Pepe Clarke, CEO, Nature Conservation Council of NSW
I agree with Planning Minister Brad Hazzard that local communities have been locked out of the planning system for too long, but his reforms will only make matters worse for ordinary people while giving developers more rights than ever.
By the government’s own admission, mums and dads will in 80 per cent of cases have no say about what is built on the block next door or in their wider neighbourhood.
Mr Hazzard says people will have a say at the broad strategic planning phase. That’s great, but it’s not good enough.
Yes, people should have input when the broad-brush vision for their local government area is drawn up, but everyone knows most people don’t get engaged in planning issues until someone wants to build something next door or down the street.
Cutting people out at this stage of the assessment process is bound to result in bad decisions that will lack the support of the communities most affected.
Don’t just listen to the spin. Get involved, read the White Paper, talk to your neighbours, write a submission, call your MP.
The laws they pass this year will shape your local community and your way of life for decades to come.