Media Release

Libs backflip as axe falls on Council planning powers

17/09/2014 8:00 pm

Liberal and Labor can’t be trusted to keep their word on planning matters, according to Greens SA Parliamentary leader, environmental lawyer and planner, Mark Parnell MLC.

Last night (Wednesday) in State Parliament, the Liberals backflipped on a key election promise and voted with the Government to strip local councils of their powers to assess developments greater than 4 storeys in the inner suburbs of Adelaide.

Before the election, the Liberals promised to do the opposite to how they just voted in Parliament.

The vote in the Legislative Council was on the Greens Motion to “disallow” Development Regulations that were opposed by all the affected local councils and local community groups. 

Also voting against local government tonight were Family First and Xenophon Group (John Darley).  I’m pleased that Dignity for Disability’s Kelly Vincent voted with Tammy Franks and me, said Mr Parnell.

The next round in the fight to preserve local councils’ role in planning matters will come next month, with another Greens disallowance motion against yet more Development Regulations tabled in State Parliament this week.

“These new Regulations go much further than the ones I just tried to disallow.  These new Regulations effectively allow the assessment of ANY development worth more than $3m in ANY council area to be taken away from Councils and given to the State Development Assessment Commission for processing. 

“What’s particularly galling about the Government’s crusade against local councils is that it ignores the process that the Government had already set up to review the State’s planning laws.  Submissions to the Government’s “Expert Panel on Planning Reform”, chaired by Brian Hayes QC are yet to close, yet the Government is unilaterally re-writing the planning law book without consultation and in complete disregard of the review process.

“Last night’s vote shows that big business is calling all the shots and that local councils and local communities are being side-lined at an alarming rate.  The Greens will continue to fight for a planning system that reflects community aspirations, rather than a system that only values the big developers and the property industry,” said Mr Parnell.

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