NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Aboriginal Land Planning Framework

The NSW Government is continuing to assist Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) across NSW to secure suitable uses for their land – land that has already been successfully claimed under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW).

We have introduced the Aboriginal Land Planning Framework – a comprehensive set of planning measures to assist LALCs across NSW achieve better economic outcomes from their land and strengthen the economic self-determination of Aboriginal communities.

The framework aligns the NSW planning system with the Aboriginal Land Rights Act to support better governance, strategic planning and more efficient use of land.

The framework package includes:

These measures are part of the NSW Government’s ongoing response to the issues faced by LALCs in securing suitable uses for their land.

Aboriginal Land SEPP Guideline

The department has developed a Guideline to support the implementation of the Framework.

The Aboriginal Land SEPP Guideline provides tools and assistance to LALCs seeking to engage with the Aboriginal Land SEPP and the NSW planning system more generally by outlining:

  • An overview of the Aboriginal Land Planning Framework and its application.
  • The process for having land included land in the Aboriginal Land SEPP.
  • How to prepare a DDP.
  • Guidance to assist LALCs to determine whether the Aboriginal Land SEPP is the most appropriate development pathway.
  • Planning support to help LALCs to navigate the planning system.

View the guideline

For further information regarding the Aboriginal Land Planning Framework please read the frequently asked questions (PDF, 285 KB).

Development Delivery Plans

The Aboriginal Land SEPP establishes Development Delivery Plans (DDP) – strategic plans which set out the development objectives for priority LALC owned land.

A DDP formally identifies the development aspirations for a LALC and must be considered by the relevant planning authorities in the assessment of LALC planning proposals and development applications.

The preparation of a DDP will be a collaborative process between the Department and the relevant LALC based on the information provided by participating LALC. The Aboriginal Land SEPP Guideline outlines the information requirements for LALCs that want to have land included in the Aboriginal Land SEPP.

To initiate the preparation of a DDP for land, your LALC will need to provide the following information:

  • Proof of ownership of the relevant LALC landholdings.
  • A copy of the LALC’s current Community, Land and Business Plan.
  • An audit of the relevant LALC landholdings (such as a Planning Analysis Report)
  • An overview of planning opportunities.

To assist with the preparation of an overview of planning opportunities, we have developed a template (DOCX, 216 KB) which can be completed by LALCs seeking to have the framework apply to priority landholdings.

In February 2019 Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council released their Interim Development Delivery Plan (PDF, 2 MB).

Planning analysis reports

Planning analysis reports provide information on planning data applying to the LALC’s land holdings. This information can inform the LALC of what types of activities can be carried out on its land and can be used to inform future reviews and updates of their Community Land and Business Plan.

This report may also be used as a basis to engage LALC members and other agencies and local governments regarding the future management and development of its land holdings to create opportunities for economic empowerment, with the long-term objective of increasing economic self-determination of the LALC.

Capacity building and training

The department is delivering a one-day Introduction to the NSW Planning System training package for LALCs and Aboriginal Corporations across NSW.

By attending this course, participants can access planning tools and support to facilitate the implementation of the regional plan directions and actions to strengthen the economic self-determination of Aboriginal communities.

More information

If you would like to find out more, please email the Aboriginal Land Use Planning team at aboriginal.policy@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated: 13/01/2023