BETH Morgan is the Britney Spears of the planning world.
The former Wollongong City Council planning officer’s sad story of self-destruction will serve as a cautionary tale to men and women in town planning courses across the country. Hopefully, they don’t need the lesson. Their carefully structured undergraduate or postgraduate degrees will have covered the ABCs of public office, along with the technicalities of development assessment and urban design.
Most people have an abstract understanding of the serious games of power, money and politics that arise whenever the public sector makes decisions about the use of land, potentially conferring multimillion-dollar windfalls on lucky landholders or developers.
But applying this abstract awareness to the decision-making process structured by planning law requires a level of professional training and responsibility. It’s risky to assume that it can be learned on the job.