Sutherland Shire Council Vision

A Community working together to attain safe, healthy and active lifestyles, through accountable decision making that achieves sustainable development and economic opportunities that respect people and nature

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Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) will become mandatory for all councils in Sydney and Wollongong to guard against corruption and lead to better local planning decisions.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, and Minister for Local Government, Gabrielle Upton, announced the Government would set clear criteria for which development applications (DAs) are to go to the panels.

Mr Roberts said that mandatory IHAPs would bring expertise, transparency and integrity to the assessment of DAs at the local level.

“It is essential the Government has a transparent and accountable process in place when assessing DAs of significant value, when there is a conflict of interest for the council or developer, or when they are of a sensitive nature,” Mr Roberts said.

“By making IHAPs mandatory, local councils will be able to focus on providing community services, strategic plans and development controls for their local area.”

Mr Roberts pointed out that Wollongong and 15 Sydney metropolitan councils were already successfully using IHAPs on a voluntary basis.

The new Bill will propose a standard model for IHAPs comprising three independent expert members and a community member.

The community member will represent the geographical area within the LGA of the proposed development, to provide local perspective.

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Sutherland Shire Council  is considering urgent measures to reduce its gas bill, including lowering swimming pool temperatures, increasing entry fees and cutting subsidies to swimming programs.

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