State Government's $250 million carrot for councils to fast-track development

Wide open spaces: The Salt Pan Creek area recently received $200,000 in State Government funding to be upgraded under the Metropolitan Greenspace Program. Now local council's could receive milliions of dollars in funding if they fast-track development approvals.
Wide open spaces: The Salt Pan Creek area recently received $200,000 in State Government funding to be upgraded under the Metropolitan Greenspace Program. Now local council's could receive milliions of dollars in funding if they fast-track development approvals.

Bayside, Georges River and Sutherland Shire Councils will be eligible for a share in $250 million funding to provide new and improved public spaces if they focus on fast-tracking development assessments for projects that deliver much-needed jobs and housing.

The funding will be available under the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program which aims to provide an incentive to local councils to accelerate their assessments of development applications (DAs) and rezonings to create new development capacity and meet demand for housing and employment over the next decade.

"Councils that push forward with assessments of job-creating projects will be incentivised with funding for more, and better, public spaces," NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said.

"This program will unlock construction jobs across the State helping combat the economic shocks of COVID-19 while making communities a better place to live."

Under the program, Bayside Council, which is classified as a Metropolitan developed council with an open space shortfall, is eligible for up to $5.5million.

Georges River and Sutherland Shire Councils, which are classified as Metropolitan developed councils, will be eligible for up to $4.75 million each.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the program would create a lasting community benefit across the state.

"In NSW, we've already fast-tracked the determination of 67 projects since the pandemic began - creating opportunities for 40,000 jobs, 18,000 homes, 400 hectares of open space and $17.7 billion in economic benefit through our Planning System Acceleration Program," Mr Stokes said.

"Now we're helping councils to prioritise local planning projects that will boost jobs and investment in their communities with a $250 million incentive to create new and improved public spaces.

"We want councils to think big and bold and deliver legacy projects - new parks, new walking trails, more walkable and inviting streets and open spaces for their communities."

Mr Stokes added that the program will drive more efficient local development and support the delivery of the Premier's Priorities to increase the amount of green, open and public space.

"It builds on the success of the Planning System Acceleration Program to bring greater benefits to neighbourhoods and streets by providing councils the funds to create new or improved public space, as well as encouraging more efficient planning processes."

Funding will be available to 68 councils across NSW currently engaged with the ePlanning Program and which represent 82 per cent of total development applications considered by all 128 councils in NSW. The approach means the government can further encourage councils to use ePlanning.

For more information about the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program visit www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/publicspaceslegacy

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