September 23, 2019

The NSW Minerals Council has launched a public advertising campaign calling for urgent changes to the NSW planning system to protect NSW jobs and the economy.

The campaign commences today with initial print, radio and online advertising highlighting how the broken NSW planning system is costing jobs and investment in NSW, particularly in the regions.  

Launching the campaign, NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the decision to initiate the campaign was not taken lightly and comes after months of engagement and warnings to the Minister for Planning and others in the government about the risk of the planning system to jobs and investment.

“While the Deputy Premier and others in the NSW Government have shown strong support for mining projects and mining communities, the Planning Minister seems oblivious to the damage being done by the crisis in his planning system, especially in the regions.”

“The industry has repeatedly warned the Planning Minister of the risks to the NSW economy and has been reassured that reforms to planning timeframes and processes would be pursued. However, no action has been taken and the problems have only gotten worse. These issues reached crisis point last week following the Independent Planning Commission’s (IPC) decision to refuse consent for the Bylong Project,” Mr Galilee said.

“This project, near the regional towns of Kandos and Rylstone has broad support from these local communities, the local regional council, and local MPs.  The Department of Planning recommended the project be approved and none of the 14 government agencies consulted on the project objected. Yet the IPC chose to ignore all this and refused the project, apparently giving greater weight to ‘cut-and-paste’ form letters from anti-mining activists from as far away as Sydney’s North Shore.”

“This refusal has meant the loss of 1,100 jobs for the local region and over a billion dollars in investment to NSW, and yet the Minister seems happy to let these opportunities slip away.”

“This goes beyond the mining sector. The NSW planning system has become a lottery for all major developments. A lengthy and costly assessment process taking years and involving multiple government departments and agencies can deliver a positive recommendation, and then be ignored by an unelected, unaccountable panel of part-time appointees from the IPC. This is simply not sustainable in a modern economy.”

“The NSW Government needs to take back control of the planning system. The role of the IPC must change. The increase in assessment timeframes must be addressed. Consistency and certainty must be restored. Projects should be assessed and determined against NSW Government policy within acceptable timeframes, or more jobs and investment will be lost.” 

Contact: Hugo Robinson | | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419


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