Media Release: Greens say broad new Coronavirus planning powers undermine democracy

NSW Greens spokesperson on Planning and Heritage has slammed the NSW Government’s decision to empower the Planning Minister to make unilateral decisions on State Significant Developments, rezonings and development applications in light of the Coronavirus.

Jamie Parker says:

“These changes give the Minister unfettered power over what gets approved in NSW. This is a completely unprecedented challenge to democracy in the planning system.

“The government has effectively removed oversite over planning matters with the potential to wave through over development without appropriate consideration of its impact on the environment, local communities or neighbouring residents.

“Those oversite powers are in place to make sure profit motivated property developers don’t wreck our state to make a buck.

“We need to keep the construction industry ticking over but removing all democratic protections in planning will only lead to bad approvals and inappropriate developments that we’ll have to live with for years to come.

“There is a need to balance the pace of construction against the impact on local communities. If the government is asking people to stay in their homes, they need to flexible when it comes to high impact construction noise in residential areas.

“It is simply not fair to ask people to work or learn from home at the same time as they are imposing noisy worksites on residents day and night,” he says. 

Jamie Parker is available for interview.

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