Member for Ballina Don Page has called on local residents to let Planning Minister Frank Sartor hear loud and clear that his proposed ‘compulsory acquisition’ powers are completely unacceptable to our local community.

“Local residents can make a difference by writing or emailing Minister Sartor to tell him that we won’t accept our land being taken compulsorily by the Planning Minister and on-sold to developers,” Mr Page said.

“These powers go well beyond the current compulsory acquisition powers that only allow a public authority to acquire privately owned land for a ‘public purpose’ (eg a road, school etc).

“It is totally unacceptable that the Planning Minister can compulsorily acquire private land and re-sell it to developers for a profit (as part of an urban renewal or land release project).

“State Labor are already trying to cut down on community input to planning issues, through Labor’s draft planning Bill.

“Minister Sartor and State Labor have a track record of not listening to the community but on this compulsory acquisition issue it is critical they hear the message.

“Residents who have worked hard to get their home and provide for their families should not be subject to Minister Sartor’s whims.

“Minister Sartor is proposing that a Government agency or council could take residents’ homes and on-sell them to developers either for a profit or for some other deal.

“This State Labor Government has shown itself through Wollongong Council and its Hunter dealings to be too close to developers.

“This is extremely dangerous legislation in that it is a direct attack on individual property rights.

“Residents united can send a clear message to make Labor rethink its despicable proposed compulsory acquisition powers.”