1 March 2023
Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has revealed the results of a survey of residents of his electorate on local planning and development issues.
The survey concluded on 1 February and represents 552 residents.
“I have always believed that local communities should have a greater say in the future of our urban environment. Overwhelmingly, this is also the view of our local community,” Mr Ward said.
“51% of respondents strongly agreed that the current planning system is flawed and that the views and opinions of local residents should have far greater weight by decision makers in determining planning and development applications. Only 3 % of respondents strongly disagreed with this statement.
“And these flaws are clearly leading to community dislocation and frustration with the NSW planning system with 72% of respondents disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the proposition that they felt adequately consulted on planning and development decisions.
“According to respondents, a significant problem is that too many decisions are being centralised in Sydney with 47% of people surveyed concerned that their feedback is removed from the planning process. Only 2% of people strongly disagreed with the centralisation of the planning process.
“Resident responses were mixed on solutions to planning and housing issues with on 19% strongly agreeing that higher densities in towns and villages was the answer to preventing urban sprawl.
“On the question of future growth and development at the Bombo Quarry, 55% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that this would be an excellent site for housing.
“20% of respondents strongly believed that more needed to be done to progress social and affordable housing.
“I strongly believe that much more needs to be done to fix the NSW planning system. Its degree of existing legal complexities undermine the confidence of both investors and conservationists.
“Should I be re-elected to Parliament, I am committed to working with both sides of politics to returning planning powers back to local communities and ensuring local communities have a greater say in the future of their urban environment,” Mr Ward said.