The Hunter JO recently collaborated with our Member Councils to prepare a regional submission on proposed amendments to the Environment Planning & Assessment Act Regulation.
This submission identified support from Councils for the proposed changes and the anticipated benefits these will have in simplifying the planning system. However, the submission also identified significant concerns shared by Councils around:
- The imposition of additional administrative and cost burdens on Councils, particularly in an environment where Member Councils have already experienced a rise in development applications of around 25% during the COVID pandemic, and are entering a peak period in the Integrated Planning and Reporting Cycle
- Incompatible timing of key reforms identified in the draft regulation with the corporate and budgetary planning cycles of Councils
A suite of technical comments on individual clause amendments were also collated from Councils and presented in the regional submission.