In brief

13 October 2010

The NSW Government has rejected a planning proposal (as part of the new gateway process) in the Eurobodalla Shire that would have permitted the redevelopment of a privately owned golf course as a tourist facility that includes 90 permanent dwellings.

The rejection followed a favourable council officers report to the Eurobodalla Shire Council Policy and Strategy Committee meeting. The Council’s report may be accessed from here. In media reports of the decision, Planning Minister Tony Kelly is quoted saying that: “It’s an inappropriate location for urban residential development, and the proponent didn’t demonstrate that the associated tourism development required permanent residential development.”  Minister for Planning’s media release is here.

The NSW Government is offering councils a share in funding under its $10 million LEP Acceleration Fund. It is hoped that this funding will assist with the delivery of comprehensive LEPs across the state. The Minister for Planning’s media release is available here.

The Draft BioBanking Assessment Methodology (version 2) is on exhibition until 19 November 2010. This methodology will be used to assess biodiversity values at development and biobank sites and sets the rules to measure the impacts on native vegetation, threatened species habitat and threatened species. Some changes have been suggested to “simplify” assessment and credit profile; “broaden” offset rules and “improve the clarity” of the red flag variation criteria. Exhibited material may be accessed from here.  The Urban Taskforce has been critical of the highly restrictive nature of the original methodology, so we are interested in member feedback on this second version.

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority has effectively become part of the Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA). The existing board has now been dissolved, and the Chief Executive of the LPMA, Warwick Watkins, and the Department of Planning Director General, Sam Haddad, now form the Board. More information is here.

The Federal Government has released for public consultation an exposure draft of legislation that will increase the flexibility of first home saver accounts. First home saver accounts allow people to save for their first home through a combination of government contributions and lower taxes. Submissions can be made until 4 November 2010. Details are here.

The Senate has appointed a Select Committee on New Taxes to hold an inquiry into a carbon tax and will also consider alternatives, such as “direct action” measures (e.g. increased building energy efficiency). More information is here.