Councillor Hunter’s successful application for a ‘road transport terminal’ in a rural residential area is a significant victory for deregulation.
What’s good for the goose is good for the paté, so when I lodge my DA later this year to convert my MO to community title I will be sure to model my application on the one lodged by Cr Hunter, which was only four pages long. Other DA applicants will have experienced demands from Council for extra studies or documentation; indeed staff have been known to refuse to accept applications which they deem provide insufficient information. All that is now a thing of the past.
As a result of Cr Hunter’s precedent I will provide no plans for parking areas or for turnarounds; I will simply assert that ‘sufficient land is available for these’ – as Cr Hunter did.
Nor will I provide any documentation to prove there is no contamination; I will simply state that ‘the property has never been used for bananas’ and imply that therefore it couldn’t possibly be contaminated. That’s what Cr Hunter did.
If the scale of what I propose might alarm the neighbours I will understate the impacts in the documents to be put on public exhibition and only address the greater impacts at a later date.
In saying that Cr Hunter did any of those things I’m over-simplifying the situation. My critique is actually of a report prepared by an ‘independent consultant’. This consultant was employed and paid for by Council. It only looks like the consultant was hired by Cr Hunter.
The point is that regardless of who actually wrote it, the report was uncritically accepted by Council staff, who then based their own recommendation upon it. Apparently planning supremo Ray Darney believes that a consultant defined as ‘independent’ is also by definition beyond criticism. He also seems to believe that using an ‘independent’ consultant absolves Council and staff of any responsibility. I don’t think so, Ray.
Fast Buck$, Coorabell