A NSW Government website

Social Impact Assessment

Guideline to assess the social impacts of major projects

The Social Impact Assessment Guideline helps deliver a clear and consistent approach to assessing the social impacts of state significant projects.

The guideline provides a framework to identify, predict and evaluate likely social impacts of major projects and propose responses, providing greater clarity and certainty for proponents and the community.

All state significant projects need to prepare a social impact assessment (SIA) in accordance with the guideline.

The guideline includes actions to put communities at the centre of planning, including:

  • early consultation with the community so they can have confidence that their concerns and perspectives are being considered early in the assessment
  • enabling potentially affected people to be aware of plans and have a chance to be involved in a project’s development
  • identifying and assessing the positive social impacts people may experience
  • understanding and considering the livelihood and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities beyond cultural impacts
  • enabling a tailored approach, so the assessment is proportionate to the social impacts of a project.


For more information on the guideline and social impact assessment, go to the NSW Planning Portal or email [email protected]