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Gazette Article

NSW Planning one step further

The NSW Government’s green paper on the new planning system (see, November 2011 Gazette, p1) was released on July 14, with a two-month period to respond, which means the deadline on September 14 is before the newly elected council starts to operate.

“One of the key features is a shift of emphasis to councils doing better strategic planning, which is a positive thing,” WCC environment services director Greg Woodhams told the Gazette. The processing of applications would be made by independent panels “and for Willoughby that’s not a significant change”. But the council would still need to revise its ward councillor policy for the new planning system to apply.

The green paper proposes four key planning reforms: community participation; strategic focus; streamlined approval; and infrastructure provision.

To improve the delivery of the planning system, the paper proposes four governance initiatives: a chief executive officer’s group to integrate and drive implementation; regional planning boards to advise on regional and subregional strategic plan making, infrastructure and planning issues; mandatory performance monitoring against clear indicators with regular public reporting and review; and major organisational reform programs to address the structure and culture of planning at all levels.

Following feedback on the green paper, the Government will prepare and release a White Paper, which will provide more details. The White Paper and draft legislation will be released in late 2012. The legislation is expected to be introduced into Parliament in early 2013.

by Eva Wiland, Gazette editor

Courtesy of Gazette August 2012
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