Environmental planning instruments (SEPPs) report released

The NSW Legislative Council Regulation Committee Inquiry into Environmental Planning Instruments (SEPPs) released its report today.

Unfortunately the committee has not recommended that disallowance apply to SEPPs. It is difficult to understand the basis on which the committee has not recommended that disallowance apply to SEPPs. The argument put forward by the Property Council and Minerals Council that the applicability of disallowance would be inconvenient, and unnecessary if consultation were improved, appears to have been accepted uncritically.

However, it's pleasing to see that our evidence was considered and that the report did recommend increased scrutiny and consultation processes be implemented which leads to some improvement.

As Greens MLC Abigail Boyd said in her dissenting statement:

"As a general rule, all delegated instruments of a legislative nature should be disallowable in order to better protect the constitutional principles of democratic oversight and parliamentary sovereignty. It is the Greens' view that no compelling reason was put forward during this inquiry for why that general rule should be abandoned in the case of SEPPs. On the contrary, given that SEPPs cover a wide variety of issues, can override primary legislation and can have a direct and significant impact on the rights and interests of individuals, the case for SEPPs to be disallowable instruments is particularly strong."

More information: read our submission.