Councils across NSW are leading a grassroots community campaign against proposed planning laws they say are ‘pro-developer’ and are moving to put local communities at the centre of all local planning decisions.
The Local Government and Shires Associations (LGSA) has called the campaign ‘keep it local’ and warns that communities could be stripped of as much as $4 million each per year for essential services such as childcare centres, playgrounds and local roads.
The ‘keep it local’ campaign includes a new website that features a ‘find your MP’ function and a facility for sending a letter expressing concern over the new laws to a local MP.
“Today residents across the state will be able to send a clear message to their local State MP that control over development should remain in community hands and not with developers,” said Local Government Association president, Genia McCaffery .
“Local councils’ best represent the views of local communities and are the best avenue for residents to have a say about development in their area.”
The LGSA says the laws will lower the standard of many services and may force councils to raise the revenue elsewhere by increasing rates and the cost of services and parking.
President of the Shires Association Bruce Miller said: "The State’s pro-developer laws will mean communities will have fewer services such as local childcare centres, swimming pools, roads and sporting ovals and no say on many developments in their neighbourhood.”
On the website, the LGSA says the NSW Government will increase the power of private companies to approve residential development applications.
“These private companies will be paid by the developer and will not be directly accountable to the public.”
The LGSA conducted a Community Impact Assessment that found communities could see decreases in funding for services of up to 65 per cent in some council areas, which it says could amount to up to $4 million each year.
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