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Byron Shire
May 25, 2024

A Christmas present for property developers

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Local Government New South Wales (LGNSW) says that property developers have been gifted an early Christmas present after the NSW government announced it would sideline councils and communities from assessing new major housing developments.

The Rezoning Pathways Program, announced by the NSW government last week, allows developers to nominate rezoning proposals for more than 1,000 dwellings on sites in metropolitan NSW, and at least 300 dwellings in regional NSW.

The approval process for these proposals would bypass councils, and instead they will be assessed by the state’s planning department.

Community consultation

LGNSW President Darriea Turley AM said that despite the major implications of the scheme, the NSW government has failed to detail how local provisions will be considered when these residential developments are assessed and what community consultation, if any, will occur.

‘The new program was the latest example of the NSW government cosying up to property developers at the expense of councils and the communities they represent.

‘The changes that are being proposed here would affect every council area in the state. It also brings into question what, if any, consideration will be given to existing local plans and policies when major housing developments are being assessed.

Removing council input

‘By removing council input and community consultation on these major developments, the government is essentially removing the safeguards that protect communities from inappropriate and ad hoc development.

Cr Turley questioned whether the NSW government was being genuine when it badged the new program as a way of unlocking new homes faster.

‘This government is quick to blame delays on councils. Yet it is well established that the overwhelming cause of delays stems from infrastructure delivery issues and other hold-ups from a multitude of government agencies.

Councillors should focus on strategic planning

‘A few years ago, the NSW government took development application powers off Sydney councils and introduced mandatory local planning panels. The argument was that councillors should focus on strategic planning rather than on individual development applications.

‘Now with this latest announcement, the government is coming after the strategic planning as well.

‘Councils are best placed to make planning decisions in the interests of their community. Sidelining our sector from this critical role will only benefit developers and further degrades the community from having any say about what developments occur in their areas.’

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  1. In other words, locals and ratepayers have no say whatsoever in developments that could be detrimental. Oh, silly me, it won’t be detrimental to greedy developers.

  2. Another insult from the LNP, before their coming extinction event in the March election! Anyone voting LNP/Hanson/Palmer should have a serious look at themselves and ask are you stupid, you just don’t give a shit or just completely corrupted?

  3. Looks more to me to be a levelling up of the playing field so that development doesn’t have to run the unfair gauntlet of closed minded protesters.


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