People who work in regional areas need more places to live. People come to regional areas to work on farms and major infrastructure projects.
A new planning framework and guidelines to help regional councils plan housing for temporary and seasonal workers was on exhibition from 16 August to 27 September 2023.
The proposed changes aimed to give councils more certainty and clarity around how to plan and deliver worker accommodation.
Temporary and Seasonal Workers’ Accommodation exhibition package
The exhibition package set out changes to:
- introduce a standard instrument definition for temporary workers’ accommodation
- provide guidance on local provisions for rural workers’ dwellings and temporary workers’ accommodation
- provide guidance on locational and zoning considerations for rural workers’ dwellings and temporary workers’ accommodation
- strategic planning guidance.
Construction accommodation for Renewable Energy Zones
The exhibition package also included proposed changes to support the delivery of construction worker accommodation within designated Renewable Energy Zones (REZ).
The proposed changes would allow accommodation for construction workers in certain rural zones within certain REZs when supporting renewable energy projects. This approach was intended to provide a clear permissibility pathway to improve certainty for industry, councils and the community.
In October 2021, the Regional Housing Taskforce highlighted the need for a standardised planning approach for seasonal and temporary workers’ accommodation. In response, the NSW Government has prepared a draft Temporary and Seasonal Workers’ Accommodation Toolkit. The toolkit will provide clear and practical guidance, building on the work that many councils have already done.
We have been working closely with stakeholders including regional councils. The exhibition is now closed and feedback from submissions is currently under consideration.