Edward Saulig , of  Ruse NSW, made the following submission on the project:

Legislative Updates

I support the submission prepared by the Healthy Planning Expert Working Group (HPEWG), an independent NSW expert group comprising healthy planning experts from the academic, planning, health, local and state government sectors, and as such we make the following recommendations:

1.Ensure ‘Health and wellbeing is explicitly identified’ as an object in the Bill, thereby embedding it as a strategic planning outcome and setting the context for future decision making. To this end the phrasing oeTo promote the health and wellbeing of the all communities in NSW” is supported.

2. Embed health considerations in strategic planning. To achieve this, local strategic planning statements should be used as an opportunity to reconcile population forecasts and infrastructure delivery priorities, build greater social connection and equitable access to healthy food, and address locally occurring clusters of health disadvantage, and ensure high density residential precincts (zoned R4) have the availability of local open space (neighbourhood parks of 5000m2 within a 500 metre radius of any property).

3.Engage the community to create connected and inclusive communities, where a sense of empowerment aids mental and physical wellbeing. Community participation plans offer an opportunity to achieve this, however to maintain integrity, this process must be appropriately resourced and incorporate regular timely review.

4. Evidence based indicators should be developed to focus delivery, evaluate healthy planning considerations, and encourage accountability in decision making. Such indicators could potentially be implemented through Development Control Plans.

5. Increase healthy built environment expertise in decision making by adding it to the list of preferred expertise for membership of planning bodies. This will support improved decision making and assist to optimise opportunities for consideration of health in large developments and planning proposals.