Bringing in major change to the NSW Planning System can be compared to Australia’s change to decimal currency in February 1966 except the change cannot be instant. Here is how it could be done:

  1. Expand the scoping exercise for the proposed act in consultation with planning and local government authorities. We have prepared a very preliminary outline of the act which requires much further work.
  2. Create a formal public consultation process to invite public and professional submissions on the act starting with its objectives. The consultation should be digital and not a road show curated by advisors.
  3. Write the new act. Allow two years to prepare such legislation.
  4. At the same time, review the NSW Planning Portal and make it fit for the purpose of an expanded use where all the planning controls applying to an allotment can be downloaded in one action.
  5. Following consideration of all consultative processes, finalise Better Places Act for NSW Cabinet review and then submission to Parliament.
  6. Once gazetted, operate parallel planning systems:
  1. Each LGA to identify three easiest places to define and commence process of consultation to determine desired future character and means by which to achieve it.
  2. Operate current planning system (as improved in the meantime) for whole LGA.
  3. Switch defined places into new planning system under Better Places Act when consultations are complete and planning controls signed off by NSW Department of Planning.
  4. Gradually convert whole of LGA to new planning system under Better Places Act.
  • Restore community trust and involvement in the NSW planning system.
  • Make the planning system more efficient, understandable and transparent by adopting the latest digital technology.
  • Focus the planning system on achieving better places.
  • Provide an agile planning system better able to respond to climate change and technological advances.