Revisting Regional Strategy on the Agenda

MEDIA RELEASE  1.3.11

GIVE THE HUNTER A FRESH PLANNING START

The Greens are calling for this election to trigger an immediate fresh start for  planning laws in the 
Hunter.  This will include rewriting the Lower  Hunter Regional Strategy  and immediately introducing
legislation to rip up the notorious Part 3A of the planning laws as soon as the new NSW Parliament 
resumes.

Greens MP and planning spokesperson David Shoebridge said: 'In contrast to the Coalition our 
commitment is to introduce legislation that halts Part 3A assessments immediately.  If a project 
has not already received an approval then the Greens' legislation will remove it from consideration.

Specifically for the Hunter the Greens will be seeking the following;

A.      A complete review of the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy.

"The Lower Hunter Regional Strategy has become a complete farce." Said Mr Shoebridge."The 
Government has learned nothing from history.  They have used the same closed 
door consultation with major landowners that just last year was described 
by the Court as a land bribe to produce a terribly warped Lower Hunter Regional Strategy. "If it 
is allowed to stay on the books after March 26 then it will increase the amount of land for urban 
sprawl by 64%, from 5300ha to 8700ha.  It has done all of this without any public consultation.'

"Worse still, this last great delivery to developers was done without an integrated transport plan 
for the Lower Hunter." James Ryan, Greens Candidate for Cessnock said: "It's clear that 
if the Hunter area is not to repeat the failures of Sydney's urban sprawl, 
we need to have a complete review of the Regional Strategy based on merit, 
public transport corridors and community needs.' 

B.   The Greens will introduce legislation to Parliament to overturn the State Significant Site  
rezoning of Catherine Hill Bay, Gwandalan and Huntlee for residential development.

"These sites were only rezoned by the NSW Labor Government in the most political of circumstances.' 
Said Mr Shoebridge "They were identified as some of the least suitable locations for large scale 
development in the Lower Hunter and yet the NSW Labor Minister rezoned them for development in 
a process which most people agree had little do with planning merit. "Applications under Part 3A, 
being assessed by a politician, have become highly political matters.  History shows that they are not 
legal or merit based assessments of developments.  This means they must be open for genuine 
political review when any new government forms after March."

Greens Candidate for Cessnock, James Ryan said: "If we are given the support of the people of NSW 
and the Hunter then the Greens will invite the Coalition to support this legislation and give the Hunter 
a fresh start. "The Hunter needs action straight after the election.  We cannot afford to wait for the 
Coalition's leisurely two year review of the planning laws for things to start to change."

For More Comment please call:  Alison Orme on 0432 332 104 and James Ryan on 0414 922 591

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