Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tony Kelly makes up his own reasons to help Labor Contributors

NSW Planning Minister Tony Kelly's reasons for appointing an Independent Planning Panel are simply ludicrous, apportioning blame to the Council for delays in referrals instead of the NSW Government Departments that hold up DA Processing.

When referring to LEP hold ups , he separates issues as separate LEPs when the (Draft) Comprehensive LEP (2010) is a SINGLE PROCESS that has been modified over time (in the right direction) with a lot of hard work and lobbying from the ratepayers, particularly those in and around Wollombi Valley, at least 20 of which helped at their own considerable expense.

He says "The panel will not, however, take on the role of preparing Cessnock’s new council-wide LEP. This responsibility will remain with the Council, although the Minister has asked the Department of Planning to closely monitor the progress of this important plan."

The best example of Kelly's total incompetence in this is:

DA referrals
  • Cessnock Council has one of the highest rates of DA referrals to State Government agencies, with 52% of applications requiring referral in 2008/09 (up from 43% in 07/08), compared to an average of 16% for similar councils and a State-wide average of just 11%.
  • Moreover, the average referral time for Cessnock Council in 2008/09 was 70 days (up from 55 days in 07/08), compared to 42 days for similar councils and a State-wide average of 54 days.
  • Despite referrals having a significant impact on its gross DA processing times, Council’s response did not seek to explain why there are so many referrals or why it takes longer to resolve referrals than the rest of the State.
  • Similarly, Council’s response does not provide any information on what, if anything, it is doing about the referral process which is clearly causing such delays in its DA processing.

Greens spokesperson on Planning and Local Government, Sylvia Hale says:

"Minister Kelly's failure to revoke a Part 5.5 Direction issued to Cessnock Council until 18 June 2010 has effectively tied the Council's hands in dealing with Cessnock's Draft LEP.

"The direction required the Council not to prepare any planning document that was inconsistent with an agreement between the Minister for Planning and Hardie Holdings in December 2006.

"But the Land and Environment Court in August 2009 considered the agreement amounted to a 'land bribe'. Council has been between a rock and a hard place. If it complied with the Minister's direction, it would be acting illegally. But not complying has resulted in the Minister removing the Council's planning powers."

See also Kitchener land zoning revisited after stuff up another embarrassing blunder by State Labor that they used (and are STILL using) as an excuse for stripping the powers from the 13 people we elected to our Council.

This is a NSW Government failure, not a Cessnock Council failure. How can Cessnock Council comment on why the incompetent Sydney Government can't process issues referred to them without simply saying that the departments, including Kelly's are incompetent. The people will decide on March 26.

Most of the complaints he refers to occurred in the previous Labor-dominant elected council, not the current one which have strived to clean up the filthy Labor legacy in Cessnock Council.

This is clearly a political decision from Sussex Street to control a council that Labor have lost to Independants, Greens and Liberals and to make sure their party contributors Hardie Holdings get some value from their purchased Government, in the Government's remaining 7 months in power.

Cessnock City Council have my full support in this regard. This Government has to go, especially Kerry "Of course I lied" Hickey.

It is also a perfect example of why the Hunter and New England need to form a new Northern State and separate from Sydney interests.

Sylvia Hale: Cessnock Council must resist Labor Government's imposition of Planning Panel

Cessnock Council must resist Labor Government's imposition of Planning Panel - Wollombi Valley Online News

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fwd: Appointment of Planning Panel - Wollombi Valley Online News

Fwd: Appointment of Planning Panel - Wollombi Valley Online News

Today this notification of the removal of Council's planning powers arrived from the Planning Minister Tony Kelly.

It is with utter disgust and palpable frustration I inform the wider community of the obvious implications and impact of a decision like this will have on all sides of opinion.

Those of you who took so much time and consideration in your submissions to Council regarding the LEP, will in effect, have your voices and your wishes removed.

I believe as we watch the Federal Labor Government tear itself apart, and the knives so quickly and easily drawn by State Labor toward their own, we are in for the same treatment at a Local level.

So the headway we have made as a working Council, as your representatives is taken away and a faceless panel installed to determine our futures.

Kind regards,

Clr. Cordelia Burcham

Full details including the letter from Tony Kelly here

Media Release from Tony Kelly here

Cessnock City Council Loses Planning Powers

I have been informed that the Sydney (NSW) Government has stripped Cessnock City Council of its planning powers.

The NSW Labor Party has decided to do this amidst the confusion of the outcome of the Federal Election.

The Planning Minister, Tony Kelly has appointed a Planning Panel which will consist of three people, Tim Rogers (Chair) paid $40,000 pa, Alison McCabe and Vince Berkhout at $30,000 pa each. The Council are responsible for paying the Director-General (NSW Dept Planning) the "remuneration and costs and expenses" [sic] of the panel. The panel has been appointed for a period of five years (with a review after two years), which means Cessnock Ratepayers just lost $500,000 plus expenses from their budget, due to a "closet" of politically endangered and incompetent arseholes in Sussex and Macquarie Streets, headed by Tony Kelly.


The Order was written on 11 August and Minister Kelly's letter carries a date stamp of 16 August, recieved in Cessnock on 23 August 2010 - held over to let the Federal Election pass for their little cut-throat mate Mark Arbib no doubt. It was also signed before local member Kerry Hicky's "Why I Lied" (the milkman did it) moment.

My guess is that the Labor-owned panel will make it pretty easy for huge developments like Huntlee near Branxton and Sanctuary Villages at Paxton/Millfield etc. to get up without worrying about the required infrastructure and who's funding it, nor the needs of the current community and ability of the environment to cope with the outfall (into Wollombi Brook). This seems to me to be a final bid to help out their political donors like Hardie Holdings before they get their fat arses kicked out of office in 215 days time.

Update: Sylvia Hale agrees!

Full details and the Letter from Tony Kelly here

Media Release from Tony Kelly here

Monday, August 9, 2010