On 14 July, the NSW Government released a Green Paper entitled ‘A New Planning System for NSW’. This seeks to reform planning so that it is ‘simpler, strategic and transparent’. It forms the third phase in the ongoing NSW planning system review – the most significant in 30 years. The City Futures Healthy Built Environments Program (HBEP) has been working alongside the NSW Premier’s Council for Active Living to engage stakeholders committed to a planning system promoting healthy living. 

At a recent HBEP forum involving government, NGOs and professionals we workshopped an initial Green Paper response and were encouraged by Department of Planning and Infrastructure's comments that the review team seeks assistance in implementing the principles outlined in the Green Paper. The establishment of a NSW Healthy Planning Expert Advisory Group to offer advice to the NSW Government was a major outcome of the forum.
Key recommendations emerging from the forum will be reflected in HBEP’s Green Paper submission. Firstly, it was agreed that health must be an explicit objective of the Planning Act. Secondly, community participation, proposed as a foundation of the new system, must be robust and adequately resourced to ensure that all groups are effectively represented.
Green Paper submissions are being sought by the Government until 14 September prior to the release of a White Paper later in 2012. Previous HBEP submissions on the Planning Review can be found on our website – very soon to be joined by our Green Paper submission. 
Article Credit: City Futures newsletter August 2012