NSW Planning reforms will return in mid-2016

May 6, 2016 Planning News

NSW Planning reforms will be brought back by the State Government for public comment and a bill brought to State Parliament from mid-2016.

In 2016, the Government intends to amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the EP&A Act), with a focus on the following areas:

  • Community engagement:  establishing a new part of the Act that consolidates community consultation provisions, and requiring decision-makers to give reasons for their decisions;
  • Development pathways: clearly stating the different development pathways and consent authorities under the Act;
  • Environmental assessment: clarifying and streamlining the environmental assessment provisions, including by incorporating state significant infrastructure;
  • Reviews and appeals: consolidating provisions into a single new part of the Act;
  • Administration: standardising provisions relating to the administration of the Act, including those relating to the Minister, the Secretary, the Planning Assessment Commission and other planning bodies; and
  • Language and accessibility: improving the structure and language of the Act so that it is easier to understand, follow and apply.

We are yet to receive detailed information on how this has changed from what was proposed in 2013. We will update you on this once the State Government releases more information.

NSW Planning reforms have been on hold for over two years

After two and a half years of public consultation the Planning Bill 2013 (Planning Bill) and Planning Administration Bill 2013 (Planning Administration Bill) was introduced into the NSW Parliament in mid-October 2013. The Bills passed the Lower House on Wednesday 30 October 2013 and were introduced to the Upper House on the same day. The Planning Bill faced difficulties in the Upper House and a significant number of amendments were proposed. The amended Bill then went back to the Lower House for concurrence. On 28 November 2013 the Lower House made the decision to defer the debate on the Planning Bill until the Parliament sits again in 2014.

Mosman Council will be invited to stakeholder advisory forums

From what we have been able to gather this morning, in the immediate term, we (Council) expect to be invited to stakeholder advisory forums which will be held by consultants to hear views from councils, peak bodies, environment, industry and community groups. Advisory forums will be roundtable format, independently facilitated discussions. Department officers will be on hand at each event, to discuss and refine the details of proposals, and will follow up to resolve outstanding issues.

The public will be invited to comment on the draft bill

You (and Council) will be able to comment on the draft bill which will be out for public consultation in the second half of this year. An exposure draft Bill will be made available for public comment, discussion and review mid-2016.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ask-the-neighbours-first-new-da-process-for-nsw-considered-by-rob-stokes-20160505-gomxyc.html#ixzz47pOd85tW