Application lodgement goes digital, making submissions easier

Staff at Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) are busily working behind the scenes to help builders, developers and the community understand how to use the NSW Government’s Online Planning Portal, with a 2019 Premier’s Mandate requiring all NSW councils to be using the ePlanning digital services by 1 July 2021.

All local councils, including DRC will be processing 100% of their land use applications through the NSW Planning Portal. With most services already going digital, staff have been working with local builders and developers, to help them understand how to lodge their applications. The changes aren’t limited to Development Applications (DAs), with Complying Development Certificates (CDCs) and post consent certificate applications also requiring submission via the online portal.

“Building and Development staff have already been working to ensure the transition to an online portal is as easy as possible. ePlanning is an extremely popular tool right across NSW, and it’s hoped that by going digital from 1 July 2021, applications will be processed faster, more accurately, and offer greater efficiency’s for customers,” said Director Development and Environment Stephen Wallace.

To help the region’s residents understand the process and how the portal works, a webpage has been setup, with a step-by-step guide on how to lodge applications, and then track them whilst the application is assessed. If residents are still unsure about how to lodge an application, they can contact Council’s Customer Experience Centres.

“It’s illegal for Council staff to lodge an application on behalf of an applicant, so it’s important that anyone submitting a DA, CDC or post consent certificate application is aware of how to use the portal. The benefit of the NSW Government’s online planning portal, is that anyone can access it 24/7, so if you need to lodge a DA, it makes it easier and more convenient for the customer to do so,” said Mr Wallace.

The ePlanning model will also be a useful tool for more government agencies, such as helping governments identify key growth areas much faster. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has already started drawing its monthly requirement of NSW planning data directly from the NSW Planning Portal in real time, which means that the ABS can share data with government agencies faster and help address key areas of need.

“Before things started going online, Council staff would have to collate all its development data manually, and provide this to the ABS. It can be a big job to collate all this information and process it manually, and with multiple sources of data, there is more margin for error. Moving everything online will create greater efficiency and ensure data is up to date and accuracy,” said Mr Wallace.

To find out what’s required when submitting an application to the new Planning Portal, visit for more information.

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