The pressure to preserve …
  • Thursday 31 July 2008

Preserving elected members rights to determine Development Applications

Council today agreed to support the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) campaign to secure elected member’s rights to determine development applications at a time when there is growing pressure to remove Councillors from the process, replacing them with independent assessment panels.

The power to determine the vast majority of development applications has been a fundamental right of local governments since their inception and goes to the core of governing locally.

This core function enables Council to interpret community desire in detail through the preparation of local environment plans that will keep the Sunshine Coast green, vibrant and sustainable.

Russell Green, Councillor for the Statutory and Regional Planning portfolio said Council believes democratically elected, accountable Councillors should be the ultimate assessment managers and that Council was working to improve its Development Application (DA) processes.

“This Council does not support independent assessment panels determining DA’s and takes full responsibility for its role as the ‘development manager’ under IDAS,” Cr Green said.

“Council believes assessment panels should be limited to act only in an advisory role and backs the LGAQ to ensure our decision making powers aren’t eroded further.

“Only by having the ability to decide can we be responsive to community expectations and we are working to improve the through new delegation procedures, electronic tracking of all development applications and active membership of the South East Queensland e-DA process.”

Council’s support of the LGAQ’s position at today’s Ordinary Meeting comes at the same time as the Queensland Minister for Infrastructure and Planning’s call for nominations for the independent assessment panel for the Blackall Range, recently declared an iconic place under the Iconic Queensland Places Act 2008.