Yearly Archives: 2018

My Request for Apple’s Federation Square Plans

Extract from the Departmental Practice Note about Incorporated Documents

Extract from the Departmental Practice Note about Incorporated Documents

The Age has today reported that the government has said it won’t release the plans for the Apple Federation Square development. This is despite the plans being referred to in the incorporated document (which exempts the store from the need for a planning permit, so effectively acts as a planning approval.) As I have argued in a series of tweets (starting here) this morning, that’s outrageous. The plans are necessary to apply the planning control, and hence need to be publicly available. You can have secret plans, or you can have a planning approval, but you can’t have both!

I initially thought about lodging an FOI request for the plans. However I have not opted to do that in the first instance. Unfortunately, my experience is the FOI process causes the Department to clam up: the request gets referred to their lawyers, and then they can play out the statutory timeframes. (See here for an example of previous FOI game-playing by the Department). For the moment, therefore, I’ve stuck with a request for a copy of the plans that points out their obligations to release the documents.

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