growth in our state.
“The ICAC’s report provides the ideal opportunity for restoring public faith in the planning system by replacing Part 3A with a transparent, accountable process for comprehensively assessing the impacts of major projects in NSW.
“The community wants the door firmly shut on a planning process where discretion and lack of transparency creates a serious risk of corruption or favouritism.
“The Nature Conservation Council of NSW asks all parties contesting next year’s State election to outline their vision for fixing the dysfunctional state of planning in NSW, with particular focus on a response to this report,” Mr Clarke said.
To download the report from the ICAC website, click here.