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Proposed Changes to the NSW Planning System

Following our article in the February 2008 issue of The Crag on the discussion paper titled ‘Improving the NSW Planning System’, an independent review of the submissions from the public exhibition of the discussion paper was prepared and released on 19 March 2008.

It can be viewed under the following link from the NSW Department of Planning’s website:

While the formal submissions were in general support of the need for reform to the planning system, general concern was raised about: the timing of the discussion paper release, the time frame for lodging submissions, loss of community involvement in the planning process, a one size fits all approach to exempt and complying development and dilution of local government decision-making.
In summary, of the 31 key issues raised in the submissions and relating specifically to the discussion paper, there was general support for 12 of the key recommendations, mixed views on ten key recommendations and general opposition to nine of the key recommendations.

You may wish to keep up the pressure on State Government MPs about your concerns with some of these ‘reforms’ while awaiting the draft bill.

Review of the NSW Heritage Act 1997

Also released by Planning Minister Frank Sartor on the same day as the above report was a report by an independent expert review panel titled ‘A Review of theNSW Heritage Act 1997’. The Independent Expert Panel was comprised of: Ms Gabrielle Kibble AO (Chair), Former Director-General of Department of Planning and current Liverpool City Council Administrator; Mr Michael Collins, Chair of the Heritage Council of NSW; and Mr John Whitehouse, Planning & Environmental Lawyer.

The 105-page report contains 65 recommendations, including greater fairness and rigour in the heritage listing process and retaining key elements of the current system including local and State listings and a Heritage Council. The Report which may be viewed under the following link will now be considered by the NSW Government.ollowing link:

Jill Newton