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.