Developers should not be rewarded for donations scandal

"Developers donated millions of dollars to the Labor Party’s election campaign. They employed a Labor Party insider to head one of their main lobby groups." "Since being elected Labor has pushed ahead with proposals for the biggest re-write of planning laws since the 1970s with the stated aim of making it quicker and easier for developers to get their projects approved." "Labor did not disclose to the public that it intended to change the planning laws but does anyone doubt that this was being discussed at those Labor fundraising dinners to which the developers turned out in force," said Ms Hale. "The public are now deeply suspicious of just what the developers were expecting in return for their political donations, yet the developers continue to lobby for the government to push ahead with planning laws changes that cut the community out of planning decisions." "The developers" suggestion of so-called independent panels is exposed by what has happened at Ku-ring-gai where planning powers were taken from the Council and handed over to a panel and the Minister appointed a former development industry lobbyist as chairperson. The panel subsequently recommended a big increase in the areas to be zoned for development." "Planning panels are not independent when they are made up of people who work in and for the development and construction industry." "There is greater accountability when planning decisions rest with elected Councils rather than appointed panels," said Ms Hale. For more information: Chris Holley 02 9230 3030, 0437 779 546 Originally from