Cessnock Council votes to ignore its own community consultation

Media Release 20.6.13

Cessnock Council votes to ignore its own community consultation

Last week Cessnock Council held a community consultation forum on the Liberal Governments proposed changes to planing laws.

At the Cessnock Council meeting last night (19.6.13) Cessnock Liberal Councillor Rod Doherty moved that the views of local residents should not be included in Council’s submission to the NSW Government.

Cessnock Greens Councillor James Ryan said it was hypocritical of the Council to hold a public meeting for community consultation and then deliberately not include the views put forward by the residents.

‘Unfortunately the majority of Councillors voted to support Clr Doherty.’ said Clr Ryan  ‘I believe the community will feel they have been treated with contempt.’

‘What sort of Council asks residents for its opinion and then votes to exclude that opinion.’

Residents at the Council forum had expressed strong objection to the changes which aim to approve 80% of all development without community input. They also supported the need for ecologically sustainable development to be retained in the planning act and for community well being to be at the heart of the new system.

‘If Clr Doherty had attended the public forum on planning  he might be have heard how concerned residents are that they will have less input in their local community decisions.’

‘The new planning laws will result in a bonanza for developers at the expense of the environment and community well being.’

‘The best decisions are made when everyone has a say.’ said Councillor Ryan.

‘It is disappointing that Cessnock Council has snubbed it’s nose at community opinion just like the new planning laws will snub their nose at community input.’

James Ryan

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