ePlanning mandate a big win for homeowners

Published: 21 Mar 2020

Released by: Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Minister for Customer Service, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces

Homeowners in metropolitan Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Illawarra will be able to lodge DAs online in the comfort of their homes, and see a reduction in assessment times, with the NSW Government mandating ePlanning across 42 councils from 1 July 2020.

It will be mandatory for the remaining 86 councils to use ePlanning from 1 July 2021. There are 28 councils currently using the online DA service on the NSW Planning Portal. 

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said ePlanning is transforming the planning system by providing an online environment where planning services, information and data can be accessed anywhere, anytime. 

“ePlanning has been a game changer for homeowners – the average time taken by government agencies to respond to requests has been reduced by up to 20 days, with DA processing times being slashed by more than half in some councils,” Mr Dominello said. 

“This initiative puts the customer at the centre of the DA process by eliminating paperwork, allowing applications to be submitted anywhere in real-time, avoiding delays and boosting transparency. 

“This mandate sends a strong message to communities and councils – we are putting the customer first and using technology to make life easier for people.” 

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the councils that make up the initial mandate account for two-thirds of all DA determinations in NSW, equating to $39 billion in development value for the State economy. 

“Mandating ePlanning is one of the key ways we are transforming the NSW planning system to boost its timeliness, certainty and transparency as well as enabling housing supply,” Mr Stokes said. 

“From 1 July 2020, councils and Principal Certifying Authorities (PCAs) operating in metropolitan areas will be required to start accepting and processing DAs, complying development certificates and post-consent certificates via the NSW Planning Portal. 

“It is vital to ensure that we use all the tools and innovations available to us to support and stimulate our economy during these challenging times” 

From 31 December 2020, it will be mandatory for these applications and PCA appointments to be completed on the portal. Councils and private certifiers will be able to opt-in to ePlanning before the mandate takes effect. 

This transition period will allow councils time to prepare their operating procedures and staff to implement ePlanning successfully. 

The Department, in collaboration with councils, also has support and training staff on hand to help people over phone or by Skype to use the new services. 

ePlanning will be mandated in the following councils from 1 July 2020:

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