The Running Stream Water Users Association is a community action group established in 1991 to protect the water resource of the Ilford/Running Stream area at the gateway to Central New South Wales. Our membership base comprises over 100 individuals who are all deeply concerned about the proposed Planning White Paper.
Most alarmingly, this document has removed any mention of Ecologically Sustainable Development and in doing so has put our prime agricultural lands at risk.
Furthermore, our democratic right to have a say in development in our area has been limited to community consultation in the up front strategic planning stage reviewed every four years. We believe it is our right to have an input in every stage of development and that we should have avenues to appeal against a decision that effects the long term viability of our community such as coal mining. As it stands, the proposed reforms give the Minister too much power to favour developer interests over community needs. We ask you to remove sections 9.6 (3) and 10.12 2 (c) and give the community full appeal rights against mining and other state significant developments.
The basis for any good planning reforms in the 21st century should be environmental sustainability and yet the White Paper champions economic growth over sustainability. Climate change, the biggest problem facing the world today, is not even mentioned in the document. This gross oversight should be addressed as a matter of urgency.
We ask you to ensure that Environmental Impact Assessments include a Health Impact Assessment and ensure that there are stringent limits on cumulative air, noise, water and carbon emissions, all monitored in a transparent and compliant manner.
We also ask that Local Councils be given the right to veto mining operations in their areas. Local Councils are the tier of government closest to the people and must be empowered to act in the best the interest of their constituents, not the State and not developers.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment and we trust that you will seriously take on board our comments.