A new $34 million supermarket complex planned for the former Le Cornu site on Anzac Highway, Forestville will be assessed without public consultation and with no regard to a Parliamentary inquiry about to be conducted into the re-zoning of the land.
“The planning system is a complete joke when it comes to community involvement in important decisions that affect people’s lives”, said Greens MLC and former Planning Lawyer, Mark Parnell.
“Not only will the vast bulk of nearby residents not be consulted, but the law says that they can and should be ignored by the State Planning Commission.”*
“The process referred to as ‘Parliamentary Scrutiny’ of planning is also a joke because Parliament hasn’t yet had a chance to consider the matter and even if the Parliament throws out the zoning changes approved by former Minister John Rau late last year, it won’t affect the outcome of the current supermarket application.”
“Regardless of the merits or otherwise of this development, it is appalling that the community won’t be consulted and that the upcoming Parliamentary inquiry will have no impact on the final decision.
“I will be introducing legislation to Parliament to provide for genuine public participation and more timely Parliamentary scrutiny in future.
“In the meantime, I am calling on the State Planning Commission to instruct its ‘State Commission Assessment Panel’ to give full regard to all submissions from residents in the neighbourhood, not just those within 60 metres. They should also allow any resident to have their say in person when the application is decided some time after 25th May”, concluded Mark Parnell.
*Development Act s.38 provides that only immediate neighbours (within 60 metres) will be consulted and the views of anyone else who tries to have their say “is not required to be taken into account” and “will not have any effect for any relevant purpose”.
Plans for the Kaufland supermarket and shopping centre can be found here.