Overview & helpful links

After over two years of consultation and development, the NSW Government introduced their Planning Bills to Parliament in mid November 2013.

The Bills were heavily amended by the Legislative Council (Upper House) during debate in late November. There were over 40 amendments made to the Bills, the key ones included

  • Removal of code assessable development from the Planning Bills
  • Removal of a contentious new planning policy which makes the economic benefit of large mining projects the principle consideration in the approval process
  • Affordable housing provisions were added to the Bill.

Although these amendments were a ‘win’ for community groups, there is still a lot of major issues for local residents in the Planning Bills including

  • Little change to the Minister extensive discretionary powers which were raised by ICAC as a major corruption risk
  • Amendments to restore the rights of objectors failed
  • Top down planning system where system where high order strategic plans will govern what happens at local level
  • Strategic Compatibility Certificates (SCC) that essentially allow Local Plans to be ignored so that prohibited development can occur whenever a developer can convince the Government that it is consistent

The Planning Minister withdrew the Bills when they came back to the Lower House on 28 November to enable the Government to assess the amendments and come back with a plan in early 2014.

Read more about what happened at the 28 November Parliamentary session.

Updated information on the process and on issues relating to the Planning Reforms can be found at: