Newly instated NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has announced the scrapping of Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
Part 3A allows developments to be classified as a significant site, and it allows the Minister for Planning to establish the planning regime for the site, which includes permitted land uses and zoning.
Mining projects and quarries typically come under Part 3A of project assessment.
“The days of giving the Planning Minister sweeping powers to approve developments at the stroke of a pen with virtually no consultation with local communities are over.
“That extreme power only leads to the sort of suspicion and shady deals that we have seen in NSW over the last 16 years,” O’Farrell said.
He explained that as it requires legislation, repealing Part 3A will be done in stages, however “from today, no new Part 3A applications for development will be accepted.”
Transitional arrangements will be put in place to deal with more than 500 Part 3A applications that are already in the system.
Subject to these final transitional arrangements, O’Farrell stated that he anticipated that around half of the applications will be referred back to the Planning Assessment Commission for determination.
“A further quarter will be referred to the local government for determination and others, which have been in the system for up to two years, will lapse.”
A full review of the State’s planning legislation will also be undertaken over the next 18 months.