Reader comment to a Sydney Morning Herald website article added by Lisa on 6 February 2018:
Having left the public service in 2016 I can tell you what any planning project involves.
- Minister has a thought bubble
- Comms people make an announcement
- Bureaucrats get told about the thought bubble and told to work up proposal
- Bureaucrats give advice that what Minister wants is not feasible/affordable/legal etc
- Minister lies to public
- Bureaucrats are threatened with the sack if they don't make it happen
- Every document is marked 'cabinet in confidence' whether it's going to Cabinet or not to keep it secret
- Minister banks on the short memories of the electorate.
It has been known for many years that transport and land-use should be planned together. See, for instance, the 1970 report to the U.K. government by Evelyn Sharp advising that transport and land-use should be planned conjointly as an ongoing activity. Co-ordination between separate departments was not sufficient; the two facets had to be planned by the same department. Learn more ...
That's not what happens in New South Wales. There have long been separate Planning and Transport ministries, and nearly always a separate Roads ministry. And from 2003 to 2005, there was also a Minister Assisting the Minister for Planning - making a total of four. At present, the transport ministers are:
The current quartet is completed by the Planning minister, Anthony Roberts, who is a career politician who was once nicknamed the Minister for Alan Jones. He does not seem likely to reform Planning and he clearly doesn't have the power to reform planning.
We also have the Greater Sydney Commission with its plan to divide all Sydney into three parts. In itself that is nothing new (see for instance this classic) but we don't have any details suggesting that Sydney's crazy roadbuilding will be scaled back.