City News

Planning laws set to pass

NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard

The state government’s Planning Bill was expected to pass the Legislative Council on Wednesday night.

City News understands more than 160 amendments were being discussed, with the government focused on those from the Labor opposition, the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers.

On Wednesday, government MLCs were in negotiations with key crossbenchers. Labor was also in discussions with minor parties, and at the time of print had passed amendments pertaining to community participation and removal of the controversial “code assessable development” protocol.

That part of the law would meant councils cannot refuse approval to a development that meets the provisions of the relevant code or Local Plan (LP). Opposition planning spokesperson Luke Foley described it was “Part 3A on steroids”, a reference to the previous Labor government’s notorious planning provision.

Greens MLC and planning spokesperson, David Shoebridge, warned that a 20km growth corridor through the inner west would mean high-density development in places like Annandale and Burwood.

“The proposed code assessable development provisions in the Bill exclude any community say on very significant developments in their area, from rows of 20 townhouses to residential flat buildings,” he said.

Mr Shoebridge also flagged amendments around ecologically sustainable development. He tweeted that affordable housing provisions had been inserted into the bill, with a slim majority of Greens, Labor and the Shooters Party.

A source within the upper house said the government intended to negotiate with the Greens to a lesser extent than with other parties.

Thursday is the final parliamentary sitting day before the summer recess. The amended bills would still need to be amendable to the Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard.

The laws overhaul the state’s planning system, but have angered some councils and local groups who claim community consultation will be compromised.

Michael Koziol contributed reporting

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