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Historical documents

North West Growth Area

North West Growth Area

View the historical documents for more information on the North West Growth Area.

Precinct Acceleration Protocol

The Precinct Acceleration Protocol provides landholders with the opportunity to bring forward the release of their land for planning ahead of the Government’s program.

Those wishing to bring forward the release of their land for planning under the Precinct Acceleration Protocol must satisfy a number of criteria, as outlined below (stage one and two).

Stage one

Proponents must nominate the Precinct they wish to accelerate and advise how they will satisfy:

  • their ability and commitment to finance and deliver the full estimated infrastructure for the Precinct and any connecting infrastructure linking the Precinct to existing urban areas.
  • the extent to which they will pay monetary contributions and/or carry out works-in-kind for the provision of the infrastructure and the planning process.

A precondition of the agreement is that there will be no additional cost to Government resulting from the acceleration.

Stage two (implementation and approval)

During stage two a detailed requirements package is prepared which must be agreed to by the proponent before the precinct will be released for planning. Once a proponent agrees to the government's requirements package this is incorporated into a formal planning agreement that will be placed on public exhibition as part of the precinct planning process. More information is provided in the following documents:

Submissions for Precinct accelerations are assessed by the Department, which oversees the process and consults with the relevant council and other government agencies as required. The Probity Plan For Precinct Acceleration Protocol Stage 1, November 2006 (PDF, 72 KB) outlines the processes under which submissions will be considered.

Biodiversity Certification

Biodiversity Certification has been granted over the Growth Centres SEPP. It balances the protection and management of conservation values with the efficient supply of land for urban development in Sydney.

Biodiversity Certification addresses biodiversity issues upfront. Landowners, Councils and developers will no longer need to undertake a threatened species assessment with Development Applications in areas classified as 'certified' under the Biodiversity Certification Order (PDF, 189 KB).

Certification also provides $530 million to purchase areas of high conservation value or to enter into private conservation agreements both inside and outside the Priority Growth Areas.

Importantly, it cuts red tape by strategically addressing biodiversity issues and enables better conservation outcomes, with improved protection for the highest-quality and most sensitive bushland areas inside and outside the Priority Growth Areas. In addition, landowners, councils and developers will not have to look at biodiversity issues individually for Development Applications in areas which are certified. More details are available in the Guide to Biodiversity Certification (PDF, 640 KB).

How do I know if land is certified or non–certified?

The certified and non–certified land is shown on the Priority Growth Areas Biodiversity Certification Maps which are part of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act). These maps can be found at NSW legislation.

View Sydney's Growth Centres – Frequently asked questions (PDF, 175 KB). The department will be preparing further fact sheets for local councils, developers and state agencies.

Strategic Assessment Sydney Growth Centres

Strategic Assessment – Commonwealth EPBC Act

To enable development to proceed in the Sydney Priority Growth Areas while protecting Sydney’s precious environment, the NSW Government undertook a Strategic Assessment of the Priority Growth Area under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).


The Strategic Assessment considered the potential impacts of development on matters of national environmental significance for the whole of Sydney’s Growth Areas. This allows strategic conservation outcomes to be identified and secured. It also provides greater certainty for those constructing new houses and employment areas, as well as infrastructure providers in the Priority Growth Areas.

This approach builds on but does not replace the Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification under the State Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. The Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification will continue to be implemented.

NSW and Commonwealth Governments entered into an agreement in 2009 to proceed with the Strategic Assessment. The agreement (PDF, 2 MB) includes Terms of Reference for Strategic Assessment report.

General information in relation to strategic assessments under the Commonwealth EPBC Act can be found at the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy the Environment and Water.

The exhibition of the draft Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Report and draft Sydney Growth Centres Program Report was undertaken in 2010.

Annual Reporting on the Strategic Assessment – EPBC Act

Every year the Department prepares an annual report to meet the requirements of Section 5.1 of the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Program Report 2010 (the Program Report).

The annual report highlights the outcomes achieved in each financial year, since the endorsement of the Strategic Assessment Program on 20 December 2011. The annual report addresses both the NSW and the Commonwealth Government biodiversity requirements, particularly the commitments for the relevant matters of national environmental significance (listed in Section 4 of the Program Report) and the funding provided and expended for offsets outside of the Growth Areas.

Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Annual Reports

Draft Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Report May 2010

Draft Sydney Growth Centres Program Report May 2010

The Commonwealth Environment Minister has endorsed the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Program, and approved all actions associated with development of the Sydney Growth Centres as described in the Program Report.

The need for site by site approvals under the EPBC Act for the approved actions is no longer required, as long as the actions are consistent with the endorsed Program.

How do I know if an action is in accordance with the endorsed program?

Any proposal on land that is certified under the Growth Centres Biodiversity Certification is in accordance with the endorsed program.

Any proposal on land that is non-certified must be in accordance with the Relevant Biodiversity Measures (RBM) of the Priority Growth Areas Biodiversity Certification. For example, any proposal for essential infrastructure (RBM 11 of the Biodiversity Certification) that will result in the clearing of Existing Native Vegetation (ENV) on land that is non-certified under the Biodiversity Certification is in accordance with the endorsed Program if offsets required by RBM 11 have been provided and, where necessary, the requirements of RBM 12 have been satisfied.

Depending on the location of the proposal other RBMs may also apply.

If you are proposing essential infrastructure in the non-certified areas, please liaise with the Strategies and Land Release team to ensure consistency with the all the requirements of the Biodiversity Certification and Strategic Assessment is achieved.

Review of environment conservation and public recreation

Review of Environment Conservation and Public Recreation–Regional Zones (September 2013)

The amendment to the list of permissible uses in the Environment Conservation (EC) and Public Recreation-Regional (PR-R) zones of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006 (Growth Centres SEPP) was finalised and notified on the NSW Legislation website on Friday 13 September 2013.

The changes include amendments to the list of uses in the Land Use Table in Clause 12 of the Growth Centres SEPP for the EC and the PR-R zones to reinforce the environmental objectives of that land to which these zones apply and ensure the permissible uses reflect the zone objectives.

These changes were a result of the review of the EC and PR-R zones undertaken by the Department as required under Commitment 3, Part 4 of the Strategic Assessment Program Report, to confirm they are adequate for conservation purposes.

Post exhibition documents:

Review of high management viability Cumberland Plain

Outcomes Report (March 2014)

Commitment 7 of the of the Sydney Growth Centres Strategic Assessment Program Report required a review of the Commonwealth Cumberland Plain Woodland higher long term management viability lands (HMV) identified under the Strategic Assessment for inclusion within the Cumberland Plain priority conservation lands (PCL). The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), as the lead agency for this Commitment, has now completed this review. The letter from OEH advising the outcomes of the review and the report are listed below.