Labor promises to give planning powers back to councils

Picture: Chris Lane
Picture: Chris Lane

NSW Labor hopes to repair the "fractured relationship" between the state government and local councils if the party is elected on Saturday.

The Labor party plans to overhaul planning laws which have restricted council decision-making processes when it comes to developments across Macarthur. 

Campbelltown MP Greg Warren said the party planned to scrap developer-led spot rezoning, ensure local councils were consulted before the introduction of any legislation that may affect them, scrap the Liberals' Planned Precincts and review the misuse of state significant precincts and development.

Mr Warren said Labor would also give communities a say on the de-amalgamation of councils.

"This policy is about empowering councils and the communities those councils represent," he said.

"No-one knows what communities need more than the local residents who live and work there."

Mr Warren said the state government had ignored the input of local residents while pressing ahead with mammoth and unprecedented changes to the local area.

"Unfortunately this government has adopted a 'my way or the highway' attitude towards councils and their residents," he said.

"A NSW Labor government will listen to and acknowledge the concerns of local residents.

"This policy isn't about saying 'no' to development, it simply aims to give communities and councils the voice and respect they deserve."

NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley said a NSW Labor government would overhaul planning laws to restore transparency and fairness.

"We want a new approach to working with local government," he said.

"The Berejiklian government's heavy-handed approach to planning in Sydney has shut-out councils and communities and it is not working. I will mend this critically important relationship.

"I want to listen to locals because they are the experts when it comes to their local communities."