Charles has come out on the attack condemning Labor's Amanda Fazio MLC after she attempted to shift the blame away from Labor's legacy of 16 years of waste and failure in the NSW Education Department.
This month sees the Chinese, Korean and the Russian communities host their annual film festivals which showcase a range of different movies from their respective countries and help to raise awareness of different cultures in our society.
Charles tells Burwood and Strathfield Councils, especially its Mayors, to get real and get honest!
"Burwood and Strathfield Council's response to an invitation from the NSW Government to participate in the comprehensive review of the State's planning laws has been one of hysteria and raising unnecessary fear amongst our community," Mr Casuscelli said.
"The Mayor of Burwood needs to be less outraged and more constructive than making silly claims about the lack of consultation. Mr Mayor there is a two month consultation on the Green Paper and the review has been underway for 12 months during which time communities and Councils have been able to participate.
"The Mayor of Strathfield's comment that "councillors will just sit on the sidelines without any power" is nonsense. The Green Paper proposes that community consultation will be significantly strengthened when planning the ground-rules for our neighbourhoods, cities and regions.
"If the Council's were a little more honest they would tell us that the review is proposing to limit the influence of politicians, including local Council politicians from the approval process. There will be an enhanced role for local councils in strategic planning. Local councils will sit on Regional Planning Boards which will provide independent advice to the NSW Government on growth strategies.
"The Mayors should base their comments on fact, only about 4% of applications go to councillors or the independent hearing and assessment panel appointed by council, 96% of development applications are processed by staff under delegated authority and this is not likely to change. Consistent with our approach to de-politicise the planning system, we're also encouraging councils to appoint independent experts to consider development applications."
Currently, consultation mainly occurs when individual development applications are lodged. By this time, many of the key decisions guiding how development will happen have already been made.
"The existing system that the Mayors are defending has contributed to NSW having the lowest housing starts in 50 years and is causing excessive delays for applications lodged by families and businesses," Mr Casuscelli said.
"I am disappointed that instead of promoting community participation and showing some leadership on this issue the Councils are promoting division and petitions. The list of "suspect developments" where politicians have been inappropriately involved and the community interest was ignored is not a short one. Our Government will not be contributing to that list.
"I thoroughly endorse the comments attributed to the GM of Strathfield Council who stated that "the changes would greatly assist planners as well as residents who have often been confused and excluded due to the complexity of the system" well said Mr Backhouse!
Charles was at Holy Innocents' in Croydon to take part in the event and said it was fantastic to see so many people of varying ages take part in this special event.