The NSW Government has committed more than $17 million as part of significant reviews to make the planning system more certain and transparent for industry, and to encourage investment, with an online tool to help calculate infrastructure contributions up front rather than at the end of a project.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said $14.8 million had been committed to the review of infrastructure contributions and the new online tool.
“We have listened to industry and know that a key issue is accessing clear and simple information on what contributions are required for a development,” Mr Stokes said.
“This new online tool, which will form part of the current ePlanning interface, allows industry and investors to calculate and pay their contributions obligations towards public space, roads and transport, community facilities, and biodiversity offsets.
“This certainty is vital to deliver supporting infrastructure for projects the community needs to boost the economy and create jobs.”
Mr Stokes added that a digital transformation was the “critical first step” in delivering contributions reform that will be guided by the Productivity Commissioner’s review, due to Government later this month.
In another update to the planning system, employment zones will be overhauled to create a more flexible, fit-for-purpose planning system that responds to the rapidly changing job market.
As part of a $2.5 million review into employment zones across the state, Mr Stokes said the Government will slash the number and complexity of zones to help create local jobs.
“The way we work, how our cities and regional centres function and the economic climate has changed dramatically over the past decade and even more over the past 12 months,” Mr Stokes said.
“The current zones reflect a historical need to separate incompatible uses and don’t factor in shifts in how we live, work and move around.
“With slowing population growth, we need to boost productivity by being more innovative and flexible. Unlocking more land for a greater variety of jobs and industries is critical to transform our economy for a prosperous, post-pandemic NSW.”
The changes to employment zones are part of the NSW Government’s more than $570 million commitment over the next four years to shape a timely, certain and more transparent planning system. million commitment over the next four years to shape a timely, certain and more transparent planning system.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment will consult extensively on the changes to employment zones with local government and industry in the coming months.