Topic: nsw govt
So meet new 'planning minister' Tony Kelly who already doubles as the 'lands minister' and also meet 'new environment minister' Frank Sartor.
And notice the first item is a farewell from new Premier Keneally to her 'planning' portfolio. We haven't seen the Jacfin Pty Ltd scandal turn up in Green Party rhetoric (yet) but The Australian/Opposition pick up the threads here too.
None too encouraging for governance of NSW and notice bold added for some choice bits.
The new Premier can say they are all "merits" based but in a healthy democracy potential conflict of interests are shunned. As the good book says, you cannot serve two masters - in this situation either good policy, or ALP corporate fundraising opportunities.
The Greens likely most left wing MP in NSW is going so far as to support a hung parliament here on New Matilda. Lefty Labor are apparently meeting this weekend to regroup against the Right onslaught according to the SMH here:
"Several ALP branches, with the support of the secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Andrew Ferguson, have called a meeting of rank-and-file party members, on Saturday, to vent their anger at the dumping of Mr Rees."
in Keneally promotes Sartor and Kelly Date: December 8 2009
..................................#1 of 4
Keneally decision gives top Labor donor $3.5m windfall | The ...
ONE of Kristina Keneally's last decisions as NSW planning minister has delivered a $3.5 million windfall to Jackie Waterhouse, the mystery woman who was the biggest donor to NSW Labor between 2005 and 2007.
On October 28, Mrs Keneally, who was sworn in as Premier on Friday, used special planning powers to approve a proposal by Ms Waterhouse's private company, Jacfin, to build a warehouse complex at Erskine Park, in outer-western Sydney.
The decision was made despite serious objections by Penrith council, including that the warehouse will encroach upon a biodiversity corridor running through the Erskine Business Park.
It also overrides objections by the Planning Assessment Commission, the special body set up under Mrs Keneally to remove politics from planning decisions by dealing with large development applications where political donations are involved.
Last year, The Australian revealed that Ms Waterhouse, who was related by marriage to bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse, donated $300,000 to NSW Labor coffers between 2005 and 2007, much more than the next-largest donor, developer Kingold, which kicked in $190,000.
In a determination on September 21, the PAC raised numerous objections to the Jacfin proposal, including that it would crimp part of the biodiversity corridor -- designed to preserve the integrity of native bushland -- from a recommended width of 90m to 70m.
The PAC report concluded that "the approval of the application should be deferred until the applicant has submitted amending plans".
However, in its response to the PAC report, submitted to the Department of Planning on October 14, Jacfin refused to give ground on the corridor.
This did not prevent Mrs Keneally issuing her determination a fortnight later.
A Department of Planning spokesman said yesterday the PAC's recommendation for a 90m average width for the biodiversity corridor "would make it very difficult for a viable development to occur on the site".
The PAC's requirement for a minimum width of 70m had been met, he said.
"The PAC's recommendations helped the department negotiate a better environmental outcome for the site than what was originally proposed, whilst securing important economic and employment outcomes for the site."
Ms Waterhouse, 61, has property holdings in outer-western Sydney that are estimated to be worth more than $500m.
Rarely sighted in public, she was married to John Waterhouse, the cousin of Robbie Waterhouse.
After divorcing Mr Waterhouse in the early 1990s, she had a brief and tempestuous marriage with bookmaker and financier Robert Blann.
Ms Waterhouse did not return calls yesterday.
Local property sources have told The Australian that Ms Waterhouse's land would have gained $3.5m in value as a result of Mrs Keneally's decision.
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Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 12:36 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] (Hale MLC) When will she ever learn?
>From Sylvia Hale, Greens MP and Spokesperson for Planning
2 December 2009 - For immediate use
When will she ever learn?
Sylvia Hale MLC, Greens spokesperson for Planning, today condemned the
Minister for Planning’s promoting a development proposal at Marsden
Park that is currently being considered by her Department. The
Minister’s extolling the benefits of the development will raise
doubts about the impartiality of any decision the Department makes in
relation to the proposed rezoning.
“Minister Keneally has clearly learned nothing from the debacles of
the Catherine Hill Bay and Sweetwater developments,” said Ms Hale.
“The Land & Environment Court declared the Catherine Hill Bay
approval void because of perceptions that Minister Sartor’s decision
had been influenced by a ‘land bribe’.
“ Minister Keneally was then ignominiously forced to concede the
illegality of the Sweetwater approval on the same grounds.
“Yet only months after those decisions, we have the Minister
spruiking the alleged benefits of the Marsden Park Industrial Park
rezoning, and even going so far as to specify the number of extra jobs
that might be created and the value of road upgrades.
“It would be difficult for the Minister to be more blatant about her
support for the proposal.
“For her then to ask the public to comment on the draft plans is the
height of hypocrisy.
“Does she really expect anyone to believe that any notice will be
taken of public submissions?
“The public is well aware of how token the public submission process
is. The record shows that, despite thousands of public objections to
Part 3A developments, the Minister ends up approving almost all of
” The other ingredient common to the Marsden Park plans and Part 3A
approvals such as Catherine Hill Bay and Sweetwater, is the malevolent
influence of political donations.
“By the Minister’s own admission, the movers and shakers behind the
rezoning proposal are significant donors to the Labor, Liberal and
National parties. The Johnson Property Group has donated $494,000 to the
ALP, $136,00 to the Liberals, and $14,000 to the Nationals. Valad Funds
Management and the Winten Property Group have given $19,000 and $7,000
respectively to the ALP.
“So there we have planning NSW-style: a poisonous brew of developer
donations mixed with a perception that the Minister has made a decision
in advance of a token public submission process,” Ms Hale said.
Contact: Colin Hesse on 02 9230 3030 or 0401 719 124
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Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 3:50 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] (Hale MLC) Keneally and Kelly - new names but noreal
>From Sylvia Hale MP, Greens Spokesperson for Planning
8 December 2009 - For immediate use
Keneally and Kelly - new names but no real change
Tony Kelly’s reincarnation as the new Minister for Planning means
that NSW can look forward to no real changes to NSW’s discredited
planning laws say the Greens.
“As a former General Manager of Wellington Council, Tony Kelly is
well aware of the intense opposition within local government and the
community to Part 3A of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act and
the transfer of decision-making powers from councils to unelected
regional planning panels dominated by Ministerial appointees,” said
Sylvia Hale MLC, Greens Spokesperson for Planning.
“Only by immediately amending the Act to delete Part 3A of the Act,
by dissolving regional planning panels and rewriting the housing codes,
will Mr Kelly show that he is genuinely committed to the change the
community so desperately wants.
“But his past performance as Minister for Lands suggests that it will
be business as usual, so far as Planning is concerned.
“On the basis of his record there is little reason to hope that he
will move away from planning policies and decisions that have favoured
major donors and large corporations at the expense of residents and the
“When Lands Minister, he consistently supported for de facto
privatisation of a large portion of the Killalea State Park.
“The bankruptcy of the Mariner Finance and Babcock and Brown, major
donors to the ALP and the prime movers behind the Killalea Coastal
Developments’ proposal, gave him the opportunity to accede to the
community’s wishes and bring the Agreement to Lease deal to an end.
“But he did not do so, despite the intense public opposition to the
project and the South Coast Labor Council’s Green Ban.
“Being now both Minister for Planning and Minister for Lands, Tony
Kelly faces an intolerable conflict of interest between his role as
overseer of Crown Lands and the Minister responsible for determining
development applications for use of those lands,” said Ms Hale.
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----- Original Message -----Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:35 PMSubject: planningthis one surprises me - Tony Kelly, Minister for Planning, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Landsperhaps a vote of confidence that Sam Haddad can run the show and Kelly won't interfereand this one will generate a lot of comment but what about this -