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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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On 28 April 2020, the NSW Government announced the first 24 projects to undergo a fast-tracked assessment process as part of the NSW Government’s new Planning System Acceleration Program. A further 24 projects were announced in the second tranche of the program on 22 May 2020.

 

The purpose of the Program is to redirect resources within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to accelerate the assessment and determination of projects that inject investment into the NSW economy and keep people in jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The assessment process is being accelerated, not changed. The usual planning rules and policies will apply, and all projects will be assessed under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

 

Project selection

Projects that require State planning approval are being considered including State Significant Developments, State Significant Infrastructure, major projects, and planning proposals.

 

To be considered a project must already be in the system, it must be able to demonstrate public benefit through new public open spaces or affordable housing, it must demonstrate an ability to create jobs both during construction and once complete, and it must be able to commence construction within six months if it’s a DA, or proceed to the DA phase within six months if it’s a rezoning.

 

This includes commercial projects that will drive employment as well as public projects that deliver critical public infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, rail upgrades, housing and public space. 

 

Criteria

Specific criteria have been created to identify and progress projects for a fast-tracked assessment.

The criteria have been informed by government, industry and community stakeholders.

The criteria have also been reviewed by an independent probity advisor and the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

 

The three essential criteria are:

  • Jobs – does the project create jobs during construction and ongoing?
  • Timing
    - can a decision on the project be made quickly?
    - for DAs, can the project commence within six months?
    - for planning proposals, can the project proceed to DA within six months?
  • Public benefit – can the project deliver or support public benefits (e.g affordable housing or new public space and parklands)?

 

Read the full criteria (PDF, 520 KB) and the Jobs methodology paper (PDF, 109 KB)

 

Governance

An independent probity advisor has been appointed to ensure the prioritisation process is robust and transparent.

 

Coordination is occurring across all key State Government agencies, as well as within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and a new ‘one-stop-shop’ has been created ensure to streamline agency approvals and ensure any inter-agency road-blocks are identified and mitigated.

 

Resources have also been redirected within the Department to ensure all projects identified for fast-tracked assessment are determined within 4 weeks.

 

All projects will be considered in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and will be subject to the same level of rigorous assessment and opportunity for consultation as at any other time.

 

Due to the need to meet requirements under Public Health Orders, a range of digital engagement tools will be used to communicate with the community and stakeholders to seek any comment or feedback.

 

Timeline

Once a tranche is announced, all projects identified in the tranche will be determined within 4 weeks.

 

Tranche One was announced on 28 April 2020. All 24 projects included in Tranche One were determined by 21 May 2020.

Download the list of Fast-tracked Assessments: Tranche One projects (PDF, 114 KB)

 

Tranche Two was announced on 22 May 2020. All 24 projects in Tranche Two were determined by 18 June 2020.

For all projects included in Tranche Two, download: Fast-tracked Assessments: Tranche Two projects (PDF, 128 KB)

 

Tranche Three was announced on 21 June 2020. All 19 projects in Tranche Three will be determined by 17 July 2020.

For information on projects included in Tranche Three, download: Fast-Tracked Assessments: Tranche Three projects (PDF, 112 KB)

 

Process

  • Projects, that are already in the system, are nominated to go through a fast-tracked assessment process.
  • Nominated projects are assessed against the fast-tracked criteria. If a project meets the criteria, it proceeds to be included in an accelerated tranche. If a project does not meet the criteria, it will continue to progress through standard assessment processes.
  • Projects are announced in tranches, and are determined within 4 weeks of the tranche being announced.
  • Accelerated projects are determined, outcome announced and the assessment report published on the major projects website.

 

Flowchart for Acceleration Program fast tracked assessments projects

 

More information

Page last updated: 15/07/2020