Media Release: Positive Planning Progress

15 February 2017

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) has welcomed the appointment of former Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens as an advisor to the NSW Government on housing affordability.
“This appointment heralds a welcome step away from unquestioning reliance on the planning myths promoted by the development lobby,” LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said.
“Up until now these myths – including claims that the number of councils alone plays a role in housing affordability - have gone completely untested.
“Experts have repeatedly debunked claims that housing supply is the magic solution to our housing affordability problems.
“Planning Minister Anthony Roberts has confirmed on Parliament today that Sydney is experiencing record approval and construction levels, and councils are justifiably proud of their work in this regard.
“Mr Roberts told the Parliament Sydney is in the middle of an approval ‘boom’ - and yet housing prices remain at an all-time high.
“The appointment of Glenn Stevens to advise on housing affordability is a welcome step away from the rhetoric of the development lobby and towards a more rational debate on this important issue.”
Clr Rhoades said the local government sector was keen to work with Minister Roberts and Premier Berejiklian to make the planning process more accessible and transparent.
“For example, LGNSW welcomes today’s public release of proposals to introduce e-Lodgement for development applications (DAs),” he said.
“The local government sector has supported e-Planning for a long time, and it’s something we believe will genuinely help people understand the planning system in Sydney and NSW.
“Not only will the system be more accessible, it will be more transparent, with everyone now able to see for themselves how the DA system works and where the sticking points of the system might be.
“For example, far too many DAs sitting with councils are delayed in the wait for clearances from key state agencies.
“Transparency means accountability, and the source of delays will now become visible to everyone involved in the DA process.
“The onus will be on everyone – councils as well as state government agencies – to work efficiently and effectively.”
Media Enquiries
LGNSW President, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM: 0408 256 405
Media, Toni Allan: 0412 774 441