IPC Reform good news for Planning in NSW

The Urban Taskforce CEO, Tom Forrest today welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s report into the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) and congratulated the Minister for Planning, Robert Stokes for immediately committing to implement all its recommendations.

“The changes will mean that Commissioners will be more focussed on planning decisions.  They will no longer be able to go on their own flights of legal fancy. Where there is ambiguity in policy, they will be allowed to seek advice from DPIE or the Minister”, Mr Forrest said.

“By increasing the professional planning focus of the commissioners and the secretariat, the IPC will be less likely to be bulldozed by organised community action groups and will focus, as they should, on planning merit.

“The Urban Taskforce calls on the Minister to ensure that the new appointments reflect a balance of appointees with high level planning skills and direct planning experience.  The Chair, in the new more formal role recommended, should be a person experience in Government, governance, policy and planning.  This position should be made a full-time position”, Mr Forrest said.

Many of the Report’s recommendations reflect the proposed in the Urban Taskforce submission to the Productivity Commissioner.  This was noted and welcomed by Mr Forrest.

“The Productivity Commission’s recommendations relating to governance, independence, performance, and process are fully supported by the Urban Taskforce.

“But there is a lot more planning reform to be done if we are to deliver the 40,000 new homes required every year for Sydney to meet population growth and for housing prices to be prevented from spiralling.

“The Urban Taskforce welcomes the Government’s focus on planning reform and congratulates the Minister and the Productivity Commission for this start in that process.

“In 2019, development approvals fell to 2012-13 levels. This must be reversed to put downward pressure on housing prices”, Mr Forrest said

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