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Planning - Current Issues


Jane Partridge 
Strategy Manager 

Phone: 02 9242 4093 

Linda Blinkhorn 
Senior Policy Officer, Planning 

Phone: 02 9242 4094 

Vanessa Burow 
Senior Policy Officer, Planning 

Phone: 02 9242 4025 


Changes to the NSW planning system have been made in response to COVID-19. This includes legislative changes allowing the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces to make orders enabling certain development to be carried out without normal planning approval for the duration of the pandemic.

The Planning System Acceleration Program is part of the response. It includes a program for councils to accelerate assessment of development to support local and regional economies to recover from the pandemic.

LGNSW is liaising with the state government to shape planning system responses to COVID-19. More information is available on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website.

Infrastructure Contributions Reform

The NSW Productivity Commission is undertaking a review of the infrastructure contributions system in NSW to be completed by the end of 2020.
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NSW Housing Strategy Discussion Paper

The NSW Government is preparing a 20-year Housing Strategy for NSW.

A Discussion Paper, which forms the basis of the strategy, is arranged around four interrelated themes - supply, diversity, affordability and resilience - and was released for comment between 15 June and 24 July 2020.

LGNSW made a submission on the Discussion Paper.

The NSW Government is currently reviewing submissions received. Feedback will help inform the development of the NSW Housing Strategy and first Action Plan.

Changes to Planning Panels

Changes to the way Local Planning Panels operate will be introduced from 1 August 2020. The changes include reducing the need to conduct public panel meetings for non-contentious matters, reducing the amount of modifications going to panels, obliging panel chairs to more actively manage development applications coming to panels and introducing panel performance measures.

Information about the changes is available on the Department of Planning Industry and Environment website.

Design and Building Practitioners Act - Draft Regulations

The Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 requires the registration of practitioners involved in design and building work and new obligations on practitioners to declare compliance with the Building Code of Australia.

LGNSW is providing input to the regulations that are being developed to support operation of the Act.

Short-Term Rental Accommodation

The NSW Government is developing a new regulatory framework for Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA). The framework includes a state-wide planning framework, changes to strata legislation and a mandatory Code of Conduct.

Changes to strata legislation allowing owners’ corporations to pass by-laws that prohibit STRA within strata schemes (where the dwelling is not the host’s principal residence) commenced on 20 April 2020.

The state-wide planning framework and introduction of the Code of Conduct are currently on hold.

Information is available on the Department of Planning Industry and Environment and Fair Trading NSW websites.