Download a full copy of the paper

Australian Planner
Download Paper

ABSTRACT – This article explores the tensions between the practices of professional planners, the participatory planning frameworks of governments and the neoliberalisation of planning governance in Australia. Rather than fitting neatly together, there are fundamental theoretical and practical tensions between participatory, technocratic and neoliberal planning frameworks. Each dictates a different source of power in terms of setting the planning agenda and making planning decisions. Using the New South Wales (NSW) planning system as a case study, we show that the introduction of ‘the market’ and ‘local citizens’ as possible planning agenda setters and decision-makers has proved difficult for the NSW Government to manage in practice. First, we separate the three planning governance processes and analyse each process as a discrete political philosophy. Second, we highlight where the political power is located to set the planning agenda and to make decisions within each of the three processes. Third, we show how each governance process enables and/or undermines the efficacy of the other governance processes. Fourth, we conclude that enabling a suite of power structures in one governance space can disable or undermine important power structures within the other governance processes.