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Sylvia Hale and Deborah Lilly Discuss the NSW Planning Crisis

Sylvia Hale and Deborah Lilly Discuss the NSW Planning Crisis

VIDEO: Sylvia hale and Deborah Lilly discuss the draft NSW Centres Policy
Sylvia Hale, Greens MLC, visited Mullumbimby this week as part of a regional tour which included Lismore and Hastings Point. On Wednesday Deborah Lilly and Sylvia discussed some of the current pressing planning issues, including section 3A and the Provisional Centres Policy. See for an article on the now infamous section 3A of the planning Act.

THE DRAFT CENTRES POLICY: Planning for Retail and Commercial Development.
This document can be viewed on the NSW Department of Planning website and is open for public comment. We understand from Sylvia’s comments that this is a very scary piece of legislation, which will lead to  a “Shopping Mall Arms Race”.

The new Draft Policy is an amendment to the current Centres Policy. Briefly, it proposes that large shopping malls, bulk goods stores and other super barns etc can be built wherever developers decide. The current legislation specifies that they must be built adjacent to railway corridors, public transport, bus routes etc.

The new policy removes local council and community input and says that the market should control where these big shopping centres go; therefore they could be built almost anywhere. The main proponents of this idea are Coles and you guessed it, Woolworths. They would be able to increase their market share and push out independents such as IGA, and the strip shopping centres. To boot, the existing shopping mall operators such as Centro and Westfield would be at a disadvantage, so they would be forced to get involved in a kind of shopping mall arms race with Coles and Woolworths. This would be a disaster for communities and the environment as mega malls need vast car parks, water and sewerage, air-conditioning etc. They depend on intensive use of oil and especially the motor car.

Please go to and make a submission.    

Solutions to the Planning Problem; Strong and Vibrant Community Action

Sylvia Hale Greens MP discussed practical solutions to the infamous planning laws in New South Wales. Strong and determined community resistance is needed and  can be very successful.
In this video Sylvia talks with Deborah Lilly from MCAN Mullumbimby about the Woolworths proposal and says there is a groundswell of public anger and resistance to inappropriate development all over the state. The government will ignore this at its peril. It could easily be swept from power at the ballot box and  or face intense opposition and pressure from the constituents.

Sylvia mentioned the effect of the Green bans and the resistance to major development in Sydney in the late 1970s. As a result of that pressure the then Wran  labor government passed the groundbreaking EPA act in 1979.

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