Reassert Strategic Planning: Councils

Filed under Council, News ~ by Press on  13 Feb 2019

Proposals to ban spot rezoning by developers and boost investment in rural and regional roads are supported by the local government sector.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) welcomed NSW Labor leader Michael Daley’s election commitments to address address issues of overdevelopment in Sydney, and underinvestment in roads in regional NSW.

Putting the brakes on spot rezoning by developers sends an important message: it says developers don’t run our communities – residents do,” LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott said.

Councils have been inundated by spot rezonings in recent years, creating pressure on existing infrastructure and undermining their local plans.

The State has been pushing the focus on strategic planning, yet it continues to allow spot rezonings and other developer-friendly policies (like complying development), which undermine the strategic planning system.

Councils and LGNSW have argued strongly against developer-led planning proposals that are inconsistent with local planning strategies.

We support having evidence-based, community-led planning for our communities and places, not ad hoc planning outcomes. 

Removing the reliance on spot rezonings will create greater certainty for everyone, will bring more control back to communities, and supports the focus on strategic planning.”  

LGNSW also welcomed a promise to boost funding for rural and regional roads by $900 million.

Long term underinvestment in rural and regional roads has created a $1.7 million investment backlog and, if this $900 million announcement represents new funding, it will help plug that gap,” Cr Scott said.

Heavy vehicles cause the greatest damage to roads and with NSW Government predictions that freight volumes will grow by 30 per cent by 2036, this issue of local road funding must be addressed by the next Premier.

There is still far more funding required for regional and rural roads, and we also seek an urgent Roads Reclassification Review to address some of these issues.”

LGNSW supports the commitment to fast-track the Western Metro between Sydney CBD and Parramatta, an additional $3 billion investment in Sydney’s existing rail network, and a Western Sydney Airport rail project.

Upgrading our rail network and connecting the Western Sydney Airport to the existing rail network is an essential part of making Sydney a world-class, liveable and connected city,” Cr Scott said.

She said LGNSW and councils looked forward to working as an equal partner with the Department of Planning and Environment and roads and transport agencies to achieve the best outcome for communities across NSW. 

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