NSW Planning Minister has opportunity to set the Framework for the State’s Future

The new Planning Minister in NSW, Rob Stokes, has a great opportunity to restructure the planning system to ensure the state’s future, says the Urban Taskforce.

“The Urban Taskforce congratulates Rob Stokes on becoming the NSW Planning Minister and we look forward to a fruitful relationship,” says the Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson. “We have worked effectively with Rob in his previous portfolio and we appreciate his detailed understanding of the planning portfolio and the importance of balancing community issues with industry productivity.”

“There are a number of reform areas in planning that did not reach a satisfactory solution during the last term of the government and Minister Stokes will need to get hold of this unfinished business quickly to bed down the governance structure and the legislative framework. The previous White Paper on Planning Reform raised the need to rethink zoning, strategic planning, to extend complying development and generally simplify our complex planning system. A crucial issue will be how communities are constructively involved in the planning process without frustrating potential investment in much needed new housing.”

“The new minister will also need to work with the Minister for Local Government on the potential reforms of local government so that an effective system evolves. This will include the urgent establishment of the Greater Sydney Commission and how this body is able to ensure the delivery of housing and jobs targets while involving reformed local governments.”

“The Urban Taskforce also welcomes the Assistant Minister for Planning, Minister for the Environment and for Heritage, Mark Speakman, and we look forward to an excellent working relationship with him.”

“The continuation of Paul Toole as Local Government Minister is good news as we believe he is doing an excellent job in driving reform in local government and this must continue through this term of government.”

The new Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, will be an important person in shaping the future of the state’s urban areas. The infrastructure commitments from the government particularly in the area of metro rail will be critical to where new development occurs across metropolitan Sydney.”

“We congratulate all Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries on their appointments and look forward to a smooth, effective government team driving the future prosperity of NSW.”

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