The Property Council of Australia says the NSW Greens are on the wrong track in criticising the role of the Planning Assessment Commission in assessing major projects.
The Greens’ Planning Spokesperson David Shoebridge has claimed the PAC is a ‘rubber stamp’ and ‘not adding any value to the planning system’.
“Depoliticised development assessment should be a given in the State’s new planning system,” the Property Council’s NSW Executive Director, Glenn Byres, said.
“The Green Paper released by the State Government sensibly suggests preserving the role of the PAC and Joint Regional Planning Panels.
“Retention of an independent umpire has been a key demand of the Property Council – and we’re pleased to see it endorsed.
“To be fair, the Greens support a PAC – albeit appointed under a different model.
“But the Greens are wrong in demanding that local councillors should regain a role in determining the majority of projects.
“The same principle of depoliticised development assessment should apply right across the system.
“We want to keep the politics out of planning as it gives investors – and the community - more confidence that decisions are made fairly and objectively.”
The Property Council last year commissioned research testing the views of 1000 homeowners across NSW on attitudes to councils and the planning process.
The research found:
78 percent of people want independent experts in charge – and only 22 percent want local councillors making decisions
83 percent think independent panels keep politics and self-interest out of planning
88 percent agree that independent panels can help keep decisions honest, transparent and consistent.
Copy of the research is available here.