White Paper on Planning ‘…creates complexity and confusion…’ ICAC

Media Release 5.7.13
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White Paper on Planning ‘…creates complexity and confusion...‘ ICAC

The new system creates complexity and confusion by allowing developments to be approved that do not comply with the stated requirements.  – NSW ICAC June 24th 2013 Submission to the NSW White Paper on Planning

Cessnock Councillor and planning campaigner James Ryan is calling for a thorough audit of the proposed new planning laws for corruption risks following publication of the submission from the ICAC to the NSW Planning White Paper.

Mr Ryan said ‘In just 5 pages the ICAC have raised serious concerns about corruption risks which would be built into the new laws if they were passed by Parliament in their current form.’

‘The ICAC comments on the proposed new laws include  ‘The new system creates complexity and confusion…………’ by allowing some developments to be approved while not complying with the requirements.’

‘The NSW Government must draw back from its intent to have 80% of development approved without any community consultation.’ said Councillor Ryan ‘It is precisely the ability of the community to make comment on a development before it is approved which reduces the  risk of corruption.’

‘The ICAC has also drawn attention to the ‘largely unfettered’ discretion the new legislation would hand to the Planning Minister to change local plans.’ said Clr Ryan ‘My experience with constituents is that they want more consultation not less. The proposed legislation’s intention to allow the Minister to change local plans without consultation will lead to resentment and conflict in the community.’

‘I am calling for a full and thorough corruption risk audit of the proposed laws.’ said  Clr Ryan

‘I particularly want an audit to discuss the risks posed by the Strategic Compatibility Certificates. These Certificates,  which can over ride  all planning regulations, can be issued by the Director General of the Department of Planning without adequate and mandatory objective criteria.’ said Clr Ryan.

‘I will be putting a motion to Cessnock Council to upgrade its submission to the White Paper to include a full audit by the ICAC.’  said Clr Ryan.

The ICAC submission to the NSW Planning White Paper and Exposure Bill an be found here.

Clr James Ryan
Mob. 0414 922 591

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