News Archive

Our news archive from our former website follows:

The BPN News Archive contains news items from 2012 to 2014 from the former BPN website. We have kept these so there is an historical record of BPN's activities during this time and of the battle over the proposed New Planning System.

Some of the links in the News archive may no longer work.

11September 2014

Tonight saw approximately 150 Novocastrians attend the launch of the Charter for Good Planning in NSW in Wesley hall, Hamilton, Newcastle.  It was a great night, with 9 out of the 11 candidates for the Newcastle and Charlestown by-elections signing onto the Charter!  Photo here and detaills of candidates who signed on and those who didn't here.

We are now looking to the launch of the Charter in Sydney on Thursday 18 September 1pm at the NSW Parliament. See our events page for details of this event.

We encourage everyone who wants good planning in NSW to endorse the Charter, as a group and/or individual at http://thecommunitycharter.org/  .

6 September 2014

Congratulations to the approximately 400 individuals who braved the weather to join this morning's The Hunter Deserves Better rally. We were proud to be there. See photos here

See you all next Thursday for the Newcastle Launch of the Charter for Good Planning in NSW - 6.30PM, Wesley Hall, 150 Beaumont St, Hamilton. Click here for more info.

Week ending 22 August 2014

Every year, Government ministers and senior public servants attend an annual Budget Estimates inquiry to answer questions about the expenditure, performance and effectiveness of their departments.

We recommend reading transcripts of the NSW budget estimates, particularly planning, which finished last week. 

Click here to access transcripts of budget estimates.

22 August 2014

Did you miss ABC 7.30 NSW report on Crown Lands in NSW? Watch it here

4 August 2014

Congratulations to the Glebe Society, one of our affiliates, for putting on a great public meeting last night on The Bays Precinct planning process. The public interest must drive planning for this area and community engagement should be nothing short of world's best practice.  But is UrbanGrowth NSW up to the job?

29 July 2014

Today, Ms Carolyn McNally was appointed Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.  To view the Department's current organisational chart, click here. The BPN congratulates Ms McNally on her appointment.

17 July 2014

An interesting evening at the University of Sydney's Planning Research Centre event tonight, where a range of stakeholders, including the BPN, took part in a panel discussion exploring where our planning system might proceed in the absence of new planning legislation. Interestingly, the majority of the audience thought that the NSW Planning BIlls were flawed. Regardless, there is certainly plenty that can be improved under our current legislation, starting with community engagement.

16 June 2014

We held a meeting of BPN affiliated groups tonight- the event was well attended and identified a range of possible campaign strategies to ensure better planning in NSW.

23 April 2014

Minister Goward has announced a re-alighment of the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure in which the current Director-General of Planning, Mr Sam Haddad's position will disappear.  Read our Media Release here.

At the same time, Minister Goward announced the establishment of a new principal Department of Planning and Environment to be led by a new Secretary serving three MInisters (Planning, Environment and Heritage and Local Government).

The new Secretary is yet to be announced and the position will be filled through a competitive merit selection process.  The Acting Secretary is Ms Carolyn Mcnally.

22 April 2014

Welcome to the Hon. Pru Goward, MP, newly appointed Minister for Planning and Minister for Women and the Hon. Rob Stokes, MP, newly appointed Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage and Assistant Minister for Planning.  This is a fresh start for planning in NSW!  Read our Media Release here.

17 April 2014

Today, we were advised that the NSW Government has failed to provide papers pertaining to the NSW planning reforms as requested by the Upper House on 26 March 2014. This is an extraordinary turn of events and no explanation has been provided by the Government to the public.  Read our Media Release here and listen to our interview on the subject with Alan Jones here.  This is certainly not the end of this story so watch this space.

26 March 2014

Call for Papers

Thank you to the NSW Greens, NSW Labor and Shooters and Fishers parties for their support on an Upper House call for papers pertaining to the NSW planning reforms. Hopefully this will shed light on what went on behind the scenes in the last 18 months and what motivated the Government's NSW Planning Bills. Click here to read the Parliamentary debate on the Call for Papers in Hansard.

NSW Parliament protest

Fantastic turnout at the protest against the O'Farrell Government's 'pre-gateway review' mechanism in front of the NSW Parliament this morning. Thanks to the Warriewood Residents Association for organising and hosting the protest and all those of you who attended. See our media release here and check out photos of the event here. 

28 February 2014

At this point in time, the Minister is yet to formally indicate what he intends to do with the Planning Bills.  However, media reports suggest that he will side-step Parliament and use our existing planning legislation to achieve radical changes to our planning system, including the possible expansion of development that does not require any community consultation to be conducted as part of its assessment process.

12 February 2014

Read our latest Media Release here.

28 November 2013

Today, the NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, the Hon. Brad Hazzard, announced that he would withdraw the NSW Planning Bills until February/March 2014.  The Minister made this announcement as a result of heavy amendments made to these Bills in the Upper House by the Labor, Greens and Shooters and Fishers parties. 

The Better Planning Network will continue fighting to ensure that the NSW Planning Bills do not become law next year and that our planning system is reformed in a way that genuinely addresses the persistent problems that continue to plague planning and development in NSW.

27 November 2013

Today, the NSW Upper House passed the amended NSW Planning Bill 2013 and NSW Planning Administration Bill 2013.  Govt, Labor, Christian Democrats and Shooters and Fishers MPs voted in support of these Bills.  The Greens NSW voted against these Bills. 

Overall, the amended Bills passed by the Upper House are a missed opportunity for visionary reform and will not deliver good planning and development outcomes for communities across NSW.  The Bills are unfit for the 21st century.

The amended Bills will now need to be considered by the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) before they can become law.

The running record provides a summary of amendments to the Bills discussed today, and Hansard will be available tomorrow morning.

20 November 2013

Today, the BPN was invited to speak at a Blacktown residents protest in front of Blacktown Council. Inspiring stuff - see photos hereLater on on the same day, the Upper House commenced the second reading of the NSW Planning BillsThe Bills have now gone to 'Committee' which means that amendments are being sought by the cross bench.  No one knows whether the Bills will go through or not once they are amended.  The debate on the amendments is expected to commence in the Upper House on Tuesday 26 November 2013 and end on Thursday 28 November 2013. 

8 November 2013

To listen to this morning's interview with Alan Jones click here.

1 November 2013

A great protest in Maroubra beach morning organised by locals and attended by over 120 people.  Thanks to the Hon. Michael Daley, MP for Maroubra, Randwick Councillors Robert Belleli, Murray Matson and Geoff Stevenson and Mr David Shoebridge, MLC and Greens Spokesman for Planning.  Check out event photos here.

30 October 2013

Today,  the NSW Government pushed its Planning Bills through the Lower House of Parliament.  These Bills are now expected to be introduced to the Upper House but no-one knows whether they will pass (the Government does not have a majority in the Upper House).  The Labor Party, Greens NSW and Independent MP Alex Greenwich voted against the Bills in the Lower House.

MPs who voted for the Planning Bills: Mr Anderson, Mr Aplin, Mr Ayres, Mr Baird, Mr Barilaro, Mr Bassett, Mr Baumann, Mr Bromhead, Mr Brookes, Mr Casuscelli, Mr Conolly, Mr Constance, Mr Cornwell, Mr Coure, Mrs Davies, Mr Dominello, Mr Doyle, Mr Edwards, Mr Evans, Mr Flowers, Mr Fraser, Mr Gee, Mr George, Ms Gibbons, Ms Goward, Mr Grant, Mr Gulaptis, Mr Hartcher, Mr Hazzard, Ms Hodgkinson, Mr Holstein, Mr Humphries, Mr Issa, Dr Lee, Mr Marshall, Mr Notley-Smith, Mr O’Dea, Mr Owen, Mr Page, Ms Parker, Mr Patterson, Mr Perrottet, Mr Piccoli, Mr Piper, Mr Provest, Mr Roberts, Mr Rohan, Mr Rowell, Mrs Sage, Mr Sidoti, Mrs Skinner, Mr Smith, Mr Souris, Mr Speakman, Mr Spence, Mr Stokes, Mr Stoner, Mr Toole, Ms Upton, Mr Webber, Mr R.C. Williams and Mrs Williams.

MPs who voted against the Planning Bills: Mr Barr, Ms Burney, Ms Burton, Mr Collier, Mr Daley, Mr Furolo, Mr Greenwich, Ms Hay, Mr Hoenig, Ms Hornery, Mr Lynch, Dr McDonald, Ms Mihailuk, Mr Park, Mr Parker, Mrs Perry, Mr Rees, Mr Robertson, Ms Tebbutt, Ms Watson and Mr Zangari.

29 October 2013

The Lower House debate of the NSW Govermnent's Planning Bills could occur any time between today and Thursday this week. You can check the daily program for the Lower House and watch a webcast of the Parliamentary debate (when it's on) here.

22 October 2013

Today, Minister Hazzard introduced the revised Planning Bills to the Lower House of the NSW Parliament. You can read the Bills here .  There have been some important changes made in the revised Bills but fundamental issues are still unresolved.  The BPN is currently looking at the detail of the Bills.

19 October 2013

Today, the BPN had the honour of being awarded the Nature Conservation Council of NSW 2013 Marie Byles Award For Most Outstanding New Environmental Campaign.  On behalf of the BPN, our sincere thanks to all of you who have and continue to support us and work tirelessly to protect our communities, environment and democracy!

3 October 2013

BPN Convenor Corinne Fisher debated the nsw planning laws on a panel today at the annual Local Government NSW Conference.  Other members of the panel included MInister Hazzard (NSW MInister for Planning and Infrastrcuture), Professor Ed Blakely (University of Sydney academic), Mr Chris Johnson (CEO Urban Taskforce) and Ms Melissa Watkins (Dubbo City Council). 

14 September 2013

A great day spent celebrating 42 years since the Save Kelly's Bush battle, the world's first Green Ban. Truly magical. Watch the report on ABC News here

13 September 2013

To listen to this morning's interview with Alan Jones click here.

11 September 2013

Today’s protest at Minister Hazzard's Electoral Office in Dee Why was very successful and we even made the front page of the Manly Daily (check it out here)!  Click here for photo album. So who's next?

10 September 2013

To listen to this morning's interview with Alan Jones, click here.

28 August 2013

Today’s launch of our exclusive Brad HaZZard Tape at Premier O’Farrell’s Electoral Office of Ku-Ring-Gai was just FABULOUS (click here for photo album). The event was not only incredible effective; it was also a lot of fun! 

To order your Brad Hazzard Tape, please contact us at betterplanningnetwork@gmail.com .  

20 August 2013

BPN affiliates had an AWESOME day at NSW Parliament today- together with the Nature Conservation Council, over 60 community representatives and individuals attended meetings with their local MPs to voice their concerns about the NSW planning reforms. Well done everyone!

17 August 2013

How will the Government's planning reforms affect communities? An insightful article by Nicole Hasham in the SMH today:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/critics-fearful-of-planning-reforms-20130816-2s25s.html 

15 August 2013

Today, the BPN launched its petition on Change.org asking the O' Farrell Government to withdraw its Planing Bills and start again.  The Government plans to introduce its Bills to Parliament in September 2013.  If adopted, the new legislation will result in the most significant reduction in comunity participation, environmental and heritage protection in over 30 years. To sign our petition, click here and ask your friends and networks to sign too!

14 August 2013

Planning and Infrastructure Director-General Sam Haddad has conceded that 'the proposed overhaul of planning laws has "gone further than the government intended" and has reduced the community's right to fight bad decisions':

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/top-official-admits-errors-over-draft-planning-laws-20130812-2rsht.html

30 July 2013

Today, the BPN participated in a dialogue will key stakeholders in the NSW planning review: industry, planners, lawyers, local government and environmental groups.  The session ran from 10am until 3pm and was facilitated by the University of Technology Centre for Local Government on behalf of the Department for Planning and Infrastructure. Both the Director General of Planning, Mr Sam Haddad, and the Minister for Planning, the Hon. Brad Hazzard, were in attendance.  The meeting enabled the various stakeholders to listen to each other’s positions and highlight areas of agreement and disagreement regarding the contents of the Planning Bills. 

15 July 2013

Over 60 BPN supporters attended our general meeting tonight.  There was great energy in the room, wiht lots of ideas and commitment to our campaign.  We look forward to working with you all in months to come!

8 July 2013

This afternoon, BPN representatives and several affiliates attended a consultation meeting of community groups organised by UTS (commissioned by DPI).  The Western Sydney Community Forum (a not-for-profit community organisation) helped UTS organise the meeting. It was interesting hearing a range of community stakeholders give their views on the Government's proposals.  There was a lot of common ground: it is not appropriate for economic growth to be the overall driver of our planning system.  The process was nicely faciliated by UTS but will it result in any changes to what is being proposed???

28 June 2013

Submissions on the Government's White Paper and Planning Bills closed today but our campaign is just starting to warm up! This morning, Corinne Fisher was interviewed on the Alan Jones Breakfast Show.  Missed it? You can listen here .

June 2013

Corinne Fisher, June Hefferan, Kim Mullins and Leonie Dean presented on the White Paper and Planning Bills at the following: forum organised by Alex Greenwich MP in Paddington Townhall, meeting of the Sydney Coastal Councils Group, forum at the University of Sydney Faculty of Architecture and Design students, Cessnock Council public meeting, Hunters Hill Council public meeting, Bellingen community meeting, Pittwater community meeting, Lane Cove community meeting, Greenwich community meeting, Chippendale community meeting, Castlecrag Progress Association public meeting, REDWatch/ARAG public meeting and more…Raising community awareness of the planning reforms is keeping us busy! But it’s working…

May 20 2013 - BPN Forum

On 20 May 2013, the Better Planning Network hosted a forum on the NSW planning reforms attended by 150 people at NSW Parliament House and co-hosted by the Hon. Brad Hazzard, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, the Hon. Luke Foley, MLC, Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile, MLC, Mr David Shoebridge, MLC, and Mr Alex Greenwich, Independent MP for Sydney.  Thank you to all our speakers: Mr Marcus Ray, Mr John Mant, Dr Wendy Sarkissian, Mr James Ryan, Mr Ian Sinclair, Ms Van Le, Dr Nicole Gurran and Mr David Logan.  Thank you also to Quentin Dempster for facilitating this event.  Presentations by a range of speakers can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/user/BetterPlanning