We have the Department of Planning telling us how to direct city growth for the next 20 years.
We have Regional Development Australia Central Coast to tell us what we have to do to improve the economy.
We have our modern Co-ordinator-General to make sure that everything is done in perfect harmony with all the agencies involved.
We have the Government Architect to replan central Gosford on our behalf.
We have the Greater Sydney Commission to tell us how to implement projects.
We have Planning Panels to make sure that any project of importance is kept away from any local inputs.
We have the Minister drawing up procedures for us to follow to speed up development applications – i.e., limiting interference from communities in decision-making on their future.
We even have an Administrator Mark 3 to tell us how many councillors we need to manage our affairs.
With all this help, why do we now need the involvement of the Housing Minister in setting up a Regional Housing Taskforce “to stimulate housing supply, address housing needs and promote the delivery of affordable housing” (“New regional taskforce to focus on housing supply and affordability”, CCN 304)??
Well, the clue is in the goal of “examin(ing) the obstacles in the planning system preventing new housing being brought to market”, which is poli-speak for reducing community involvement in the vetting of housing projects, so that developers can get a free run and increase their profits.
It appears that the Minister doesn’t have the same touching faith in our own Affordable and Alternative Housing Strategy as does our Administrator (probably with good reason), but this is just one more step in the minimization of local control over local affairs.
By the time we get to the next election, it will hardly seem worth the trouble of voting, because about the only thing left for our councillors to decide is how much they will rip us off in emoluments.
Email, Aug 9, 2021 Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy
Editor: Bruce Hyland is our most prolific high quality letter writer. We value his contributions so much we have given him his tagline ‘Hyland Bites’, a salute to his well reached and analytical style.