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Seasonal and Temporary Workers Accommodation Toolkit

In October 2021, the Regional Housing Taskforce (the Taskforce) highlighted the need for a standardised planning approach for seasonal and temporary workers accommodation. While some councils already have provisions in place, feedback to the Taskforce indicated further guidance would help manage spikes in housing demand caused by influxes of seasonal and temporary workers into regional areas.

In response, the NSW Government is refining a Seasonal and Temporary Workers Accommodation Toolkit that provides clear and practical guidance to support councils. The policy initiatives in the toolkit will build on the work many councils have already done to help them manage seasonal and temporary workers accommodation while providing flexibility to respond to local needs.

Targeted consultation was undertaken with key stakeholders throughout October and November 2022 to test elements of the toolkit and seek feedback on a range of proposed policy options for inclusion in the toolkit. This feedback is helping to refine the toolkit to further support councils through:

  • a standard instrument definition for temporary workers accommodation
  • model clauses for rural workers dwellings and temporary workers accommodation
  • guidance on locational and zoning considerations
  • guidance on complying development provisions for Local Environmental Plans.

Feedback from targeted consultation

The feedback highlighted that the challenges facing councils vary widely across the state, depending on the local situation and context. There was strong support for councils to set the appropriate zones and for model provisions to be provided as guidance to ensure local issues can be appropriately addressed and differences between regions can be accommodated.

The feedback indicated:

  • strong support for a standard definition for temporary workers accommodation
    • A definition would provide more consistency across the state and enable permissibility to be clearly established.
  • a preference for councils to be able to set their own permissibility and controls
    • Councils raised concerns that state-wide controls would not reflect differences between regions nor enable local issues to be responded to.
  • mixed support for a complying development pathway
    • There was some support for a complying development pathway provided appropriate controls are in place. Councils were generally not in favour of a one-size-fits-all approach.

Next steps

The new policy contents of the toolkit will be publicly exhibited in the first half of 2023. The department will seek feedback on:

  • a proposed standardised definition for temporary workers dwellings
  • model clause outlines for rural workers dwellings, and temporary workers dwellings
  • model complying development provisions
  • guidance material.

For more information, read our frequently asked questions (PDF, 72 KB) or email the Stakeholder Engagement team on [email protected]