Local councils can now tap into the tools, guidance and support of the NSW Government’s successful Planning System Acceleration Program to fast-track council-led planning projects to help boost jobs and investment in their communities.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said 11 councils have already agreed to develop a Council Accelerated Assessment Program with the Government to help their communities rebound from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic faster.
“The NSW Government has developed new programs and processes to fast-track the State’s planning system during the pandemic, and we want to share what we’ve learnt with councils so they can follow suit,” Mr Stokes said.
“We’re doing what we can to turbocharge the housing and construction industries and now we’re calling on local government to do the same.”
Mr Stokes congratulated the first group of councils to opt-in to in the program, including Blacktown, The Hills, Parramatta, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Northern Beaches, Shoalhaven, Wagga, Albury and Port Stephens.
Councils that agree to run their own accelerated assessment program will receive:
- Key tools and documents from the State’s Planning System Acceleration Program that will enable councils to implement a transparent and robust fast-tracked assessment process at a local level;
- Access to the Government’s new ‘One Stop Shop’ that has been set up to manage complex planning projects and coordination between government agencies;
- Training and support from senior planners within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to establish local accelerated assessment programs; and
- Direction from the NSW Government to State and regional planning panels to support efforts by councils to get shovel-ready projects out the door faster.
Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said councils interested in taking part in the Council Accelerated Assessment Program should register their interest online, or
through the Office of Local Government.
“This is a great example of the State and local governments working hand in hand to generate more investment and jobs right across the State,” Mrs Hancock said.
“I’d encourage every council to get involved in the Council Accelerated Assessment Program to see how it could be adapted to the benefit of their local community.”
The Planning System Acceleration Program was introduced by the NSW Government in April 2020 to fast-track planning assessments to create opportunities for thousands of new jobs and drive investment. Once a project is selected for the program, it is determined within four weeks. To date, the program has created opportunities for more than 16,000 direct jobs and almost $11 billion worth of economic investment across NSW.