COUNCILLORS STRIPPED OF POWER TO VOTE ON DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS
In 2017, the NSW State Government introduced new rules for the determination of development applications. The changes are mandatory for all councils in Sydney and Wollongong and are intended to combat the risk of corruption and conflict of interest.
The State Government has stripped councillors of the power to vote on development applications. Development applications under 5 million dollars will be determined by council staff.
Each Council must have a Local Planning Panel consisting of 3 independent experts and 1 community member.
Councillors, property developers and real estate agents are ineligible to be members.
Panel members are required to have expertise in one or more of the following fields: Planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering tourism or government and public administration.
The following types of development applications will be determined by Local Planning Panels.
- DA’s worth between 5 million and 30 million dollars
- DA’s where there is conflict of interest e.g. the applicant’s a councillor or council staff member.
- DA’s which receive 10 or more objections from 10 different Households.
- DA’s that seek to depart more than 10% from development standards.
- DA’s associated with a higher risk of corruption e.g. residential flat buildings, demolition of heritage items, licenced places of public entertainment and sex industry premises.
Development applications worth more than 30 million dollars will be determined by Regional Planning Panels.
The Sydney South Planning Panel is one of 6 regional Planning Panels in Sydney. It consists of 3 expert members appointed by the State Government and 2 Council representatives
Contact NSW Department of Planning. 92286111for any further information
Reports for full Council meetings and meetings of the Planning and Growth, Infrastructure, Services, Corporate Governance, Traffic and Safety Committees and the Local Planning Panel are available. All papers have a clear index and information is easily accessible.
You can view Council meeting dates and business papers on Council’s website