Greens candidate for Wallsend, Keith Parsons, today called for all candidates in the seats of Wallsend and Newcastle to take a stand on the infamous part 3 A provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and publicly declare their opposition.
“This provision allows the Minister for planning to ‘call in’ any development application without giving any reason and deal with the matter him/herself. It a secretive, unaccountable, opaque and corrupt process. The minister calls for public submissions which disappear into the planning bureaucracy. No responses are given to submissions and no reasons are given for the minister’s decision.” said Mr. Parsons
“Naturally the property development industry, major donors to both the ALP and Coalition love the process. It was the brainchild of Planning Minister Frank Sartor and was warmly supported by his successor, Kristina Keneally.
“As a former councillor I have many unpleasant, personal memories of decisions made under part 3A, “said Mr Parsons. “One in particular typifies how shonky it is.
“ In 2004, Sartor ignored Newcastle Council’s development control plan’s 12 storey maximum height guidelines on the Royal Newcastle Hospital site, called it in and approved 16 storeys. The developer then upped the ante and asked for 20 storeys. Sartor obliged by approving 18.The result is a massive overdevelopment on a very sensitive site.
“It’s time for all candidates to declare their personal positions on part 3A. What is Cr John Tate’s current view? In 2006, when he was courting and being courted as a potential celebrity ALP candidate, he was probably the only mayor in the State to support part 3A.
“Now that Cr Tate claims to be a true-blue independent again, will he tell us his view? Or will he characteristically sit on the fence and behave like a political chameleon?
“While Jodi McKay has shown herself to be a lackey of Macquarie and Sussex Streets, Sonia Hornery, to her credit, has refused to toe the line on issues like privatisation. As a former councillor, she knows how councils have been shafted and how the rights of the community to know the reasons for planning development decisions have been completely removed. What is her opinion of part 3A?”
“The Liberal Party have promised to get rid of part 3 A. “But they won’t tell us what will replace it. Tim Owen (Newcastle) and Christopher Dolan (Wallsend) must come clean about their personal views and more importantly, the Coalition’s intentions,” said Mr. Parsons.
“Wallsend has two current councillor candidates-both independent, one ex Labor. What do Cr Shayne Connell and Cr Mike Jackson think about the loss of local government rights and powers as a result of Part 3A?
“It’s time for Tate, McKay,Hornery, Jackson and Connell, all involved as councillors or MPs with part 3 A to stand up and be counted on Part 3A.” said Mr Parsons.
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