More good news has appeared in the ongoing saga of planning law reform, with reports that Planning Minsiter Brad Hazzard has come under fire from his colleagues in the Liberal party over his unpopular and poorly put together proposal for new planning laws.
Cabinet has criticised the proposed laws for cutting the community out of the planning system and allowing unpopular developments to be rammed through without notification – exactly the same things that the Greens, Councils and community groups across the state have been critical of. Minister Hazzard has also said he will now consider giving environmental and social considerations more weight under the new rules, something that the same concerned groups have also been calling for.
This is great news and is a major win for all those who have fought so hard to get a sustainable and equitable planning system enshrined in the laws of NSW. However it isn’t over yet, with the government’s mates in the developer lobby already criticising the changes as pandering to ‘vocal minorities’ and ‘NIMBYS’. The irony of such a statement coming from a super rich, politically powerful group that represents only a tiny proportion of the state’s workforce luckily hasn’t gone unnoted however, with Greens MP David Shoebridge doing a great job of highlighting this hypocrisy in the media.
Still, governments made up of both old parties have had a long history of dancing to the tune of the developer lobby, so while this has been a great victory the fight is still far from over. It is expected revised Bills for the new system will be introduced to parliament in October, so we don’t have too long to wait to see how succesful we’ve been overall.