Infrastructure SEPP Review 2016
State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) Amendment (Review) 2016 – EDO NSW submission
April 2017 – Download PDF
This submission comments on the review of the SEPP (Infrastructure) 2007 – a powerful planning instrument that sets out how local infrastructure projects, state services and utilities are approved, often with limited (if any) public consultation.
The draft SEPP significantly expands the activities that can use fast-track ‘exempt’ and ‘complying’ approvals, or be ‘self-assessed’ and approved by a state agency or local council proposing the development (‘Part 5’ assessment).
In our submission we:
- raise key issues of transparency, assessment and oversight;
- review the key amendments proposed by the Government; and
- comment on positive changes, concerning changes and o proposals requiring further detail.
We argue that any expansion of faster infrastructure approvals calls for:
- improved transparency, notification and consultation based on the scale of change;
- harm minimisation guidelines, to ensure the SEPP is properly applied;
- exemplary environmental compliance within agencies that rely on ‘Part 5’ assessment; and
- strong and properly resourced oversight and enforcement by regulators, including the Department of Planning and Environment.
We have made a separate submission on the proposed new SEPP for education and childcare facilities.