By Andrew Starke
Tensions between the Sydney Lord Mayor and NSW Planning Minister over late night trading are expected to flare up again tonight at a council planning meeting with Clover Moore firing the opening salvo.
Council is unhappy that refinements it made to the Late Night Trading Premises Development Control Plan (DCP) 2007 were revoked by the Planning Minister late last year and contends this was done without explanation.
According to the Lord Mayor, the amendments to the current DCP were adopted following extensive community and industry consultation and support from residents but in December Minister for Planning Tony Kelly issued a directive for the ammendments to be scrapped.
He said he had done so because it was an ‘inappropriate use of planning powers’ and had caused uncertainty in the community.
However Clover Moore contends there was more to the decision.
“Contrary to an ugly and misleading campaign financed by a few anonymous people with industry interests, the DCP amendments had nothing to do with a blanket shut down of Sydney's nightlife,” she said.
“Our nightlife economy is strong and I want it to stay that way.
“The amendments are minor. They include grammatical corrections, removing references to legislation and planning instruments that no longer exist, updating maps and making adjustments to recognise new powers given to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.
“Given they were so minor, the City has sought clarification about the Minister's concerns and his reason for ordering it be entirely revoked.
“It's been two months and we still have heard nothing. I am concerned he is simply bowing to pressure by vested industry interests.”
Tonight (Feb 7) Council's Planning, Development and Transport Committee will consider publicly exhibiting the changes ordered by the Minister, as required by State legislation.
Members of the public are welcome to address Councillors at that Committee meeting.
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