Blue Mountains MP, mayor, back developer ban on local councils

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill has strongly backed a campaign by the state opposition to ban property developers and real estate agents from running for councils.

State Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle and Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill

State Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle and Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill

"We have all watched as Sydney suburbs we knew growing up are disappearing under the weight of the present push to overdevelop," said Cr Greenhill. "The same pressures exists here in the Blue Mountains.

"Since approving our current local environment plan some years ago, there has been agitation by pro-development groups against the council I lead. This includes the creation of a Facebook page that was recently removed which attacked those representatives who resisted the overdevelopment push," he said.

The mayor's comments follow Liberal Party Ward 3 Cr Daniel Myles' warning of a pro-development push within the local Liberal Party. He backed reports the Liberal state government was also considering its own plan to ban property developers from standing for council.

The mayor alluded to this warning in his comments about Labor's call for a developer ban.

"We have heard recent reports of a pro-development group seeking to get control of council," he said. "We have to also be careful of some independents who may run a campaign that appears to be about community only to see that person push an overdevelopment agenda when elected.

"Make no mistake, our beautiful Blue Mountains are a target for those who would overdevelop our towns and diminish our quality of life all in the pursuit of personal profit.

"What the state opposition is proposing is a key safeguard that needs support. It will speak volumes if the government does not back this when the conflict of interest is so clear to any reasonable person."

Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle said "banning property developers from being on local councils is crucial to increasing transparency and accountability within local governments".

"This is the second time in three years we have tried to do this. It seems the only people who do want developers on councils are the Liberals and their property developer mates."