Danger in power of lobbyists to erode coastal planning policy

Media Release

>From Sylvia Hale, Greens MP, Spokesperson for Planning

6 November 2009

Danger in power of lobbyists to erode coastal planning policy

The impact of lobbyists on discussions around climate change and
planning is irresponsible and will put an immense strain on resources as
Australia and NSW seek to deal with issues around climate change,
including sea level rise, say The Greens.

“ Groups such as the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s NSW
executive, who have criticised the NSW Government’s Sea Level Rise
Policy Statement , contain representatives from some of the biggest
developers and largest political donors in NSW”, said Sylvia Hale, NSW
Greens spokesperson on Planning.

“UDIA’s NSW Branch Councillors include representatives of Boral,
Johnson Property Group, Lend Lease, Australand, Stockland, Brown
Consulting and Greenfields Development Company, who between them have
donated over $1.4 million to Labor and Coalition parties over the last
ten years. These companies are all big players in the development
industry in NSW who have a direct financial interest in opposing a
precautionary coastal planning system.

“The costs of failing to conservatively manage our coastline and
estuaries is already becoming apparent, as rises in sea level and
increased storm activity have affected existing coastal development up
and down the coast.

“Continuing coastal land releases in the same way as in the past will
cost untold millions of dollars as State and Local Governments will be
expected to clean up the mess as low lying lands are permanently
inundated, and beaches and estuaries erode.

“The repudiation of the climate science by property developers is an
appalling example of naked self interest and deserves the strongest
condemnation. These companies are interested in nothing but their own
short-term interests, and it is the role of government to act in the
long-term interests of people and the environment.

“Already real sea level rise data indicates nearly half a metre rise
by 2050, and that’s before melting ice caps are taken into account.

“Many people around NSW will no doubt share the concerns of The
Greens that the relationship between the development industry, the
Government and Opposition is such that the very proper concerns raised
in the NSW Sea Level Policy Statement will be overridden. Once again the
development lobby is looking to win out over the broader interests of
the people and environment of NSW”, said Ms Hale.

 Further information: Colin Hesse (02) 9230 3030 or 0401 719 124

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