State Development Comparisons: Review of the NSW Planning System


In light of both recent changes to planning legislation, and longstanding critiques of the NSW planning system, Mecone was engaged by Treasury NSW in 2019 to review the development approval and certification process of the NSW planning system comparative to other jurisdictions in Australia. The purpose of the review was to determine whether there are factors that would ensure the system would operate most effectively and efficiently, and to develop a number of recommendations for which Treasury NSW could investigate further.

Scope of Works

As a part of this review, Mecone utilised expertise from its NSW, QLD and VICS offices, and engaged additional consultants from WA, to co-ordinate inputs and analysis across four jurisdictions. The analysis considered the differences between the States across a number of areas including:

  • The stated objectives of each jurisdiction’s planning system (e.g. planning outcomes).
  • The complexity of the legislative framework.
  • The roles of actors in the planning system (e.g. developers, neighbours, councils, etc.).
  • The alignment of strategic planning documents (e.g. land use plans with transport master plans).

Mecone communicated the outcomes of the analysis to the client through a range of outputs, including the preparation of a comprehensive report which included process mapping and comparative timeframe mapping of the DA process for 7 different development types, for each State, and development of 18 recommendations for further consideration in future stages.

Project Facts

Client: NSW Treasury

LGAs: Throughout NSW

Size: NSW

Value: N/A

Sector: Policy and Urban Analytics

Services: Planning and policy advice

Team Members

Ben Hendriks
Mehra Jafari
Mehra Jafari
Joseph Bell
Winston Yang
Will Sullivan
Lucy Jenkin
Kathryn Jones

Image: Parramatta CBD

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