The four North Coast Nationals State MPs, Geoff Provest (Tweed), Steve Cansdell (Clarence), Don Page (Ballina) and Thomas George (Lismore), have voted in the NSW Parliament against the State Labor Government’s changes to the NSW planning system.
Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest said the new laws passed by Labor would transfer more power from the North Coast to Sydney.
“In the Tweed we have already been denied local democracy for the past three years. This is a further blow against local residents and businesses,” Mr Provest said, referring to a decision to sack the local council.
Clarence Nationals MP Steve Cansdell described the laws as a Sydney cash grab benefiting big developers.
“Planning Minister Frank Sartor’s law is a free-for-all for the developers who donate so much cash to Labor,” Mr Cansdell said.
Ballina Nationals MP Don Page opposed the changes on environmental grounds, saying they would allow the State Government to approve projects without taking into account local sustainability issues.
“There is no way planners in Sydney can properly take into account local concerns, particularly in relation to environmental sustainability,” Mr Page said.
Lismore Nationals MP Thomas George said the new law took away the rights of the public to object to neighbours’ projects, or even just get prior information about them.
“It also reduces the amount of Section 94 contributions our councils need to provide critical infrastructure like local roads, parks and libraries,” Mr George said.
The MPs said North Coast residents could register their views on the subject by visiting the Local Government and Shires Association campaign website at www.keepitlocal.org.au