Aaron White, councillor candidate for Noosa Greens, is concerned that planning rules allowing communities to have their say on development are being undermined by State Government changes to the public notification process.
Under the proposed new rules, public notification times on developments are reduced, developers have discretion as to when community feedback occurs during an application and they may no longer have to advertise significant proposals in local newspapers.
Mr White has lodged a submission to State Government on behalf of the QLD Greens objecting to the Draft Planning Instrument, which he says diminishes the opportunity for communities to have their say on planning.
“They are cutting a five stage process down to three and overall the goal posts are being moved heavily in favour of industry, all at the expense of our fundamental right to object to inappropriate development” said Mr White.
“During a January meeting at Maroochydore put on by the State Planning Department and the Environmental Defenders Office, the crowd scoffed at suggestions by Department officials that streamlining the process of public consultation would achieve better outcomes” he said.
“I note Cr Tony Wellington who attended the meeting indicated Noosa Council had also raised concerns with the State Government regarding changes to public consultation provisions in proposed planning laws” said Mr White.
Mr White believes that with State Labor undermining the Noosa Plan like this, they’re no better than the LNP were when the “Red Tape Reduction Bill” was brought in during 2014.
“Ultimately it was these LNP rules the Chicken Broiler Farm proposal at Cooroy were assessed against. The legislation apparently left Noosa Council staff obligated to recommend for approval, despite community concerns” said Mr White.
Submissions on the Draft Planning Instruments can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org until 5 February 2016.