Erosion of democracy on the Coast

Letters to the editor

[Forum] I can’t agree more with Member for Gosford Liesl Tesch, that the Central Coast Planning Panel is simply a rubber stamp for development (coastcommunitynews.com.au).

Coupled with advocacy from developer front groups like the UDIA and their obvious influence and infiltration into council planning issues, we have seen a steady erosion of democratic principles on the Central Coast.

Our democratically elected councillors now have no say in planning of significant developments while ratepayers are expected to continue to fund these now largely defunct positions.

To add insult to injury the State Planning Minister, who forced the council to accept the Planning Panel, also expects the community to cough up the $400k to pay for it, with the Mayor advising that the Council has to go cap in hand to the state government to try to cover the costs of running the panel.

Given this appalling state of affairs, it’s reassuring to see concerned citizens form the Central Coast Community Better Planning Group (CCCBPG) trying to push back against the developers to protect our environment and traditional heritage.

It’s hard to imagine how an insidious process like this was allowed to take place under the very noses of community members who voted for councillors to uphold the planning guidelines which were developed in consultation with the local community.

Email, Jun 29
Dr Tahir Turk, Springfield

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