The Greater Sydney Commission Bill
Having failed to secure the passage of their Planning Bill, the State Government has continued its efforts to achieve the same result by introducing changes to existing legislation. The Greater Sydney area defined by the new Bill extends from the Blue Mountains to the Hawkesbury and Wollondilly Shire. The Bill establishes a Commission that can override the planning powers of all democratically elected bodies within the region. This power is to be enshrined in Part 3B of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Act they failed to replace in their first term.
The Bill has now passed both Houses of Parliament.
The Glebe Society, like all other organisations in the Better Planning Network, opposed the Bill and wrote to those members of the Council who hold the balance of power, and who defeated the government’s previous Bill.
However, the Bill was passed, with some amendments which still do not address the major concerns.
The IPART report has been released, but no timetable or process for securing amalgamations has been proposed.
As a former Councillor I am well aware of the shortcomings of Local Government. However, I am opposed to changes that simply make life easier for developers, rather than delivering benefits to residents. Among the many deficiencies of the report is the proposal that the City of Sydney would somehow become a ‘fit for the future Global City’ by increasing its resident population by being amalgamated with Woollahra and Waverley! It is a proposition so ridiculous as to call into question the entire approach of the Tribunal’s report.