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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The planning system plays an important role in NSW – from keeping the economy moving and people in jobs, to paving the way for essential infrastructure like housing, roads and hospitals.

We’re working closely with local, state and federal government agencies, businesses and the community to modernise the planning system and help NSW recover from COVID-19.


Between 1 January and 30 June 2020, the NSW planning system has helped create 67,489 jobs, build 18,671 new homes and brought $24.97 billion in economic value to the State.


Planning in NSW 2020 info graphic: 338 projects, 67,489 jobs, 18,671 dwellings, $24.97b economic value.

The first three tranches of our Planning System Acceleration Program saw 67 major project assessments finalised, created opportunities for almost 40,000 jobs, $17.7 billion in economic benefit, more than 18,000 new homes and more than 4 million square metres of open space, parks and land for environmental conservation.


Here’s a timeline of our major planning achievements and announcements in 2020:

12 August 2020 Approval for development of the State’s first hydrogen gas facility at Horsley Park.
05 August 2020 A $250 million funding boost for councils to deliver new and improved public spaces for their local communities announced.
30 July 2020 Release of a new 20-year vision for Pyrmont. Community invited to provide feedback until 13 September 2020.
29 July 2020 Announcement of a new land tax discount for build-to-rent housing projects until 2040 and a Housing Diversity SEPP
18 July 2020 Thirteen projects announced as the fourth tranche of projects to undergo a fast-tracked assessment process. All to be determined by 14 August 2020.
17 July 2020 A new 50-Year Vision for Greater Sydney’s Open Space and Parklands launched with a discussion paper open for public comment until 11 September.
15 July 2020 Planning System Reform Action Plan announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA) event.
3 July 2020 Planning panel changes gazetted to commence 1 August 2020. 
3 July 2020 Changes to State and local infrastructure contributions policy announced to allow developers to pay all contributions prior to an occupation certificate being issued.
1 July 2020

Planning Delivery Unit (PDU) established, led by Coordinator General Kiersten Fishburn, introduced to resolve any blockages, delays and issues in the planning framework. 

25 June 2020
The draft Greener Places Design Guide placed on public exhibition until 7 August 2020.  
23 June 2020 The Accelerated Infrastructure Fund (AIF) announced. This provides Blacktown City Council with $45 million and The Hills Shire Council with $30.96 to co-fund and accelerate the delivery of fourteen community infrastructure projects worth $145.99 million.
21 June 2020 Nineteen new projects announced as the third tranche of projects to have their assessments fast-tracked. Decisions expected by 17 July 2020.
18 June 2020 The second tranche of fast-tracked assessments complete. Approved projects expected to deliver more than 15,000 jobs, 3,657 new homes and upwards of $5.3b in economic value.
15 June 2020 NSW Government releases discussion paper for the first comprehensive long-term housing strategy for public feedback before 24 July 2020.
13 June 2020 Council accelerated assessment program announced. 
29 May 2020 The Department published key information on how to stay safe in public spaces in response to new public health orders.
22 May 2020 A further 24 priority assessments announced as the second tranche of fast-tracked assessments. Determination of the projects to be finalised by 18 June.
21 May 2020 The first tranche of fast-tracked assessments complete. Approved projects are expected to deliver more than 10,000 jobs and $7.7 billion in economic benefit and 325,000 square metres of open space, parks and environmental conservation land. 
15 May 2020 Changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 notified to clarify that certain minor works do not satisfy the requirement for physical commencement.
13 -14 May 2020 COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures—Miscellaneous) Act 2020 passed and introduced.
8 May 2020 Streets as Shared Spaces Program launched, with $15 million in grants available for immediate and medium-term temporary projects. Applications close 10 June 2020.
30 April 2020 Regulation introduced that requires planning panels to hold public hearings and meetings online.
28 April 2020 First tranche of fast-tracked assessments announced along with specific criteria for assessment. All these projects to be determined by 21 May 2020.
20 April 2020 Regulation changes have also been made that require online notification of statutory planning processes.
15 April 2020 Productivity Commissioner, Peter Achterstraat, appointed to review NSW developer contributions.
3 April 2020 Planning System Acceleration Program announced to fast-track assessments; clear the backlog and progress projects stuck in the system; and deliver vital community infrastructure.
2 April 2020 Construction hours extended to support industry during COVID-19.
2 April 2020 Planning rules relaxed for food trucks and 'dark kitchens'.
28 March 2020 NSW Government introduced the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 in response to COVID-19.
25 March 2020 Supermarkets and pharmacies able to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
20 March 2020 New rules allow supermarkets to receive deliveries 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
5 March 2020 Planning changes introduced to help bushfire-affected small businesses and communities.

Read the full list of planning approvals between 1 January and 30 June 2020.


If you’ve got questions or would like more information, please email or visit our news page

Page last updated: 12/10/2020