A faster, better planning system will save jobs and help communities

The Property Council of Australia has today welcomed the announcement by Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes that NSW will introduce a ‘Planning System Acceleration Program’ to cut red tape and fast track planning processes to stimulate the NSW economy.

This announcement comes at a critical time for NSW as it faces major challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and should allow the property industry to contribute strongly to the economic recovery of our State once the immediate health crisis has passed.

“This is a very important announcement today for those working in the property and construction industries, their families – and communities right across the State,” Property Council NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said today.

“A faster, better planning system has never been needed more than at this time of unprecedented crisis.

“Businesses, workers and families – who rely on property for jobs and to keep our economy moving – are grateful that that the Minister is prioritising the fast-tracking of local and regionally significant development.

“It is just as critical that the business-as-usual of local and State government continues throughout this crisis whilst the health advice allows. This program will not only support those assessing projects right now but will also help keep thousands of people working in the property industry supporting families and the broader economy.

“There is no doubt that the property industry will be critical in the post COVID-19 recovery phase – a more efficient and productive planning system has never been more important than it is now for our state’s economy.”

The Planning System Acceleration Program will:

• Create opportunities for more than 30,000 construction jobs in the next six months.
• Fast-track assessments of State Significant Developments, rezonings and development applications (DAs), with more decisions to be made by the Minister if required.
• Support councils and planning panels to fast-track local and regionally significant DAs.
• Introduce a ‘one stop shop’ for industry to progress projects that may be ‘stuck in the system’.
• Clear the current backlog of cases stuck in the Land & Environment Court with additional Acting Commissioners.
• Invest $70 million to co-fund vital new community infrastructure in North West Sydney including roads, drainage and public parks to unlock plans for the construction of thousands of new houses.

Further details of additional reforms are expected to be released by the NSW Government in the coming weeks.

“The Property Council looks forward to working closely with the Minister, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment as well as local governments right across the State to help the planning system respond to COVID-19 and save jobs, build homes and help communities recover,” Ms Fitzgerald concluded.

Media contact: Michelle Guido | M 0437 315 198 | E mguido@propertycouncil.com.au