NSW Update: Introduction of the Planning System Acceleration Program
Introduction of the Planning System Acceleration Program
The NSW Government has announced a new program aimed at fast-tracking planning processes and boosting jobs in the construction and development sectors in response to the economic stresses as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
On 3 April 2020, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Mr Rob Stokes, introduced the Planning System Acceleration Program, which will:
• generate new construction jobs over the next six months;
• fast-track the assessment of State Significant Developments, re-zonings and development applications;
• support councils and planning panels to fast-track local and regionally significant development approvals;
• allocate additional Acting Commissioners to help clear the backlog of cases in the Land & Environment Court; and
• invest $70 million to fund vital community infrastructure in North West Sydney.
Further details of the Program are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
The Program was announced a mere day after the State relaxed restrictions on construction sites by extending work hours to 7 days a week including public holidays (for all works except ground works). These recent measures show that the NSW Government is actively taking steps to boost the construction industry amidst the COVID-19 crisis. These measures are likely to create new jobs and ensure projects across the State can proceed, even where other businesses may not be able to.
The Minister’s full media release can be read here.