Major hazards planning

Planning & Infrastructure plays a key role in contributing to appropriate and safe economic development and community protection. This is achieved through the application of strategic land use safety planning, risk assessment and safety management principles to avoid and minimise the risks of fire, explosion or toxic releases from potentially hazardous industrial developments.

Safer industrial facilities

Planning & Infrastructure's main functions in relation to safer industrial facilities are::

  • undertaking of area risk assessment studies as part of a strategic approach to land use safety planning around potentially hazardous facilities, such as studies already undertaken of the Botany/Randwick, Port Botany, Kurnell and Kooragang Island industrial areas. View the Kurnell Peninsula Land Use Safety Study (2007) PDF file
  • development of supporting land use safety planning policies and safety-based locational guidelines. View Locational Guidelines
  • assessment of safety and hazard studies related to proposals for new developments associated with major industrial developments and infrastructure projects, and conditions of consent of both state significant and local developments
  • assessment and policy support to local councils regarding potentially hazardous industry.
    View >> Planning guidelines for hazardous development (including the Applying SEPP 33 and Multi-level Risk Assessment guidelines and Hazardous Industry Planning Advisory Papers)
  • promotion of compliance with safety-related development consent conditions
  • provision of technical advice regarding process safety and offsite risk impacts
  • development of technical advisory documentation, especially related to process safety

Integrated assessment process

Since the 1980s, Planning & Infrastructure has adopted an integrated assessment process for safety assurance of development proposals that are potentially hazardous. State Environmental Planning Policy No 33 – Hazardous and Offensive Development (SEPP 33), which was gazetted in 1992, requires developers and consent authorities to specifically assess the hazards and risks associated with a proposed development before approval is given for construction and operation.An integrated hazards-related assessment process is followed, which includes:

  • a preliminary hazard analysis undertaken to support the development application by demonstrating that risk levels do not preclude approval
  • a hazard and operability study, fire safety study, emergency plan and an updated hazard analysis undertaken during the design phase of the project
  • a construction safety study carried out to ensure facility safety during construction and commissioning, particularly when there is interaction with existing operations
  • implementation of a safety management system to give safety assurance during ongoing operation
  • regular independent hazard audits to verify the integrity of the safety systems and that the facility is being operated in accordance with its hazards-related conditions of consent. 

The requirements are summarised in the following diagram.

Planning guidelines for hazardous development

A number of Hazardous Industry Advisory Papers (HIPAPs) and other guidelines such as Applying SEPP 33 and Multi-level Risk Assessment have been issued by Planning & Infrastructure to assist stakeholders in implementing an integrated assessment process. In 2011, these were substantially revised and new guidelines were added. View >> Planning guidelines for hazardous development

Sites of interest

Botany Industrial Park (BIP) is a 73 hectare industrial complex located at Banksmeadow, in south-east Sydney. Major industrial uses have been happening at the site since the 1940s. Three chemical companies currently operate within the site – Orica, Qenos and Huntsman.

More about Botany Industrial Park, including a fact sheet and Quantitative Risk Assessment

Further information

Phone 02 9228 6333 or email mhu@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Last Updated 26-Feb-2014