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Planning Panels - abuse of power by state

Planning Panels - abuse of power by state City of Canterbury Bankstown Mayor, Khal Asfour, has condemned the NSW Government for its blatant abuse of power over the implementation of Local Planning Panels (LPPs). Yes  

City of Canterbury Bankstown Mayor, Khal Asfour, has condemned the NSW Government for its blatant abuse of power over the implementation of Local Planning Panels (LPPs).

"These LPPs will now decide the fate of development applications (DAs) valued under $30 million, as well as a range of other conditions, rather than the Councillors voted in by the people," Mayor Asfour said.

The panels, now mandatory for all Sydney metropolitan councils and Wollongong Council, comprise of four members; three independent experts, with the chairperson also specialising in public government or law, and one community representative.

"It is just another way the NSW Government has stripped council decision-making. We’re called Local Government for a reason," Mayor Asfour said.

"As a result of this action, Council will not only be excluded from having a say in how the City developed, but also have no control over the rate at which applications are determined.

"We currently have a median determination time of 42 days but that may well jump higher."

"Also, ratepayers are now forced to pay $3,500 for the chairperson, $2,500 per expert panel member, and $1,500 for each community representative to attend panel meetings."

The Canterbury-Bankstown Local Planning Panel experts are:

  • Helen Deegan;
  • David Epstein;
  • Stephen Kerr;
  • Barbara Perry; and
  • Richard Thorp.

The community members on the LPP are:


Community representative


Allan Winterbottom (alternate - Robert Furolo)

Bass Hill

Helen Westwood (alternate – Inaam Tabbaa)


Ian Stromborg (alternate – Graeme Wilkinson)


Kayee Griffin (alternate – Margaret Fasan)


Karl Saleh (alternate – Tony Rodi)


In order for the community to have a real say, the Mayor has established a number of Advisory Committees and Reference Groups, which will help advise, shape and support Council’s vital services to the community.

The people who have been selected on these committees and groups have been contacted and, once they have officially accepted, a further announcement will be made.

"A Sydenham to Bankstown Community Working Group is also being formed, so community representatives can ensure we continue to hear the feelings of residents in Council’s dealings with the NSW Government relating to matters in this growth corridor," Mayor Asfour said.

 3/04/2018 1:44 PM