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What is a Special Activation Precinct?

Published 26th February, 2019

A Special Activation Precinct (SAP) is a dedicated area in a regional location identified by the NSW Government to become a thriving business hub. 

SAPs will create jobs, attract businesses and investors, and fuel economic development in regional NSW to ensure regions are well placed to grow and meet future economic needs. 

SAPs are funded by the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund. The five elements support a SAP are below. 

1. Fast track planning

Faster and simplified planning and approval processes, meaning businesses can set-up and start trading in SAPs sooner. Each SAP will have its own planning arrangements that will ‘switch on’ streamlined planning processes in that precinct, giving businesses and investors shorter application and approval timelines, as well as exemptions in some circumstances. The NSW Government will seek community feedback when designing the planning arrangements for each SAP.

Fast track planning in SAPs will make it easier to establish, invest or grow a business in regional NSW.

2. Infrastructure investment

As each site is different, the NSW Government will tailor infrastructure investment to support local needs. Essential services that businesses need to operate will be provided by the NSW Government and may include roads and utilities such as water, electricity, stormwater, waste management and digital connectivity. This builds on the NSW Government's significant record of investing in regional infrastructure through the Regional Growth Fund.

3. Government-led studies

Expert studies that will confirm the types of governance and private investment needed to create a thriving SAP. Studies will include:

  • site master planning to ensure land is being used in the most effective and valuable way
  • identifying infrastructure needs
  • market analysis and economic forecasts that will uncover opportunities for industry specialisation
  • tailored planning instruments.

These studies will help to free up investor time and money to focus on growing regional jobs.

4. Government-led development

Depending on the region’s local needs, the NSW Government may look to activate land to ensure positive social and economic outcomes in the SAP. For example, some types of agribusiness need to be a minimum distance from each other to ensure safety and the high-quality standards that regional NSW is famous for. The NSW Government will identify these needs and invest in developments as needed.

5. Business concierge

The NSW Government has established a customer-based service to help businesses set-up and thrive in the SAPs. The business concierge service will assist business owners and investors by:

  • providing advice and support in navigating approvals, grants and support
  • liaising with NSW Government departments and agencies
  • responding to general enquiries
  • providing updates to tenants within SAPs.

Support for moving to Regional NSW

The NSW Government is making it easier for businesses to move to regional NSW, offering financial incentives for companies that will relocate to SAPs — the first of these are in Parkes and Wagga Wagga — with more to be announced in 2019.

The NSW Government has committed $20 million to the Regional Investment Attraction Fund. Applications for grants and interest-free loans are available to businesses located in SAPs, as well as trade goods and services across NSW.  

Relocation grants of up to $10,000 per worker are also available to help attract skilled employees to regional NSW businesses. These grants will help eligible businesses meet the costs of relocating employees, such as for furniture removal and temporary accommodation for up to three months.

Published 26th February, 2019
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