Minister Rau you are fortunate that your Planning Reform Opponents Morons are showing much more respect than that you are showing them.
To his credit Minister Rau did clarify his statement, saying the comments were “referring in general terms to critics making false statements about the contents of the Planning Bill”. “The language was however inappropriate and I apologise for using it,” he said.
He then, in defending his position, claimed “Where the present system manifestly fails is that most people have no idea what the zoning requirements are for where they live, and the first time they find out is when somebody wants to put something next door to them that they really, really hate, and they say, ‘And by the way, why didn’t somebody tell me that thing was coming?’” Rau said.
“What I am trying to do is to move that conversation right up to the beginning of it so that communities actually have a chat at the very beginning about what is going to be okay in our community.
I agree that not enough is done to involve people at the front end of the process. Waiting until the end of the process inevitably provides false hope as representations invariably do not address planning issues.
If you intend to provide them the opportunity to be involved at the front end you need to be serious about the consultation opportunity provided at that point of the process. While this legislation is working its way through the system your own inner suburban ministerial DPA, one of the more far reaching ever, will have a limited public consultation. This consultation will not in my opinion provide the very people you are calling morons a fair opportunity to contribute with any meaning.
And sorry but there must be a fail safe too at the end of the process. An opportunity for those affected by development that pushes the boundaries of a particular development plan, many by significant amounts; like the recent Cremorne Plaza on Unley Road which will have 40% more storeys than the recently agreed to DPA, from 5 to 7.
Minister, instead of denigrating (notwithstanding your apology) your opponents, how about listening to them. You might actually see that they have an argument worth taking on board.