Planning Bills introduced into Parliament
On 22 October 2013, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard introduced the Planning Bill 2013 and Planning Administration Bill 2013 into Parliament.
More information is available on the Department’s website: www.planning.nsw.gov.au/newplanningsystem
While the Minister has made a number of important changes to the draft legislation, including changes in response to concerns raised by environment and community groups across the state, the system still falls short of a modern planning system that will deliver positive social and environmental outcomes of NSW.
- The principles of ESD are not included in the Planning Bill
- Despite recent announcements by the Minister that code assessment will be limited to growth areas, the Planning Bill does not include any mechanism that limits the application of code assessment and proposed new ‘neighbourhood impact statement’ not mandatory.
- The “one-stop shop” for environmental approvals remains, overriding important environmental concurrences and the role of expert agencies. We note however that the Director General must act in accordance with advice from the Heritage Council and Rural Fire Services
- The provisions relating to strategic compatibility certificates remain – but there are now additional safeguards including mandatory community consultation.
- Community concerns regarding the approval process for State significant development, including broad Ministerial powers and restrictions on appeal rights after a PAC public hearing, remain unaddressed.