Government announces review of the EP&A Act

The Government announced that it had established a Review into the Act and appointed former Liberal member for Gordon Tim Moore and former ALP member of the Legislative Council Ron Dyer to conduct it. We met with them on 12 August at their invitation as part of speaking to organisations in the industry with an interest. They wanted a broad brush discussion.

The Committee of Management had met earlier in the day and we had that discussion. It was also timely for the Committee to appoint our Gosford delegate Jo Doheny to a vacant position on the Committee because Jo is a strategic planner. The Committee resolved some broad approaches, these are incorporated into a some broad observations and Paul O'Brien, Jo Doherny and I had an hour and a half with the Review that afternoon.

The Review is starting with a blank page. Apparently with no direction from Government but with a claimed open mind about how planning and development should be managed in the State.

The Review is also committed to a serious process of consultation across the State. While the dates and specific locations in the Metropolitan area are not finalised, we do know where they will be each week.

Starting Sunday 11 September - Broken Hill, Dubbo, Narrabri, Glenn Innes, Armidale

Starting Monday 19 September - Blue Mountains, Lithgow, Bathurst, Orange, Parkes

Starting Monday 26 September – Taree, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Ballina/Byron, Lismore/Tweed

Starting Monday 17 October - Campbelltown, Hurstville, Willoughby, Parramatta

Starting Monday 24 October – Nowra, Batemans Bay, Bega, Cooma, Queanbeyan

Starting Monday 31 October - Moss Vale, Goulburn, Yass, Wagga Wagga, Albury

Starting Tuesday for October - Wollongong, Deniliquin, Griffith, Gosford

Starting Monday 10 October - Tamworth/Liverpool Plains/Gunnedah, Muswellbrook, Newcastle and EPLA Conference in Sydney

Starting Monday 7 November - Penrith, Sutherland, Warringah, Randwick, Ashfield

Starting Monday 14 November - City of Sydney

The Review is planning to produce an Issues document in the first week of December and public comment will be open until 17 February. Recommendations to government are planned for the end of April.

The Review plans to maximise access to information and is not necessarily committed to the current legislation remaining one Act.

The review is interested in:

  • What should be the underlying philosophy and objectives
  • how to set out plans to do that
  • how to assess individual plans
  • review of the current appeal rights process
  • how to define a “region”
  • at what level should plans be made and how should they be made and changed at that level
  • what should section 5 do?

And in a refreshing realistic approach, the Review plans to have two meetings in each location with the expectation that one meeting would be attended by the community and elected representatives, and the other meeting would be attended by professionals who work in planning and development.

We urge you to attend these meetings and make your views known. We think its time to return the old BA/DA process so assessment can be proportionate to the complexity of the building.

Later we will be inviting individual and specific suggestions from members to be incorporated in our submission to the Review.

You can keep in touch with what's happening with the Review on www.planningreview.nsw.gov.au

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