Environmental impact assessment improvement project -Department assesses the potential impacts of a proposal for a State significant project before a decision is made by the Minister for Planning or the Minister’s delegate on whether or not a project is approved. Consultation report 21p Closed but   Invited comments on proposals 16 Oct  disc paper 6p

EPA Regulation review  (Sept 17) -remove any unnecessary complexities or outdated rules which make the system hard to use. – the Department is seeking feedback from stakeholders on the current Regulation. By 24 Nov. 31 pages discussion paper

  1. reduce administrative burden and increase procedural efficiency (e.g. by removing any outdated rules which make the system hard to use); 2.reduce complexity ; 3.establish a simpler, more modern and transparent planning system.

Legislative Updates to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act – closes 24/11/17 Assented to by Leg Council 18/10/17 Summary of proposals-48p, Bill guide 36p, draft bill 113p, stakeholder feedback 21, stakeholder power point 151p. TOTAL 369p

Social Impact Assessments

Draft Environment SEPP on exhibition 31 Oct to 15 Janto simplify the planning rules for a number of water catchments, waterways, urban bushland, and Willandra Lakes World Heritage Property.

82 pages + FAQs 8 p

Repeal of 2 SEPPs (SEPP 1 and Misc Consent Provisions) – closes 22/12/17. 18p + 2p FAQ

Greater Sydney Commission  – Plan and the draft District Plans which are on public exhibition until 15 December 2017.

Greater Sydney Plan 168p

West  130p,  Central 114p,  East 118p,  Norther  116p   South 108p


Title Closes pages
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 24/11/17 369
EPA Regulation review 24/11/17 31
Draft Environment SEPP 15/1/18 90
Repeal of 2 SEPPs (SEPP 1 and Misc Consent Provisions) 22/12/17 20
Greater Syd Comm d Plan 15/12/17 168
Greater Syd Comm WEST 15/12/17 130
Greater Syd Comm CENTRAL 15/12/17 114
Greater Syd Comm EAST 15/12/17 118
Greater Syd Comm NORTH 15/12/17 116
Greater Syd Comm SOUTH 15/12/17 108
Draft Future Transport Strategy 2056 3/12/17 112
    TOTAL 1,376


Deluge of Planning Changes Defy A Thoughtful Response!

The NSW Government is snowing the community with mountains of information about a large number of significant proposed planning changes. To respond to major planning proposals currently on exhibition it would be necessary to review more than 50 pages every day for a month.

It is virtually impossible to prioritise, absorb, consider and thoughtfully respond to the volumes on exhibition in the short times given. Professional planners are struggling so how can the government seriously expect the community to get their heads around the proposals?

Could this is part of a strategy?

The key objective of the machinery of government proposals is simplification – code for fewer controls and easier for developers!  The defining feature of the planning proposals for Sydney is visionary statements unsupported by detail about implementation.

It seems the government is desperate to bed down planning provisions that will make approving development – any development – easier. Yet we only have to look around at the high rise development, traffic congestion and crowded public transport to know that just more development will only make matters worse.

In October a new Environmental Planning and Assessment Bill was tabled in parliament – the draft Bill is 113 pages and the explanatory material 250 pages. Any comments must be made before the 24 November when it will be further considered by the parliament.

Earlier in the year the government abandoned a review of the EPA Act after it was widely criticised – the current low key publicity around the most recent Bill suggests a less open process – just to get it through.

Then there’s the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation – you have the opportunity to make comments about proposals before 24 November.  So you’d need to get across the proposed EP&ABill and the 30page document outlining the regulation proposals.

There’s a major proposal for a new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).  It’s a consolidation and simplification of 7 other SEPPs dealing with water catchments, waterways, urban bushland, and world heritage property.  You’d have till the middle of January to get your head around the changes and the 90 page explanatory document.

There’s also a proposal to repeal two other SEPPs (SEPP 1 and Miscellaneous Consent Provisions). That exhibition closes 22 December. There are 20 pages of background on that.

All of this machinery of planning change is in addition to volumes of draft strategy planning documents from the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC). The GSC has rereleased the Draft Sydney Region Plan (168p) and five revised draft district plans (each about 120p), and an associated Draft Future Transport Strategy 2056 (112p). You’ll have till the 15 December to paw over all that! But don’t forget… because  NSW Planning’s  Priority Precinct proposals are largely divorced from the GSC’s proposals, it will be important to go back and review the other screes of information put out on those!

People need to be treated with respect and be given time as well as accessible explanations about changes to the planning system. Snowing people with vast quantities of difficult to digest information just makes people feel they are being hoodwinked and will breed further cynicism with the planning system of NSW.




Reminds me of Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy…

“But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine month.”

“Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon.  You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call  attention to them had you?  I mean like actually telling anybody or anything.”

“But the plans were on display…”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a torch.”

“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard.”