Minns and Scully taking NSW down the road to Planning Road corruption and Ruin

Australian Greens

Alistair Henskens has revealed last night, 8 February, that a senior bureaucrat in the NSW Department of Planning is under investigation for insider trading and that there has been a referral to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The Government is currently struggling to deliver their housing and development program and are clearing away the checks and balances that should actually be strengthened to ensure our public services are well governed.

Greens MP Sue Higginson, spokesperson for planning and planning and environment lawyer with decades of experience said “It is unsurprising that the Minns Labor Government is now under another cloud of corruption with insider trading allegations within the Planning system,”

“The Government has been grappling with measures to streamline planning with a top down approach, appeasing developer pressure, playing divisive Nimby Yimby politics and further undermining the critical protections in the system. The system has consultation and environmental assessment as key protections and these must be strengthened, not weakened,”

“Minns and Scully need to pause and remember the sordid history of corruption under the last Labor Government as they navigate their development delivery program. They both seem insistent on top down, secretive, last minute need-to-know plans for increasing housing densities in urban areas and their newly coined Transport Oriented Development Program,”

“NSW cannot afford another Frank Sartor, Eddie Obeid or Ian Macdonald. The Greens have genuine concern that senior Ministers, and the Premier, are sleepwalking into genuinely dangerous territory. The planning system is a haven for opportunity and it’s where corruption happens. They have to wake up, correct the course, and re-engage with genuine consultation programs from communities to councils and beyond,”

“What we heard last night about a fresh referral to ICAC from the Minns Government, the second since the election, is deeply troubling and a sign that all is far from well. The Coalition were plagued by corruption in planning decisions and instead of clearing decks after the election, Labor are doubling down on mistakes before tackling the systemic solutions that we have called for,”

“The Planning Minister must reach out and do what he should have started on day 1. Consult with the Parliament, consult with councils and communities, and consult with independent experts outside of the developer lobby. It’s not too late to correct the course, but they have to act now,” Ms Higginson said.

/Public Release. View in full here.