Community Planning Campaign Gathers Momentum

Great meeting at Redfern Townhall last night. Congratulation to the community team that pulled it together and is fighting for community participation and protection of the environment in NSW!
James Ryan



Community Planning Campaign Gathers Momentum
A community meeting at Redfern Town Hall last night saw a packed hall of more than 80 residents gather to hear speakers on the NSW Government’s proposed planning reforms.
The campaign, led by the community‐run Better Planning Network, is asking the NSW Government to allow more time for community consultation on the proposed new planning laws.
Spokesperson for the Better Planning Network, Corinne Fisher, said ‘The community is starting to realise that the reforms proposed by the NSW Government will take away their fundamental right to have a say on what is built next door and in their community.’
‘The community is also deeply concerned about the reforms’ lack of recognition for basic planning principles ‐ Ecologically Sustainable Development, heritage protection and good building design.’
Attendees at the meeting heard from leading planning commentator and now City of Sydney Councillor John Mant and James Ryan from the Nature Conservation Council.

The meeting later heard views from candidates for the Sydney By‐Election Alex Greenwich, Shayne Mallard and Glenn Wall.
‘For years we have accepted that the role of planning is to balance the needs of the community and the environment with those of the private interests of developers.’ said Ms Fisher. ‘Now the Government is proposing to enact a planning system that puts the developers’ needs and interests above those of the community and the environment.’

‘At the very least there should be a full community consultation to allow the public to understand what the Government proposes before it is put to Parliament.’ We are calling on the Minister to give a commitment that he will practice what he is preaching and that he will allow a full six months consultation period for the soon to be released White Paper and draft legislation’ said Ms Fisher.
Chair of the meeting, REDWatch’s Geoff Turnbull said “This Government came to power with a promise to return planning powers to the community but it is clear the reform processes have been captured by the same interests that gave us the notorious Part 3A under the previous government. Residents have to give the Government the backbone to deliver on their promise. They do that by being informed and letting the government know that the current green paper proposals will not deliver the Government’s promise”.
The meeting was an initiative of 8 Sydney inner city community groups: 2011 Residents’ Action Inc, Alexandria Residents Action Group, Chippendale Residents Interest Group, Darlinghurst Residents Action Group, Friends of Erskineville, REDWATCH and Pyrmont Action Inc, in association with the Better Planning Network.

For more information contact:
Corinne Fisher 0421 831 889
Geoff Turnbull 0418 457 392
24 October 2012

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