NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Improving assessment guidance

The department has developed a comprehensive set of new guidelines to help improve the quality of environmental assessments and documentation for state significant projects. The guidelines also encourage greater community participation by highlighting how the public can participate in the assessment of state significant projects.

All guidelines are available at the bottom of this page.

The State Significant Development Guidelines and State Significant Infrastructure Guidelines explain the assessment of state significant projects. They outline clear standards for applications and reports relevant to state significant projects to improve the quality of environmental assessment and reporting.

The guidelines help ensure that environmental impact statements (EIS) are succinct, easy to understand, technically robust, reflect community views and provide a comprehensive evaluation and justification of a project.

The department has also developed a set of technical guidelines to support better assessment and better engagement on state significant projects:

  • The Undertaking Engagement Guidelines for state significant projects requires up front and ongoing engagement for all state significant projects. These guidelines will help to ensure engagement is meaningful, tailored to the needs of relevant stakeholders, supports a fair and transparent assessment and is consistent with the department’s community participation objectives. More information is available at the Undertaking Engagement page.
  • The Cumulative Impact Assessment Guidelines for state significant projects provides guidance and advice to ensure cumulative impacts are effectively and consistently considered in state significant projects. This will support better assessment, well-informed and appropriate decision-making, and achieve better outcomes.
  • The Social Impact Assessment Guideline for state significant projects standardises the approach to considering and managing social impacts for state significant projects and provides greater clarity and certainty for proponents and the community. More information is available at the Social Impact Assessment page.

More information on the Rapid Assessment Framework, including commencement dates and transitional arrangements, is outlined in the planning circular (PS 21-005).

Page last updated: 16/09/2022