Sydney, ANZAC and Glebe Island Bridges, Sydney - photo Marghanita

Ecologically Sustainable Sydney


Submission to the NSW Planning System Review Issues Paper 1 March 2012

Marghanita da Cruz
Telephone: 0414-869202

B1. What should be included in the objectives of new planning legislation?

The objectives of the new legislation should incorporate:

B2.Should ecologically sustainable development be the overarching objective of new planning legislation?

Yes and the precautionary principal being applied to the scope and whole of life ecological impact.

The scope of ecological impact should include biodiversity, energy use, water use, timeframe for renewing resource, whether resource is renewable resource use, waste and human life support (governance, transport, health, education etc).

Information technology and a new planning system

The current plannining Information and Technology (IT) systems simply digitises paper records.

Adopting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the following ways would deliver process efficiencies, and meet the objectives of the Legislation.

  1. IT Systems should be in the cloud available across regions which may straddle LGAs and possibly state boundaries.
  2. Software should be open source and compliant with HTML Accessibility Standards. This submission is also available in HTML at
  3. Provision of RSS Feeds would enable monitoring of lodgment and progress of Development Applications by Post Code.
  4. Provision of RSS Feeds could be used to alert stakeholders to comment period, commencement of work, issuing of construction certificates, building certificates, demolition, removal of asbestos, heritage protection, imposition of conditions of consent etc.
  5. Enable Better use of Email for notification and comments
  6. Provide a Dashboard and Regular quarterly reports on a variety of parameters
  7. System should allow for online comments. Information should be provided in such a way to enable comments to be linked to relevant parts of a DA and all comments on relevant parts to be available. Also version control on components of Application so that changes can be tracked and links to related comments are not lost.
  8. More transparent identification and accessibility of applicable planning instruments.
  9. Open standards should be the objective for plans and information provided so that this can be verified.
  10. Particularly in urban areas there should be a long term aim to build up a virtual model and to slot proposed developments into and out of the model. Visualisation will aid impact assessments such as shadow diagrams, bulk and scale and impact on infrastructure.
  11. E-Learning modules about the legislation should be available for all classes of Stakeholders
  12. Comprehensive Competency Based E-Learning for Councilors and Staff of LGA and State Agencies covering Legislation, Codes of Conduct, Privacy, GIPA, Security, Records Management and Archiving eg.COMP7420: Electronic Document and Records Management. 1.COMP7420: Electronic Document and Records Management.
  13. Local Libraries should become a place where assistance can be sought in accessing systems including E-Learning.
  14. Data in Planning IT systems should be relied upon and be the evidence for reviews and appeals.
  15. There should be a standard template for lodgment and publishing development applications for public comment and assessments – integrating applicable instruments such as Legislation, LEP, DCP, Flood Studies and Infrastructure Plans (Transport, Sewerage, Water, Energy, Health, Education, Telecommunications)
  16. The system should extend to include review and appeals -ie the Land and Environment Court's judgments should be posted to the system – in context but also available for searching.
  17. Text in all documents must be computer searchable
  18. Timely Access to all documents should be consistent with Transparency and Accountability objectives of the Legislation.
  19. Support an independent complaints system under an Ombudsman or similar framework

Submission to the NSW Planning System Review Issues Paper Marghanita da Cruz, 1 March 2012 0414-869202 Submission-Marghanita-da-Cruz-1-March-2012.shtml © Ramin Communications 2008-2012. Last modified 29 Nov 2013.