Friday, 28 April 2017 12:08

WSROC supports healthy EP&A review

Residents enjoying well-planned walking and cycling paths in Western Sydney. Residents enjoying well-planned walking and cycling paths in Western Sydney.

WSROC has supported the inclusion of a health and community resilience element as part of the review of the NSW Government’s Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

As part of the consultation process for the EP&A Amendment Bill 2017, WSROC’s submission requested that health and community resilience be a central part of the new Act.

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “There is a growing awareness of the key role that the planning system can play in supporting community health and resilience.

“Many studies have referenced how geography and urban landscapes influence the health and well-being of communities.

“Factors such as length and method of commute, access to fresh affordable food, environmental sustainability, proximity to green spaces, as well as access to community facilities and services all influence health outcomes.

“Community health is a particularly salient issue for WSROC and its members. Western Sydney residents suffer higher levels of preventable, lifestyle related illness than those living in other areas of Sydney,” said Cr Bali.

“You can draw a line down the middle of Sydney and note that there are significantly higher levels of preventable, lifestyle based illness on the Western side of that line – that needs to change.

“The region also suffers greater impacts from extreme weather – particularly heat – which has been shown to increase hospitalisation and mortality rates as well as household power bills.

“If we aren’t explicitly looking at health and resilience when we plan our cities then it simply won’t be a priority. We need to start systematically measuring the impacts of planning decisions on our residents.

“Local government understands the need for fast planning approvals to contribute to a more affordable housing market, however local government’s key role is to facilitate communities that are strong, healthy and prosperous.

“The NSW Government hopes to elevate the role of good design in their amended Act. WSROC would like to see ‘good design’ defined as healthy, liveable, resilient design,” said Cr Bali.

 

Related information:

NSW Planning and Environment: Review of  the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

WSROC: Issues and policy (Health)

Last modified on Monday, 01 May 2017 12:32