Local MP condemns Minister’s decision to proceed with JRPP hearing on Scenic Hills

22 August 2016

Member for Macquarie Fields, Anoulack Chanthivong MP, has strongly condemned a decision by the Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, to proceed with a hearing of the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) on the proposed controversial 136,000-plot cemetery and crematorium in the Scenic Hills.

“Requests by both myself and Campbelltown City Council to defer the meeting until after the local government elections on 10 September have fallen on deaf ears and I find this bitterly disappointing. Sadly, it’s typical of the arrogance of this Government,” Mr Chanthivong said.

“The application by the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust is one of the most controversial ever submitted. For the Minister to allow the JRPP to continue with its public hearing with two councilors from the old council – one of whom is not re-contesting election – simply defies belief.”

With the Council currently in caretaker mode and the JRPP due to be superseded in a few months by the Greater Sydney Commission, deferring the decision was a matter of good governance, Mr Chanthivong said.

“Any decision regarding the future of the Scenic Hills, which our community has fought long and hard to protect, must be made with full representation and accountability.

“I call on Minister Stokes to defer the JRPP hearing until a new Council has been elected. As a vital green open space corridor between Campbelltown and Liverpool, the Scenic Hills must be protected because once it’s gone, it will be gone forever.

“Like so many others in our community, I won’t give up the fight to Save our Scenic Hills,” Mr Chanthivong said.