New Video by Better Planning Network

The Better Planning Network is a volunteer-based organisation formed at the end of August 2012 by community groups concerned about the NSW Government’s planning reforms.  These reforms, contained within the Government’s White Paper and 2 Planning Bills, include:

  • Limiting community engagement at the early strategic planning phase and removing residents and communities’ right to comment on the majority of developments in their neighbourhood.
  • Giving developers the right to apply directly to the Director General of Planning to exceed existing local planning controls.
  • Expanding the right of developers to employ their own private certifiers for a broader range of developments, such as a new 2 storey house.
  • Reducing community rights to take planning and development decisions to the courts on judicial review grounds.
  • Removing Ecologically Sustainable Development as the overall driver of the NSW planning system, and replacing it with economic growth.

They have released a new video about the impact the White Paper reforms will have on NSW Communities.

Shoalhaven LEP 2013 now open for submissions

Let's protect our villages and towns and beautiful landscape and agricultural land from inappropriate development

Let’s protect our villages and towns and beautiful landscape and agricultural land from inappropriate development

A redrafted Shoalhaven Local Environment Plan (SLEP) is no on exhibition and open for submissions.

The plan continues to have a number of problems that the SLEP Review Group believes will undermine the amenity, and environmental sustainability of the Shoalhaven. We are calling on everyone in the community to  make sure your voice is heard on this important issue for our future. At risk is the protection of our great environmental assets, of inappropriate development turning our coastal villages into semi-high rise ghettos and of commercial developments out of place in our local streets and suburbs.

The group is preparing a detailed response but to help local communities it has prepared a guide which can be read here.

More information will be uploaded shortly on our special SLEP2013 page here. You can also see the entire LEP, maps and supporting documents on the council’s own website here.


Submissions urgently needed to protect Lake Wollumboola

The Lake Wollumboola Protection Association is calling for urgent community support to write submissions to the Shoalhaven Council to support E 2 Environment Conservation  zoning for undeveloped parts of the Lake Wollumboola catchment to help protect this precious environmental icon of the South Coast.

The Association is calling for an alternative site for the proposed golf course at Culburra Beach to be investigated. Find out more from the Association’s March 2013 Newsletter.

Please write or email the General Manager, Shoalhaven City Council asking Council to agree to: 

  • E2 “Environment Conservation” zoning in the Shoalhaven Local Environment Plan 2013 (SLEP) for the Lake Wollumboola catchment, especially for Long Bow Point and the catchment area north of Culburra Road. (see map over) 
  • investigate with the landowner relocating the proposed golf course to a cleared site overlook-ing the Crookhaven River. 

Send your letter to SLEP2013, PO Box 42 Nowra NSW 2541 or email to before 10 May 2013. 



SLEP 2009 Review Group Report October 2012

A report for members regarding lobbying efforts to achieve changes to the Draft SLEP that was agreed by Shoalhaven City Council in June.

Read the full report here

Executive Summary:

  1. The Review Group submitted a detailed submission, in 150 pages, to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure requesting he urgently review the content of the revised Draft SLEP 2009 as it did not represent a Vision for the Shoalhaven held by the community. Read the rest of this entry

Better Planning in NSW – what you can do

Dear Our Shoalhaven Supporters. Please find below a letter to NSW residents from the Better Planning Network.
In March 2011, prior to the NSW State election, Barry O’Farrell made a Contract with NSW. In this contract he promised to:
  • Return planning powers to the community
  • Delete Part 3A and rewrite the Planning Act to give communities a say again
Furthermore in their 2011 planning policy document the NSW Liberals and Nationals stated:

Heritage Estates

Here is the latest update on the Heritage Estates from the Basin Villages Forum. You can see previous editions on the Basin Villages Forum page on this website.

‘Our Shoalhaven’ appeals to Minister not to rubber-stamp the draft Shoalhaven LEP

The ‘Our Shoalhaven’ community campaign is seeking a meeting with the NSW Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard to discuss concerns regarding the draft Shoalhaven Local Environment Plan (SLEP).

In a strongly worded letter to the Minister, Alan Burrows accused the current Council of losing sight of “the strategic significance of the SLEP” and pursuing “a failed historic pattern of ad hoc unsustainable urban development, throughout the city.”

“We’re disturbed that a majority of Councillors abused decision-making processes and on occasions displayed distain for community representatives and their submissions. The recommendations of over 3000 community submissions have been largely ignored,” Mr Burrows said. Read the rest of this entry

MP’s brother in law gets the nod

See South Coast Register article here
25 Apr, 2012

PLANS to rezone part of a farm along Little Forest Road have been slammed as “absolute, arrant nonsense” during discussions on draft LEP provisions at last week’s Shoalhaven City Council meeting.Cr John Fergusson slammed the proposal to allow three one-hectare blocks on the farm, submitted on behalf of property owner John Hancock.“There is no strategic justification for this,” Cr Fergusson said.

“We are going to end up with a total disaster of an LEP.”

Cr Fergusson accused his council colleagues of “totally emasculating the LEP process”.

Cr Amanda Findley said the application, and the support it obtained on the council floor, “stinks of mates doing favours for mates,” because Mr Hancock was the brother-in-law of South Coast MP Shelley Hancock. Read the rest of this entry

Upzoning ‘not right’

From the Milton Ulladulla Times, 25 April 2012 See online story here
By Katrina Condie

PROPERTY owners are taking advantage of an opportunity to rezone their land as part of the Shoalhaven Local Environment Plan (SLEP) review.

While the review was intended to be an administrative change-over to relabel land use zones and bring them into line with the rest of the state, it has opened up a loophole for property owners to have their land usage changed without going through the normal processes.

Shoalhaven City Council is considering rezoning submissions from more than 70 applicants across the city including many in the Milton-Ulladulla district.

Councillor Amanda Findley is concerned that some land owners were attempting to “up-zone” their land with the “hope that it will go through unnoticed as part of a mammoth planning document”. Read the rest of this entry

Council move to further exclude community from LEP process

At Tuesday’s full meeting Shoalhaven City Council passed a motion to delegate further decisions relating to the Local Environment Plan to the Special Development Committee (SDC) of Council instead of having maters determined at a full meeting. Councillor Greg Watson moved the motion.

Our Shoalhaven spokesperson Alan Burrows said,  “this decision is just another example of the disregard the majority of Shoalhaven Councillors show to the community when it comes to the Local Environment Plan review.

“The result will be that the community will have less opportunity to engage with the Council over their concerns with the LEP. Read the rest of this entry


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