Sydney Morning Herald Opinion Piece: How ‘unelected faceless men and women’ keep approving NSW developments
PMAT State Director
0407 501 999
Article by the Sydney Morning Herald. Published August, 15 2021 by Andrew Taylor.
‘Local planning panels were created to stamp out corruption, but councillors from across the political spectrum say they favour developers and undermine democratic accountability.
Liberal mayors have joined Labor and Greens councillors in criticising the NSW planning system.
Woollahra Liberal mayor Susan Wynne said the democratic process was significantly reduced when the planning panel system was introduced by the NSW government.
“As a councillor it is frustrating to not be able to support our community and advocate on their behalf with regards to concerns related to development applications,” she said. “As locals we understand our community better than anyone and we are acutely aware of the impact of poor planning outcomes.”
Waverley deputy mayor Elaine Keenan, pictured with Brent Jackson, said residents were locked out of planning decisions which were made by “unelected faceless men and women”. CREDIT:DOMINIC LORRIMER
Sydney, Wollongong and Central Coast councils lost the power to determine development applications themselves in 2017 following a string of planning controversies. Local planning panels are composed of four members including a chair, two experts and a community representative appointed by a council.
Of the 1550 development applications local planning panels determined in 2020-21, 1162 were approved and 388 refused. In 2019-20, the panels approved 1176 DAs and refused 324.’
Receive News & Updates from PMAT
Stay informed on what’s happening locally and statewide within Tasmania, and join our community in advocating to protect Tasmania’s future.