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Byron Shire
March 29, 2023

Lismore Council stripped of planning powers 

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NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, has removed planning powers from Lismore City Council. Councillors failed, on February 14, to constitute a local planning panel (LPP), which is designed to ‘speed up planning processes to support flood-recovery efforts’ that would have allowed them to nominate two members to the committee from a minister-approved pool of candidates.

The NSW government’s LPP usurps Council’s planning powers. 

In a letter to Mayor Steve Krieg, Roberts said the failure ‘may result in confusion and uncertainty for planning processes in Lismore LGA.’

Under (s) 2.17 of the EP&A Act 1979, Roberts appointed ‘members to sit on Council’s behalf’. 

All associated costs for the panel will be borne by Council, Roberts added.

Disempowering communities

Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP, planning spokesperson and lead candidate for the Upper House said, ‘The Planning Minister has a track record of disempowering communities to serve developer interests’. 

‘The NSW government needs to establish a process that gives Lismore residents agency over the reconstruction process, not one that will let developers roll over the community to squeeze as much profit out of reconstruction as they can’. 

The Lismore community has been crying out for greater transparency and control over the recovery process. Instead, the NSW Government has disempowered the community even further,said Ms Faehrmann.

The people of Lismore are anxious about how decisions are being made about the future of their city. The last thing they need is an undemocratic planning panel making decisions for them about what reconstruction is going to look like.

The fact that Lismore council needs to pay for the staff and facilities of the government’s sham planning panel is completely unacceptable. It’s another flagrant example of state government cost shifting which will hurt Lismore council ratepayers even more.

I’m calling on the government to reverse this decision and at the very least pay for the costs of this planning panel,’ she said.

Lismore needs transparency

Local councillor and Green Candidate for Lismore Adam Guise said, It’s outrageous that the Liberal Planning Minister is riding roughshod over our community and sacking Lismore councillors from local planning decisions. Councillors were never consulted on this extraordinary announcement made by the Minister last year only days before Christmas.

Lismore Council decided at its February meeting not to constitute a planning panel. Councillors resolved to keep our planning powers so that planning decisions are made locally with community involvement.

Planning decisions will now be taken away from elected councillors and given to government-appointed bureaucrats who don’t live in our communities. The government claims this is to accelerate flood recovery but here we are 12 months on and thousands of people are still homeless and displaced.

What this means is that councillors will be sidelined from important decisions about where and how our community rebuilds.

Subdivisions will be allowed to bypass the normal development process and be carried out on land where it is currently not allowed by the local environmental plan.

Our community wants a say in our future housing choices and imposing inappropriate developments on the community in the name of flood recovery will cause conflict.

What we need is a wholesale reform of the planning system which puts people and planet first, rather than the profits of developers. Our community wants a say over our future and to be included in the decisions that effect them, said Mr Guise.

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  1. This Lismore council has been has been our second biggest disaster, nudged into second place, just, by the massive flood they have no answers for.
    It would be hard for the state government to do a worse job, even with clear instructions this lot fail to act, council meetinga are a clown show, one councillor taking up hours of time, seemingly a one man band with little support.
    Now talking of legal proceedings (at rate payers expense) because the State stepped in on council incompetence amid a sea of complaints for said rate payers…
    Team Krieg?….change??…
    It’s a circus 🎪 😐

  2. To be fair , does anybody expect democracy from this notoriously crooked state government ?
    We have endured Gladys the koala killer, Porky Barilaro and this Perrottet and his fugitive family who are apparently stooges for Opus Die. I won’t even start on the implacable idiocy of the National Party minority government partners
    At the state level corruption rules, at the local level councils are all incompetent, and can’t even nominate a committee.
    One year after the deluge / s the roads are literally lethal, and the cities are no-more and I believe they are still looking for sites for ’emergency’ housing pods.
    Keep smiling, G”)

  3. Own goal for the Lib/Nats who maybe have given up trying to win Lismore NSW seat back in three weeks.
    Vote Green’s Adam Guise for Lismore.

    • Why? Janelle working her arse off and a councillor who has added to the chaos at council. I won’t bother mentioning the “independents”.

  4. You all seem a little late to the realisation that democracy ends up as coke vs pepsi when you need a glass of water. The problem is, when you take over a party to put your own candidates up, you end up as a victim to the same influences and incentives that those you replaced face. Eventually you realise the decisions aren’t made in the political system. You have to go higher up, but then you fall victim to the realities those people face and end up acting much the same way over time. The reality is that we have not found a system that takes all factors into account, and so they all end up as corrupted as each other. Now they want ‘experts’ to rule us, as if that hasn’t been tried a bunch of times before in history. But of course this time, like every other time, it will be different.


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