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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Red tape slashed to boost productivity

  • Date: 24.11.2020
  • Type: Ministerial Media Release
  • Author: Rob Stokes, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces

More than 170 planning rules, policies and guidelines have been ripped up to simplify the planning system, speed up assessments and boost productivity as part of the NSW Government’s agenda to reform the system.


Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said repealing the 156 planning circulars, 16 referral requirements and two ministerial directions will make the system more efficient without compromising standards.


“We are bonfiring a lot of our regulations which will make the planning system easier to navigate,” Mr Stokes said.


“The removal of redundant or duplicated policies, guidelines and rules will also reduce backlogs and bottlenecks and cut costs for applications.


“Over the next three years, we aim to slash the number of cases we refer to other government departments by 25 per cent to reduce assessment times and simplify the planning system.”


Planning rules, guidelines and policies removed from the system include:
  • 156 out of 203 (77 per cent) planning circulars spanning more than 15 years that are redundant, outdated or superseded;
  • 16 planning referral requirements;
  • Two ministerial directions relating to the defunct strategic plan for Greater Sydney and home occupations that have been superseded or made redundant by newer plans and policies.


Mr Stokes said the NSW Government’s Planning Reform Action Plan is a clear message that NSW is open for business and a great place to invest.


“The planning system is a vital economic lever to boost productivity and help drive the nation’s economic recovery,” he said.


“We have $570 million allocated over the next four years to create a more timely, certain and transparent planning system as part of our sweeping reforms.”