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Proposed and finalised policy changes – Chapter 2

The department regularly reviews and updates the Transport and Infrastructure SEPP to make sure planning rules support improvements to infrastructure in NSW.

As part of these ongoing improvements, the department may propose changes to the policy. Any changes are put on public exhibition, and the community, organisations and other government agencies are invited to have their say.

Public exhibition

There are currently no changes to the policy on public exhibition.

Under consideration

All feedback received during the exhibition period is considered and informs the department’s final decision on the proposed changes.

The following proposed changes to the Transport and Infrastructure SEPP are currently under consideration:

Changes to protect fuel pipelines

The department proposed changes to better protect fuel pipelines from new development.

The changes will strengthen measures to manage potential risks earlier in the planning process. Fuel pipelines transport essential materials, such as natural gas and fuel, that keep our communities running. It’s important that we protect them and the communities around them.

The proposed changes would apply to developments which increase the number of people in the area near pipelines, such as aged care, child care centres and hospitals.

An explanation of intended effect (PDF, 145 KB) outlining the proposed changes and the Draft Pipeline Guidelines were on exhibition from 13 April to 18 May 2022.

For more information on the proposed changes visit the NSW Planning Portal.

Streamlining assessment of infrastructure

The department proposed changes will update terms and planning rules for a wide range of infrastructure projects. The amendment will seek to improve consistency and accelerate project delivery by standardising approaches where possible, based on the most appropriate level of assessment for a particular development. The changes will ensure a consistent approach to Chapters 2 and 3 of the Transport and Infrastructure SEPP.

Key changes include:

  • more appropriate pathways for development at rail stations
  • allowing Sydney Metro to access to provisions regarding rail infrastructure
  • new exempt development provisions for marine navigation, bush regeneration and vegetation management for stormwater drainage systems
  • amending terms, including maintenance, emergency works and routine maintenance
  • standardising environmental protections across infrastructure types
  • reform to consultation requirements
  • housekeeping changes to make minor corrections and updates
  • a range of minor corrections and clarifications in line with existing policy
  • a series of structural and language changes to improve usability.

An explanation of intended effect outlining the proposed changes was on exhibition from 15 December 2021 to 11 February 2022.

For more information on the proposed changes visit the NSW Planning Portal.

Recent changes

New rules to help farmers

Changes were made which introduced a new planning pathway for landscape rehydration infrastructure.

NSW farmers can now repair, restore and rehydrate dry land without just relying on rainfall, thanks to provisions to permit landscape rehydration infrastructure as development without consent. The amendment has made it easier for landowners to restore streams on their property through landscape rehydration techniques, without development approval. However, an environmental assessment is required together with state agency approvals.

The amendment is to help farmers keep their properties hydrated and build resilience to natural disasters such as future droughts and flooding.

The landscape rehydration infrastructure works – approvals and procedures section 170 guideline has now been released and commenced on 20 March 2023.

View the Landscape rehydration infrastructure works – approvals and procedure.

For more information visit the NSW Planning Portal.

Changes to definitions and assessment

In December 2022, changes were made to various infrastructure and education provisions. Some of these changes include:

  • Streamline planning approval pathways for parks and playgrounds.
  • Provide a new planning pathway to support landscape rehydration projects.
  • Provide more efficient planning assessment requirements for upgrades to existing water treatment facilities.
  • Support expedited delivery of school infrastructure and transport operations.
  • Make other improvements to miscellaneous infrastructure provisions.

For more information visit the NSW Planning Portal.

Interim corridor protection for Sydney Metro West

In August 2022, an amendment was made to update a short-term “protective” corridor related to the proposed route of the future Sydney Metro West project.

The interim protection will avoid potential delays caused by the impacts of other development encroaching on the Sydney Metro West route corridor.

For more information visit the NSW Planning Portal.

Fast-track access to installing household batteries

In April 2022 an amendment was made to make it easier for households to install household batteries without the need for planning approval. This change will save people time and money and will contribute to helping the environment with renewable energy sources.

For more information visit the NSW Planning Portal.

Boost to mobile and internet access

In April 2022 changes were made to support faster and easier upgrades to telecommunications to improve mobile coverage and increase internet speed across NSW. High-quality telecommunications provide greater connectivity for communities and workplaces.

For more information visit the NSW Planning Portal.

Electric vehicle charging units

Changes have now been made through the State Environmental Planning Policy (Electric Vehicles) 2023, to expand the policy provisions for electric vehicle charging facilities.

The amending SEPP updates the existing provisions of the Transport and Infrastructure SEPP to be responsive to changes in technology and consumer demand.

The electric vehicle charging unit fact sheet (PDF, 236 KB) answers frequently asked questions about installing an electric vehicle charging unit and explains the relevant planning provisions in the Transport and Infrastructure SEPP.