NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Priority Assessment Program

The NSW Government is committed to streamlining the assessment and determination of projects that inject investment into the NSW economy and keep people in jobs.

Through the Planning System Acceleration Program, we accelerated determination of 101 major projects and planning proposals in 24 weeks, creating the opportunity for up to 50,000 jobs, 25,000 dwellings, $25 billion in economic value and 400 hectares of open space. A 2021 performance audit by the NSW Audit Office found that the program was effectively delivered.

The planning system continues to be an important lever to support investment and job growth and drive economic recovery in NSW.

Delivering a strong investment pipeline

The next phase of work for the department is the Priority Assessment Program. The program focuses on longer-term, public and private projects earlier in the planning system, with lead times of up to two years for delivery.

The program identifies and case manages public or private sector projects with the potential to deliver a strong pipeline of investment, public benefit, growth and jobs over the medium term and continue to support our state’s economic recovery.

How it works

Projects from the public and private sector will be considered for the program, especially those that are already in the planning system or have come to the department’s attention through the fast-track process.

 

Type of projects considered for case management:

 State Significant Infrastructure (SSI)

 State Significant Development (SSD)

 Other planning matters (e.g. planning proposals)


Type of projects not suitable for the program:

X  Local development applications – should be submitted through our Online DA Service.


Strict criteria will govern project selection – they must, in the medium term:

Be strategically important to the state or a region.

Provide considerable investment, public benefit, environmental and design outcomes, together with growth and jobs.

Selection process

Projects will be selected through a 3-stage process informed by correspondence and insights from councils, proponents and agencies including:

  1. A high-level review for potential alignment with program objectives.
  2. A detailed review of project assumptions and status.
  3. Verification of assumptions working with the proponent.

If a project is chosen for the program, the department will work with the proponent to agree on timeframes assessment pathways and outcomes. 

All projects are considered in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and subject to the same level of rigorous assessment and consultation as at any other time. Inclusion in the program doesn’t pre-determine the assessment outcome.

Projects selected for the program are limited to ensure timeframes and Service Agreements can be met. A list of selected projects is available on the department’s website.

View case management projects

Local development applications are not suitable for the Priority Assessment Program and should be submitted through the E-Planning Portal.

For more detailed information, read the Program Overview and Participation Criteria (PDF, 475 KB).

How to take part in the program

The department is reviewing proposed and existing SSD and SSI projects to determine whether they should be selected as part of the program.

More information on the Priority Assessment Program is available in our frequently asked questions (PDF, 61 KB).

Complete the request form

Governance

The department uses a case management approach to identify and manage projects in the Priority Assessment Program. An independent probity advisor has been appointed to ensure a robust and transparent prioritisation process.

More information

For more information on the Priority Assessment Program:

Stakeholders with further questions can email priority.assessment@dpie.nsw.gov.au

Page last updated: 02/02/2023