News in November

Decision time

The Association President and Committee Convenor had a second meeting with the Planning Minister’s senior policy staff on 26 November, to explain how a high quality civic space can be achieved in front of the Victoria Cross metro station (under construction).

In a subsequent letter to Planning Minister Stokes – also Minister for Public Spaces – the Committee said the choice is between a commercial office tower with overcrowded private space outside and no public purpose inside, or a significant contribution to the emerging heart of the North Sydney city centre.

We proposed to the Minister that ‘representatives of DPE Public Spaces, Sydney Metro, RMS, North Sydney Council, Lendlease and the Committee for North Sydney confer and report back to you on options for creating the best possible legacy for the Metro in North Sydney.’

Another round of ‘reform’

On 27 November the NSW Government announced new reforms for planning. Despite recent and recurrent efforts by both sides of politics to simplify the planning and approval process, it seems that approvals are still too slow, and nimbys still have too much influence.

Jeremy Dawkins wrote a brief paper on what this is all about. And here is the short version, published in the SMH on 29 November.