08 October 2008
A recommendation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption to give the new regional panels greater authority to decide development applications will reduce corruption risks, according to the Urban Taskforce.
The governments current proposals will only see these panels dealing with the very largest of developments residential developments with a project value of $50 million or more and other developments of value $20 million or more.
Most major urban developments are in the $5 million to $30 million range, Mr Gadiel said.
These larger developments need to be taken out of the hands of suburban and regional councils and instead given to the new regional panels.
The majority of each panel is to be made up of independent experts.
These panels will inject a lot more rigour into decision making and strengthen community confidence in the planning system.
Mr Gadiel said the Wollongong saga had been an absolute disgrace.
The behaviour at Wollongong City Council revealed by the ICAC is sickening.
As an industry were pleased that the States corruption watchdog indentified and exposed this serious wrong-doing.
Its also crucial that – as a community – we dont let our justifiable disgust at corruption blind us to the essential role of property development.
Property development helps solve major social and economic problems.
Wollongong, in particular, has suffered enough.
With one of States highest rates of unemployment in excess of 8 per cent the Illawarra needs more development to secure its social and economic future.
The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group.