Upper Lachlan Shire Council continues to strongly lobby NSW government ministers on the need to return planning powers to control the proliferation of Southern Tablelands wind farms.
Although the issue has seemingly “gone off the boil” lately, Upper Lachlan mayor, John Shaw, says his council has had several more recent meetings with regional Nationals Katrina Hodgkinson and Duncan Gay to ensure they keep pressure on the O’Farrell government.
Both are NSW coalition ministers – Ms Hodgkinson’s Primary Industries and Mr Gay’s Roads portfolios holding particular importance for non-Sydney communities and electors.
Cr Shaw said the Nationals’ lobbying was aimed at the Planning minister, Brad Hazzard, and other Liberals to ensure they honoured Mr Hazzard’s preelection vow to scrap the contentious Part 3A of NSW planning legislation.
Part 3A was an 11th hour move by the previous ALP State government to override local councils’ decision-making powers.
If it is scrapped, councils such as Upper Lachlan will regain planning and environmental controls over often-controversial windfarm projects in their areas.
Cr Shaw said: “We and our two regional Nationals ministers certainly haven’t gone quiet on this issue. We continue to lobby them and they’re very aware of our concerns.
“It’s only a matter of convincing the Libs to agree with them.”
A Sydney Primary Industries department spokeswoman for Katrina Hodgkinson said there was “nothing new” on the likelihood of when, or if, the government might make an announcement on the fate of Part 3A.
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