Sydneysiders want experts to decide on big development

Research released today by the Property Council of Australia shows that Sydneysiders want experts to make planning decisions on large developments, not local politicians.

The research was conducted by Newgate Australia with 1,000 residents across metropolitan Sydney and shows that while councils are rated positively at consulting with the community on developments, they are rated poorly for being open and transparent, processing development applications and on town planning.

“The research has shown us that Sydney councils should focus on strategic planning and providing better services for the community and the decisions for large development proposals should be made by independent expert panels,” Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said today

The research shows us

  • 85% agreed that politics and self-interest should be taken out of planning decisions.
  • 81% agreed that large planning decisions should be made by experts. 
  • 79% agreed that planning decisions should be made in a consistent way across councils. 
  • 75% agreed that planning panels could keep potential corruption out of planning decisions. 
  • 69% agreed that planning panels mean getting things done faster. 
  • Only 25% of respondents rated their councils positively on processing development applications
  • Only 31% of respondents rated their councils positively in being open and transparent
  • their worst ratings relate to council decisions on larger commercial and apartment building projects (23% and 25% positive respectively)

“The research backs up Glenn Steven’s recommendation in his housing affordability report to the Government that there should be mandatory independent planning panels across metropolitan Sydney and in select regional areas and that members of these panels should have relevant qualifications and no conflict of interest,” Ms Fitzgerald said

“It is a common-sense approach that has the support of the community – councils decide upon the strategic planning of their area and experts make decisions on large developments – now we just need the Government to be bold and make panels mandatory.”

Media contact:  William Power| M 0429 210 982 |   E [email protected]