Thursday, May 28, 2009

dacs out

report from the roundtable - 26th May
The State Government has proposed changes to the Planning Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 to establish Development Assessment committees (DACs).

The proposal is an attempt to remove councils from the planning process in activity and the widespread use of 'call in' powers for planning applications the Minister considers to be 'shovel ready'. As a further erosion of council's powers it is proposed that DACs would have 3 government appointees and 2 local government appointees, the numbers already against local government.

I was alarmed to learn of this proposal. We (councillors) have been elected as Local Government Councillors, we have been elected because our community has faith in us. By electing us our community has categorically stated they have faith in our ability to make decisions that represent the needs and aspirations of our local communities.

The establishment of DACs diminishes our ability to make decisions on behalf of our local communities and represents a loss in democratic process.

The establishment of DACs must be opposed in the strongest possible terms.

Council voted unanimously to write to the Premier and the Minister for Planning to express our concern. We will also write to our local MP, David Hodgett, taking up his offer to represent Council's position in parliament.

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