Environment Minister David Speirs is dead wrong when he claims that private development proposals for Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island are subject to formal public consultation, said Greens MLC and planning lawyer, Mark Parnell.
The Minister has told the media in relation to proposals for private luxury accommodation in the Park that “the planning development process going forward requires considerable consultation”.
That’s just plain wrong.
1. The three Development Applications have all been treated as “Category 1”.
2. There is no formal public consultation on Category 1 Development Applications.
3. There is no right of submission or representation on Category 1 developments
4. The State Planning Commission is legally prohibited from seeking views from the public.
5. The plans & specifications for these private buildings in the National Park have not been published and are being kept secret.
6. The advice received from referral bodies such as the CFS, NRM Board and Native Vegetation Council are being kept secret.
7. The decision will be made in coming weeks by the State Planning Commission (SCAP) in secret.
8. Once a decision is made, there is no appeal allowed by members of the public. However if the applications are refused, then the proponent has the right to appeal.
The planning system is about as far from “considerable consultation” as you can get!
The Greens have lodged Freedom of Information applications for relevant documents and will be cranking up the pressure on behalf of local environment groups when Parliament resumes.
“Privatising areas of our National Parks, clearing pristine coastal vegetation and bulldozing new roads to service private accommodation is unacceptable. The fact that Kangaroo Island’s most dedicated volunteers in the local Friends of Parks group have gone on strike in protest shows just how unpopular this move is. KI locals, conservation groups and the general public deserve the right to have their say”, concluded Mark Parnell.