From Property Council of Australia: 

Research released today by the Property Council of Australia shows that Sydneysiders want experts to make planning decisions on large developments, not local politicians.

The research was conducted by Newgate Australia with 1,000 residents across metropolitan Sydney and shows that while councils are rated positively at consulting with the community on developments, they are rated poorly for being open and transparent, processing development applications and on town planning.

“The research has shown us that Sydney councils should focus on strategic planning and providing better services for the community and the decisions on development proposals worth more than $10million should be made by independent expert panels,” Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said today.

The research shows us:

  • 85% agreed that politics and self-interest should be taken out of planning decisions.
  • 81% agreed that planning decisions for developments worth more than $10 million should be made by experts.
  • 79% agreed that planning decisions should be made in a consistent way across councils.
  • 75% agreed that planning panels could keep potential corruption out of planning decisions.
  • 69% agreed that planning panels mean getting things done faster.
  • Only 25% of respondents rated their councils positively on processing development applications.
  • Only 31% of respondents rated their councils positively in being open and transparent.
  • The worst ratings relate to council decisions on larger commercial and apartment building projects (23% and 25% positive respectively).

“The research backs up Glenn Stevens’ recommendation to the Premier that there should be mandatory independent planning panels across metropolitan Sydney and in select regional areas and that members of these panels should have relevant qualifications and no conflict of interest,” Ms Fitzgerald said

“It is a common-sense approach that has the support of the community – councils should set the rules and strategic objectives for their communities and then let experts make the decisions about whether developments comply.

“The Government should be bold and make panels mandatory.”