Residents oppose NSW's planning powers


Four hundred people joined a protest rally and march at Hyde Park on February 11 to oppose Part 3a of NSW's planning laws. The laws gave NSW planning minister Frank Sartor the power to override local councils and approve contentious developments even when they breach existing legislation.

The 50 groups attending included the campaign to save Aboriginal housing in the Redfern Block, the Botany Bay Catchment Alliance, Catherine Hill Bay residents, the Coalition of Chippendale Community Groups, the Parks and Playgrounds Movement, Putney Public Housing residents, City Of Hurstville Residents Association, Friends of Eveleigh, Redwatch, the Heritage Institute and Rouse Hill resident groups.

The "day of reckoning" rally also demanded community involvement in planning decisions, an end to developer donations to political parties, an increase in infrastructure spending and long-term planning, just compensation for loss of land and change of use, and the end of forced urban consolidation.

The NSW Greens announced that they would introduce a Private Members Bill to scrap the contentious laws. "Two years ago Labor and the Coalition colluded to rob the community of input into planning decisions, while concentrating power with the planning minister and the property moguls who fund their election campaign", Greens MP Lee Rhiannon told the rally.

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