Construction Industry Inquiry

About this Item
SpeakersSpeaker; Burney Ms Linda; Hazzard Mr Brad
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN

Page: 7208

Ms LINDA BURNEY: My question is directed to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure. Given that none of his Government's reviews ever seem to make any real recommendations, why should New South Wales have to suffer record low construction activity while we wait until 2013 for him to conduct yet another inquiry?

Mr BRAD HAZZARD: What a great question from a shadow Minister who would not know the first thing about planning, who is seated in front of a former Minister for Planning who did nothing about planning, and who is a member of a group of 20 people who still know nothing about planning. It is fantastic! I indicate to the House, in particular to the 68 members of the Coalition, that this Government is doing far more in planning than the Labor Government did during its more than 16 years in government. Furthermore, we are doing it honestly, openly and transparently

I am sure Opposition members recall the dollars-for-deals culture and the stories that constantly engaged the attention of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. A long line of Labor members had permanent places and car spots at the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The Labor era was a great period for planning! The Coalition Government inherited a dollars-for-deals culture from Labor and we have moved very quickly to act in relation to a whole range of issues.

Ms Linda Burney: Read them to me, Brad.

Mr BRAD HAZZARD: The member for Canterbury asked the question and should listen to the answer.

Mr John Robertson: You lecture us about how you are going but say nothing.

Mr BRAD HAZZARD: If the Leader of the Opposition had read the paper he would know that he can convince only a stray journalist who has made a couple of cheap attacks that were not valid or verified. But now he is running off at the mouth during question time. Good luck to him. Opposition members should listen to this. In the last five years of the Labor Government housing approvals averaged less than 30,000 homes a year.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Canterbury to order for the third time.

Mr BRAD HAZZARD: Under the administration of the former Minister for Planning and former Premier, who has just fled the Chamber again—every time I stand up to speak she disappears out of the Chamber—New South Wales hit a record low of 26,900 new homes a year. This was the lowest number of housing approvals ever recorded in New South Wales and the lowest number of housing starts in 50 years.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the Leader of the Opposition to order for the third time.

Mr BRAD HAZZARD: The Housing Industry Association said this about the previous Government's approach to housing:
      Through policy failure after policy failure, we effectively killed off housing in this State and the economy has been underperforming year in, year out as a result.
The Liberal-Nationals Government has set about righting Labor's wrongs and giving hope to aspiring homeowners across New South Wales, hope that had been smashed by years of Labor failures in planning. Since April 2011 the Department of Planning and Infrastructure has finalised, under my direction, 134 local environment plan amendments and comprehensive local environment plans across the State. Zoning new land for housing and employment opportunities right across the State has been occurring at an unprecedented rate. We have approved the Parramatta local environment plan, promoting increased housing density and diversity around transport hubs, about which the member for Parramatta is very pleased. Unfortunately, the former member for Parramatta does not have a say because she is in the outside the Chamber group.

We have also been providing greater projects for low-density neighbourhoods in Parramatta and environmentally sensitive areas along the Parramatta River. We have approved an amendment to the Maitland local environment plan, rezoning land to create opportunities for up to 5,000 new homes in Lochinvar, while protecting key environmental areas. We have repealed Labor's rotten part 3A and replaced it with a system that puts decisions on projects of genuine State significance at arm's length from the Minister. Instead of major projects being approved by Labor Ministers behind closed doors, State-significant development is now determined by the independent Planning and Assessment Commission.

Ms Linda Burney: What about new roads?

Mr BRAD HAZZARD: Gee you are juvenile at times. You know absolutely nothing about planning.

The SPEAKER: Order! I remind the member for Canterbury that she is on three calls to order.

Mr BRAD HAZZARD: The Premier just pointed out I should have stopped at "nothing": the member knows absolutely nothing, full stop. That is the problem with the entire front bench, but particularly the member for Canterbury.

The SPEAKER: Order! The Minister will return to the leave of the question.

Mr BRAD HAZZARD: For State-significant developments, since the State election in March determinations have been made for 175 projects and modification to the value of more than $6.2 billion, creating more than 23,000 new jobs. Graham Bradley, chairman of Stockland, said it all on the weekend:
      The New South Wales Government is sending a clear message to business that it welcomes investment.
In other words, business is back in town because you guys are out of town.

Question time concluded at 3.12 p.m.