The NSW State Government hosted its first Green Paper Planning Review consultation sessions in Wollongong last week with robust discussion full of enthusiasm for changes but concern on how some of the ambitions may be realised.
Planning practitioners, many from local government bodies, said they agreed there was a need for a new system which didn’t get bogged down, was written in plain language, addressed the gaps between council LEPs and DCPs, and had capacity to measure results regularly.
They said planning staff in local government need support in order to implement some of the changes and make the system more effective, including: addressing budget and resource issues, the need for additional training and mentoring, and consistency across government and council departments when considering strategic outcomes.
Community input was highlighted as a particular challenge because of the reality that people often don’t get involved in planning of their local area until something is about to change in their neighbourhood and they work to stop it occurring.
Some of the suggestions from the session included:
bringing ICAC into the process of reform in terms of providing examples of best practice strategic planning
capacity to utilise electronic solutions for compliant developments
the need for strategic planning to balance outcomes across a broad range of liveability factors such as economic, environmental, social, accessibility/connectivity, competitiveness, etc
showcase best practice development to the community
need for State Government to take a leadership role to protect the integrity of strategic planning against NIMBYism
evidence that strategic planning has input across government departments and shared budgets to ensure delivery of projects and infrastructure against KPIs
strategies to address cultural issues such as introducing economics into planning degrees and even planning as part of school curriculum; mentoring/secondments between public and private sector; appropriate engagement level between local government staff and the property sector to better understand strategic outcomes
The Property Council is currently compiling a submission to the State Government on the Green Paper. To provide us with your feedback please email here.
For more information on providing feedback to the State Government click here.
Submissions close on Friday 14 September 2012, except for councils who have been granted an extension until Friday 5 October 2012.