In brief - Green Paper Feedback Summary released by NSW
On 21 December 2012, the NSW government released the Green Paper
Feedback Summary, which summarises the main community and
stakeholder feedback on the reform areas proposed in the Green
Paper. These reform areas were identified and discussed in our July
2012 article Green Paper on planning reform in NSW released by
The completion of this review process signifies the final step
before the release of the White Paper, which will respond to this
feedback and set out the details of how the new planning system
will be implemented.
Enormous interest within the community in the future of
The government received a total of 1,220 submissions during the
Green Paper exhibition period. The overwhelming majority (61%) were
received from the community, 11% from community organisations and
9% from local government, highlighting the importance to the
community of the future of planning in NSW.
Key feedback themes identified
There is a need to provide adequate resourcing and new
methodologies for community engagement at strategic
The shift towards focusing on strategic planning requires
appropriate resourcing and a legible policy and legislation
Streamlined decision making needs to occur at the
development assessment level. By planning strategically upfront,
with community input, development assessment can be smarter and
more timely adopting a risk based approach.
Integration of land use with infrastructure is imperative
and the funding for infrastructure provision and delivery needs to
The Department of Planning and Infrastructure needs to take
a leadership role to empower planners to have a 'can do'
attitude to execute decisions, and encourage collaboration between
Importance of ecologically sustainable
Many submissions called for the expansion of the objectives of
the new planning system to balance development with social and
environmental considerations, a concept seemingly lacking in the
The concept of ecologically sustainable development has been
identified by a diverse range of stakeholder groups as a necessary
overarching objective of the new planning system, to ensure the
delivery of long term beneficial outcomes.
Implementation of the new planning system
The establishment of the planning bodies and the preparation of
the suite of planning instruments proposed in the Green Paper will
be a process that may take a number of years. Just how the
government will deal with the transitional arrangements to
facilitate the implementation of the new planning system was an
issue raised in many of the submissions received.
It is anticipated that the White Paper will respond to these
concerns and address issues such as how long the transition period
will last and the interim measures to be implemented to ensure
consistency in outcomes from this point into the future.
White Paper due to be released shortly
The White Paper and "draft exposure bill" are due for
release shortly, at which time the true extent of the proposed
reforms can be assessed. It is anticipated that many of the key
feedback themes identified will be addressed in the draft
legislation. However, the ideological shift called for may require
more time and further consultation by the government.
The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
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