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Better Planning Network Media Release

posted 1 May 2013, 04:08 by Friends of Erskineville   [ updated 1 May 2013, 04:16 ]
Update:
  • The Department of Planning and Infrastructure is presenting a small number of free Metropolitan and Regional Discussion Sessions on the White Paper – A new planning system for NSW. For our area this is  at the ATP on Wednesday 15 May 2013. The session for the general public is from  06:00 PM - 07:30 PM. You can register at http://events.planning.nsw.gov.au/Public/SelectEvent.aspx. It is expected this session will fill up quickly.

Environment Threatened by NSW Planning Reforms

There are grave concerns that the NSW planning reforms will not provide adequate protection for our
environment. Better Planning Network’s Corinne Fisher said that when the new planning reforms take
effect, most development applications will not adequately consider impacts on threatened species, ecological
communities and their habitats.

‘With the Government planning to have 80% of development approved within 25 days, most approvals will
not consider the impacts of development on people, let alone on our environment - animals, plants and their
habitats,’ Ms Fisher said.

‘Currently the impact of most developments on our environment must be assessed. However under the new
system it is unclear whether up to 80% of development will require any kind of environmental assessment.’

‘While the Government is saying it will protect our environment at the strategic landscape level, it has not
identified how this will happen.' said Ms Fisher 'The Government hasn't even identified a budget to conduct
the sophisticated mapping it would need if it were going to protect threatened species, ecological
communities and their habitats in regional plans.’

‘Australia has one of the worst rates of extinction in the world.’ Ms Fisher said. ‘We are concerned that the
new planning laws will add to the problem. ‘We are also concerned that several of the existing Environment
Protection zones will be scrapped. E3 Zones will become rural zones and E4 Zones will become residential
zones. The White Paper does not even mention climate change mitigation. The community could be
forgiven for thinking that the NSW Government has very little concern for the environment.’ said Ms Fisher.

‘We are urging the Minister to change course. We don’t believe the community wants a planning legislation
that builds apartments and roads but ruins the environment along the way.’

‘We agree with the Minister that we need more housing, especially more affordable housing, but surely a
society like Australia's can achieve this while remaining proud of our villages and without ruining the
environment.’

For more information contact Corinne Fisher 0421 831 889
24 April 2013
Read more via the Better Planning Network website
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