Government to fast track development and rezoning applications to keep construction industry moving

Construction in the Pinnacle Street high rise precinct at Miranda. Picture: John Veage
Construction in the Pinnacle Street high rise precinct at Miranda. Picture: John Veage

Development and rezoning applications will be fast-tracked "to keep people in jobs and the construction industry moving throughout the COVID-19 crisis".

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the construction and development sectors were vital for the economy during this period.

"Our economic recovery will in many ways be longer and harder than the health one and it's essential we do everything we can now to keep our state moving forward and allow work to continue wherever possible in line with the best medical advice."

Mr Stokes said the Planning System Acceleration Program would:

  • 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; and
  • 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.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the property and construction industry was one of the key drivers of jobs and investment in NSW, employing one in four people in the State.

"In the past six months alone, the NSW Government has approved projects and rezonings worth more than $15 billion and created more than 24,000 jobs across the state - that trend must continue as we move through this crisis," Mr Perrottet said.

Mr Stokes said the planning system would undergo further reform to ensure it enabled economic growth once the COVID-19 crisis is over.

"This will pass and when it does, the planning system will be ready to continue driving economic productivity across the state," Mr Stokes said.

Further details of additional reforms will be released in the coming weeks.