The referral of a Sunshine Coast project to the Crime and Misconduct Commission demonstrates the clear need for councils to be at arms length from the development assessment process, the Property Council says.
Executive Director, Robert Walker, said allegations of attempted bribery of former Maroochy Shire Deputy Mayor, Trevor Thompson, over the Brisbane Road car park development had once again highlighted the danger associated with giving elected representatives the right to be both judge and jury when it came to development assessment.
“Allowing elected representatives to evaluate the merit of projects against the very laws they make is always going to raise suspicion of impropriety and conflict of interest,” Mr Walker said.
“That’s why the Property Council continues to advocate for independent panels to take over the decision making in the development assessment process.
“Charging independent panels with the responsibility to assess development would mean councils could concentrate on delivering robust planning policies and provide clarity, fairness and transparency to the development assessment process.”