People and organisations planning to hold community temporary events on public recreation land may soon have fewer hurdles to jump and red tape to navigate.

Narrabri Shire Council has put a proposal to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for an amendment to the Narrabri Local Environment Plan to streamline approval for events which are currently subject to multiple applications, fees and ‘red tape.’

“The existing approval pathway for anyone wanting to hold an event in the shire such as community
fundraising, bake sales, and the like, involves multiple applications and fees” the council said.

“It is considered that numerous different applications are unnecessary and an amendment to the LEP is the only method to reduce this requirement and the most effective means of permitting temporary events within public reserves and roads without multiple approvals.”

Council’s general manager, Stewart Todd said that it was ‘a credit to the current planning team at the council that the initiative was coming forward.’

“Council’s planning team is at times unfairly criticised,” Mr Todd said.

“I am extremely proud of the work that the team has been able to accomplish – especially in the last two years. “Initiatives such as this temporary events proposal are now seeing the light of day and the benefits, should the proposal be adopted, will flow straight to the community.

“The proposal will reduce the requirement for multiple applications and facilitate the ability for community events to be considered without development consent, which is a current legislative requirement.”

The council’s proposal has been forwarded to the DPIE requesting a gateway determination.

DPIE ‘may place conditions on any approval for exhibition, stipulate the timeframe and terms of that exhibition and require consultation with any public authorities that it deems necessary.’

Mr Todd said the proposal aims to streamline the council’s events approval process.

“The planning proposal seeks to reduce red tape for temporary community events for patrons under 300 on land zoned RE1 Public Recreation.

“Should the proposal be approved by the DPIE, event organisers will still be required to submit an event application with council.

“However, the proposal will reduce, in most instances, the requirement of a development application being completed.

“Council will await a gateway determination response from the DPIE and conduct any required community consultation prior to reconsidering the proposal,” Mr Todd said.

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