PLAN: Ex-Gympie planning director Michael Hartley has defended the planning scheme he wrote from criticism by Mayor Mick Curran and colleage and fellow former council employee, Greg Martoo. He says critics, including some councillors and many planners have been slow to catch on to principles mandated by the state government years ago.
PLAN: Ex-Gympie planning director Michael Hartley has defended the planning scheme he wrote from criticism by Mayor Mick Curran and colleage and fellow former council employee, Greg Martoo. He says critics, including some councillors and many planners have been slow to catch on to principles mandated by the state government years ago. Arthur Gorrie

Hartley says critics are 'behind the times'

THE author of Gympie region's award winning planning scheme says its critics, including some councillors and his colleague Greg Martoo, have misunderstood its "contemporary approach.”

Mr Martoo says council planning staff need clearer guidance than is available in Mr Hartley's plan.

Mr Hartley says the plan, formally commended at the Planning Institute of Australia's 2013 annual awards "for its reformist and contemporary approach,” was designed to allow innovative solutions and less 'tick-the-box' administration.

He says a problem with more prescriptive planning schemes as suggested by Mr Martoo, is "they rarely provide clarity. They are cumbersome, wordy documents with endless regulation which leads to homogenous planning outcomes on the ground.”

Describing his plan as Gympie's "first truly performance based” plan, he says problems are more to do with its administration.

"The planning profession has been slow to adapt, despite the expectations of Queensland law since 1998,” he said.

Gympie Times


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