Media Release

Greens’ Reaction to Planning Review Recommendations

12/12/2014 10:00 am

Don’t trash democracy in quest for planning efficiency

"Whilst it will take time to digest 200 pages of Report and Recommendations, it looks as if Local Councils and local councillors will have a reduced role in the planning system if the Government adopts the Planning Review findings.  This will no doubt come as welcome news to the Planning Minister, who has been on a crusade to diminish the role of Councils in the planning system for the last two years," said Greens SA Planning Spokesperson and Parliamentary Leader Mark Parnell MLC.

“Whilst improved efficiencies in planning decisions is a noble objective, the Government must not trash local democracy in setting planning rules and giving elected members a say in local development applications.

“Local communities have to live with the outcomes of planning decisions for decades. That’s why democratically-elected local representatives need to have a strong voice in planning.

“Having a say in the shape of our cities, towns, suburbs and regions is the main reason hundreds of South Australians put themselves forward for election to local Councils.

“We ignore local knowledge at our peril. When it comes to planning, once size doesn’t always fit all.

“The Greens will also be analysing the report to make sure that there are opportunities for people affected by bad planning decisions to go to an independent umpire. Being able to challenge bad planning decisions is one of the best safeguards against mediocrity in planning.

“When it comes to Parliamentary scrutiny of planning decisions, the current system is a joke. Parliament doesn’t even get to look at changes to planning rules until after they have come into effect. Also, when the only scrutiny is provided by a Government-controlled committee, it’s no wonder that Parliament has NEVER disallowed a Ministerial planning decision in 20 years! When legislation comes before the Parliament next year, the Greens will be insisting that Parliament play a more prominent and earlier role in scrutinising planning changes.”

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