planning
Luke Achterstraat,has endorsed the panels. Image: LinkedIn and Canva.
  • Last year, the independent panel approved $17B of developments
  • New homes are well below target needed to keep up with demand: PCA NSW

The independent planning panels that have been instrumental in approving $17B worth of development including aged care facilities, thousands of new homes and even a planetarium in the last financial year have been endorsed by the Property Council of Australia (PCA).

Luke Achterstraat, Property Council Executive Director NSW, believes planning and property were the key to economic recovery last year and that a strong pipeline of activity is critical to replicate this in 2021-22.

“We need expedited planning approvals to underpin economic recovery off the back of this current lockdown,” Mr Achterstraat said.

Mr Achterstraat said by having an independent, fair and transparent approach, local panel panels ensure decision get made based on their merits and those that make local planning decisions are experts.

“Local planning panels are a critical part of the planning process and need to be genuinely independent to help make good planning decisions for local communities,” he said.

“They are also a corruption prevention measure endorsed by former Deputy Police Commissioner, Nick Kaldas, as part of his review of the planning system.”

Luke Achterstraat, Property Council

He added that he encouraged the Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, to continuously look at ways to improve the NSW planning system via reform.

“In May the NSW Productivity Commission released his White Paper with 60 recommendations for increased productivity in the state, with housing, infrastructure and planning reform being the key to unlocking productivity across the state.”

“It is more important than ever that these recommendations are front of mind for economic recovery driven by planning reform and housing delivery.

“The success of the planning panels in delivering approximately 27,000 new homes and 52,000 jobs across the State.”

While he acknowledged this is “a good start” he noted it is well below the 40,000 new homes the state needs.

“Homes and jobs should be the immediate priority of this government, two things we’ve never valued more than during a lockdown.

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