Nick Kaldas to audit corruption risks in New South Wales planning

 

On 28 July Jacob Saulwick in the Sydney Morning Herald announced “the former deputy commissioner of the NSW Police, Nick Kaldas, will conduct an audit into corruption risks in the State’s planning system, following a string of high-profile scandals.

“Planning Minister Anthony Roberts has handed Mr Kaldas a broad brief to scrutinise risks in the system and ‘make recommendations in relation to the decision-making governance of state and local agencies’.

“The appointment of Mr Kaldas, who is to report at the end of November, comes on the back of the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s enquiry into the conduct of councillors and senior staff at the former Canterbury Council.

“This is about building a planning system that people can have faith and confidence in,” Mr Roberts said.

“We want to be held up around the world, that if you want a robust, strong and transparent planning system, have a look at NSW,” he said.”

Wow, the only people held up on planning issues in NSW are the hapless citizens of New South Wales - held up, hands in the air, metaphorically speaking, while their amenity, quality of life and relaxed neighbourhoods are ransacked, high-rised and looted by rapacious developers. And not helped by councils over-riding the recommendations of planning professionals because the government has not yet committed to introducing Local Planning Panels outside the Sydney Metropolitan and Wollongong area.

We all deserve so much better yet, but whether it be Auburn, or Canterbury, it just seems to get unspeakably worse.

The Herald article refers to terms of reference for the audit but these are not yet publicly available. We have already approached the Minister for Planning for the terms of reference and the opportunity to make a submission.  We also provided the Minister’s Office with our submission to the ICAC and our suggestions to reduce corruption in New South Wales planning.  It’s about time the Minister got his finger out as well.

We are delighted to see Nick Kaldas given the job. The bloke who should be the Police Commissioner always looked like he could sniff out a crook at a hundred paces, or places where crooks could do business.  And is there anywhere more lucrative than the planning system?  Go, Nick. 

And while we’re looking at what’s happening in Operation Dasha, here are three things that beggar belief:

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