Planning policy shambles - One year after Government withdrew its Planning Bill it has still not been brought back

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The NSW Liberal/National Government has broken its major election promise to return planning powers to local communities – sitting on its own Planning Bill for a full 12 months and failing to bring it back for Parliamentary debate, Shadow Planning Minister Luke Foley said today.

One year ago today – 28 November 2013 – then Planning Minister Brad Hazzard told the Legislative Assembly,

“We will come back to the House in the New Year and determine the matter after further consultation with business and the community.”

 

Mr Foley branded the failure of the Liberal/National Government to deliver the state a new Planning Act the greatest single policy failure of its term in office.

“One of the Liberals’ and Nationals’ major election promises in 2011 was ‘to return planning powers to local communities’ and deliver NSW a new Planning Act,” Mr Foley said.

“In November 2013, the Legislative Council amended the Government’s Planning Bill and returned it to the Legislative Assembly for the Government’s response.

“Twelve months and two planning ministers on, the Government is yet to announce its position on its own Planning Bill.

“Today, planning in this state is a shambles. The Government’s Bill for a new Planning Act has languished, undebated, on the parliamentary notice paper for a full year now.

“Now ‘school’s out’ for Parliament until after the 2015 election, ensuring that the Liberals and Nationals will not deliver on their major 2011 promise to rewrite the state’s planning laws.

“Local communities and developers, environmentalists and miners are all entitled to certainty about where the State’s planning laws are heading. Yet the Liberal/National Government has been mute on this major area of State government responsibility for the last year.

“I have said on many occasions that I am prepared to sit down with the Planning Minister and discuss planning reform. Yet neither the former minister nor the current minister has come near me in the last 12 months.

“The Coalition over-promised and has under-delivered. The failure of this Government to deliver the State a new Planning Act is the greatest single policy failure of its term in office,” Mr Foley concluded.