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Gazette Article

NSW Government's proposed changes to the planning legislation

Many of you will be following the NSW Government's proposed changes to the planning legislation as set out in the two draft exposure Bills. The draft exposure Bills contain over 200 pages of legislative amendments to three main Acts - the Environmental, Planning and Assessment Act, the Building Professional Board Act and the Strata Management Act - and a number of minor amendments to other Acts.

Following this release, the Local Government and Shires Associations undertook an internal Community Impact Assessment to determine the potential impacts on NSW communities. Their findings clearly suggest that the proposed laws have the potential to shift the balance away from the local community and deliver more authority into the hands of the State  Government and private companies.

The changes are extensive and could leave communities short-changed on services and reduce the right of residents to comment on local developments. The APA, as a member of the Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations, joined in support of a letter that was sent by the Federation to the Premier and the Minister for Planning, opposing the proposed changes.

We also wrote to the Premier independently, outlining the importance of conservation and heritage areas and the possible erosion of the qualities of these areas as a potential unintended outcome of any new legislation.

The APA strongly endorses the Federation's recommendations that proposed amendments to the legislation must be abandoned and a more basic review be undertaken that will ensure effective public involvement and transparent and accountable decision-making in the planning process.

Courtesy of Gazette May 2008


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