Of course the planning approval system is not independent.
The Northern Beaches Hospital is a classic example. NSW Planning allowed the project to be split into four main stages so that by the time the overall impact was seen it was too late. NSW Planning also allowed NSW Health’s false claims for the choice of location to go unchallenged. NSW Planning’s final summary, in approving the project, that there would not be “any long-term adverse or irreversible effects” is simply laughable.
And the multitude of consultants used to provide a veneer of objectivity all know that there won’t be any future work for them if they don’t produce the “right” answer.
One part of government is not going to stop another part of government doing what it wants. They’re all playing for the same team, after all.