NSW Planning looking shonkier and shonkier
This morning’s Sydney Morning Herald front page has a story about dodgy deals between the state government and developers over big developments in the Hunter and Central Coast. Once again we have big donors to the NSW Labor Party seemingly getting favours from the state government. The story says the government’s own legal advice says they are likely to lose in court and they may have to pass legislation to retrospectively make the dodgy deals legal. How low can NSW go?
Stories like this are exactly why residents in the Inner West do not want the huge towers development proposed for Lewisham to be assessed by the state government. There is simply no public trust in the current planning system working in the best interests of the community. Only be sending the Lewisham Towers development back to Marrickville Council can the public be confident that community needs will be put before developer greed.
I hope Ms Tebbutt and Ms Kenealy are listening to the community on Lewisham.
This is a press release put out by Greens MP Sylvia Hale:
Greens Will Oppose Labor’s Shonky Deal Law
The NSW Greens will not support any attempt by the Labor state
government to introduce retrospective legislation to overcome the legal
problems it faces with land deals it has signed with major party donors.
(SMH 9/6/09 p.1)
“The land deals the government entered into at Catherine Hill Bay and
Huntlee are two of the shonkiest deals this state has seen,” said
Sylvia Hale, NSW Greens MP and planning spokesperson.
“Two parcels of land went from the bottom to the top of the list of
sites for development after a behind closed door deal between Labor
Ministers and major Labor Party donors, with Labor former Senator and
factional boss Graham Richardson deeply involved. The then Head of
Hardie Holdings, the Huntlee developer, said in an interview at the time
that political donations are “a factor of business and we just deal
with it.” (4 Corners 14/4/2008)
“There was a cover up of internal Department of Planning documents
relating to these developments that were not given to the parliament as
required. When I confronted the Director-General of Planning about this
during an estimates committee hearing he was unable to give any credible
explanation as to why the documents were not given to the parliament,”
Ms Hale said.
“These two developments demonstrate very clearly what is wrong with
the NSW planning system. Any move by the government to retrospectively
legalise these dodgy deals will demonstrate just how arrogant and
unaccountable this government has become.”
“Whenever a Court finds the government has broken its own laws it
simply changes the law. It has already done so on several occasions,”
Ms Hale said.
“It is also willing to change laws to help out its party donors The
government has legislation aimed at overcoming a High Court finding
against the Parramatta Civic Place development currently before the
parliament. The joint partner developers of that project, Grocon, has
donated over $300,000 to the NSW ALP.
“The Greens will have no part in legalising these sorts of shonky
deals. The government will no doubt be relying on its political deals
with the Shooters Party and Fred Nile to get this legislation through.
Mr Nile and the two Shooters Party MPs should consider the public
interest and hold the government to account.
Contact: Chris Holley on 02 9230 3030 or 0437 779 546