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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Social Impact Assessment (SIA) is the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and developing responses to the social impacts of a proposed State significant project.


The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) requires social impacts to be assessed and considered as part of the overall environmental impact assessment of all State significant projects.


The department's current Social Impact Assessment Guideline applies to State significant resource projects.


We have been working on an expansion of the 2017 Guideline to standardise the SIA approach across all State significant development, including State significant infrastructure and Critical State significant infrastructure projects.


Draft Social Impact Assessment Guideline

The department recently exhibited a new draft Social Impact Assessment Guideline that is proposed to apply to all State significant projects.


Our draft Guideline aims to:

  • help proponents understand how to meet the department’s expectations
  • give the community comfort that their concerns and perspectives are considered early and build community trust
  • build higher levels of community ‘social licence’ for projects
  • reduce risks and costs to the project as a result of unplanned or reactive management of social impacts
  • streamline assessment processes by reducing departmental requests for more information
  • create better proponent-community relations and more socially sustainable outcomes.


View the draft Guideline


To support the Guideline, a draft Technical Supplement has also been prepared.


Social Impact Assessments: The Value Add


Consultation and feedback

The draft Social Impact Assessment Guideline was on public exhibition from 30 October until 27 November 2020.


Thank you to everyone who provided feedback. We are currently considering all submissions and reviewing the draft documents. When this is completed, all submissions, a submissions report and the final documents will be made available.

All exhibited documents can be viewed via our Planning Portal


Information sessions

In November 2020, we hosted information webinars during the exhibition period to provide more information to the community. For more information you can:


More information

For more information about SIA, you can:


Page last updated: 23/02/2021