In brief

20 June 2011

The Australian Government has released their latest report Climate Change Risks to Coastal Settlements and Industry. The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, says that the report identifies more than $226 billion of assets in coastal areas nationally as being at risk from climate change based on a sea level rise of 1.1 metres representing a high-end scenario for 2100. The Governments media release is here and the Climate Change Risks to Coastal Settlements and Industry report can be accessed from here.


The NSW Department of Environment and Heritage will be producing a series of coastal zone management guide notes to support the preparation of coastal zone management plans. The first to be produced is the Coastal zone management guide note: emergency action subplans which is on exhibition until 24 June 2011. Apparently this guideline assists with the preparation of a coastal zone management plan by detailing the minimum requirements that must be addressed when preparing an emergency action subplan. The consultation draft of the guideline may be accessed from here.

A number of administrative and legislative changes will come into force from July 1 including the changes made to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation. These include changes to fees charged by local councils for development applications, BASIX certificates and administration in line with consumer price index changes since when the fees were last revised. The fee increases at page 7-12 available here. Changes to BASIX fee structure can be accessed from here.

The NSW Government has announced an audit of all councils to identify infrastructure needs in every local government area of NSW. Apparently the audit will cover all urban and economic infrastructure such as roads, community halls, libraries, parks, sports grounds and water facilities. The Government says that the audit will be complete by early 2013. The Government media release is here.

The Australian Government has released a new report, the Outlook for Net Overseas Migration: May 2011. This is supposed to be the first step towards a comprehensive annual report on Australias future immigration levels. This report provides short-term forecasts of Australias future immigration levels, apparently to better inform planning and investment decisions. The Government says that the latest forecasts show that net overseas migration (NOM) will continue to decline to about 160,000 people by June 2011. Beyond June 2011, NOM should stabilise at around 170,000 to 180,000 people per year. The Outlook for Net Overseas Migration: May 2011 is here.

The base rate for the parking space levy will increase from $2,000 to $2,100 for premises in a “category 1” area and from $710 to $740 for premises in a category 2 area beginning 1 July 2011. Category 1 areas generally include the CBDs of the City of Sydney, North Sydney, Bondi Junction, Chatswood, St Leonards and Parramatta. Category 2 areas include the shopping centres of Westfield Bondi Junction Shopping Centre; Eastgate Shopping Centre; Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre; Myer Department Store; Westfield Chatswood Shopping Centre; and, Westfield Parramatta Shopping Centre. The Parking Space Levy Regulation is here.


State Environmental Planning Policy No 53”Metropolitan Residential Development has been repealed. SEPP 53 commenced in 1997 and was introduced to encourage local authorities to permit a wider range of housing choice within their local areas. The SEPP made it mandatory to permit dual occupancy on residential lots greater than 400 square metres. The SEPP did not apply to those councils who prepared a residential strategy and adopted local environmental plans to implement the strategy which achieved the aims of the SEPP. Ku-ring-gai was the only remaining council where the SEPP applied. The changes impacted on development applications that were lodged and already pending.  We have raised our concerns with the government at the emerging pattern of retrospective decision-making impacting on development applications already well underway.  The government media release is here. The Department of Planning and Infrastructure planning circular is here.

The SEPP (Repeal of State Environmental Planning Policy No 53”Metropolitan Residential Development) 2011 is here.