On Tuesday night, Labor Candidate Andrew Zbik attended the Lane Cove Planning Alliance forum at the Lane Cove Community Hub to discuss the St Leonards South and Crows Nest development projects. Lane Cove Mayor Pam Palmer, Greens spokesperson for Planning David Shoebridge and the Member for Lane Cove and NSW Minister for Housing and Planning Anthony Roberts MP were also in attendance.
The packed room of passionate and well-informed locals had many questions, particularly for Mr Roberts.
During his speech, Mr Zbik asked Mr Roberts to grant a moratorium on planning proposals that has been previously requested by the Lane Cove Council. The purpose of a moratorium is to allow the St Leonards and Crows Nest Draft 2036 Plan to be finalised and confirm what infrastructure will be provided before any further rezonings and substantial residential developments are commenced.
Mr Roberts' answer did not satisfy either Mr Zbik or the audience.
On the 25th September, Mr Roberts told local blog In The Cove that "that the Greater Sydney Commission is the body responsible for considering any council requests for a moratorium or deferral of planning proposals." In the Cove asked Mr Roberts about the request for a moratorium on planning proposals across the Lane Cove Local Government Area. He said "It's not my call".
At Tuesday night's forum, several members of the audience asked Mr Roberts who can grant such a moratorium. Again, Mr Roberts said that the GSC was responsible.
When pressed, representatives of the GSC and Department of Planning sitting in the audience contradicted the Minister for Housing and Planning and said that Mr Roberts is ultimately responsible for granting a moratorium.
Mr Roberts conceded he makes the decision but then tried to pass on responsibility stating "Ultimately, It's the Secretary of the Department of Planning who is responsible for implementing a moratorium."
Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Lane Cove Andrew Zbik -
“After eight long years, residents are sick of seeing local planning rules changed by developers via the Gateway process put in place by this Liberal State Government”
“With the St Leonards & Crows Nest Draft 2036 Plan not yet complete - it is crazy that we are allowing developers to change local planning rules. The request for a moratorium will give us breathing space to allow infrastructure to catch up and enable proper planning for the future.”
“It’s time Mr Roberts stood up for his community to grant this moratorium. As confirmed by GSC representatives - it is his call”