NSW Government review of the Independent Planning Commission

October 19, 2019

The NSW Government’s review of the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) is an acknowledgement of the strong concerns held by many regarding the role and processes of the IPC within the NSW planning system.  


On behalf of our member companies the NSW Minerals Council has been highlighting these concerns to the NSW Government for some time, and we welcome this review. 


We also support the review’s broad terms of reference and timeframe. It is important that this review be comprehensive and that it is completed quickly. Most importantly, this review must be geared to deliver the changes needed to restore confidence in the planning system so that more investment and jobs are not lost to NSW.


The IPC’s current role in the planning system has meant important decisions on jobs and investment have been taken away from the NSW Government and instead left up to an unelected part time panel that is not bound by NSW Government policy. This has led to significant uncertainty and inconsistency in assessment outcomes, costing jobs and investment for NSW, as seen in recent decisions on the Bylong and Dartbrook projects.


Issues with the processes of the IPC were highlighted by the recent bungle of the Rix’s Creek South approval. This debacle followed recent IPC determinations on the Bylong and Dartbrook projects, where the advice of a wide range of departments and agencies including the Department of Planning was ignored, costing NSW over a billion dollars in investment and more than 1200 desperately needed regional jobs.  


The IPC review must therefore also include an investigation into how and why these recent determinations were reached contrary to the advice and recommendations of the Department of Planning and other NSW Government departments and agencies following comprehensive and detailed assessments.




ENDS

Contact: Hugo Robinson | hrobinson@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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