SHOALHAVEN City councillor Andrew Guile, one of the few current councillors who served on the previous council, has taken issue with Planning Minister Brad Hazzard’s criticism of the draft local environment plan, especially the issue of transparency.
“All the meetings were open and in fact the SLEP Review Group was at almost every meeting,” he said.
“I also don’t think it was ad hoc. I voted against some where I was not confident of the submission. It wasn’t the councillors bringing the ideas – it was all based on submissions.”
In a letter to Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash, Mr Hazzard criticised the manner in which spot rezonings were proposed without justification or strategic merit. Mr Hazzard also criticised the removal of environmental protection zones around Lake Wollumboola and Culburra Beach.
Cr Guile said that there hadn’t been rezonings for years because council had been caught up in planning, so this was landowners’ chance to make changes.
He said growth was imperative in the area to avoid economic stagnation.
“The Nowra-Bomaderry plan set pretty steep targets for population growth, and we’ve fallen a long way behind. That’s led to economic stagnation and falling employment.
“Unless you meet some of these targets, the economy falls down.
“We’re really in the economic doldrums. I’m hopeful we can get this plan out on exhibition.”
He said he also disagreed with Mr Hazzard on the matter of Lake Wollumboola.
“We can’t destroy (the environment), but we need to provide more opportunity for expansion,” said.
“We shouldn’t put more roadblocks in the way of people wanting to invest.”
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