In brief

04 April 2011

The NSW Premier, The Hon Barry O’Farrell has announced that Landcom will begin the delivery of 10,000 new housing blocks over the next four years. Apparently, Landcom has provided the new Premier with a strategy to accelerate its existing program to bring more blocks to the market sooner. The Premier’s media release detailing his government’s commitment to accelerated land release is here

It is important to understand that the 10,000 figure relates to the total lot production by Landcom in Western Sydney. So when existing production levels are taken into account, it amounts to around an extra 2,300 housing blocks over four years – equivalent to an extra 570 lots a year.

The NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) have released (prior to their abolition) a new policy on road noise. The NSW Road Noise Policy is intended to guide the assessment of road projects and other road noise generating activities for the preservation of acoustic amenity. When originally exhibited, we identified the potential overlap between DECCW’s draft policy and existing noise goals for new residential development near rail corridors and busy roads contained in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 (Infrastructure SEPP). Thankfully, DECCW’s policy now properly clarifies that noise goals for new residential development are not considered in the NSW Road Noise Policy but are to be derived by consulting the Infrastructure SEPP and the existing supporting DoP Guideline for Development near Rail Corridors and Busy Roads. The NSW Road Noise Policy is here.  The existing DoP Guideline for Development near Rail Corridors and Busy Roads is here.


The Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards will commence on 1 May 2011. These new standards are part of a scheme to improve accessibility of public buildings for people with a disability, aligning with changes to the Building Code of Australia which also operate as from 1 May 2011. The standards clarify the general non-discrimination provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act in relation to the design construction and management of buildings. It is understood that complying with the premises standards satisfies the Act. The Attorney-General’s Department maintains a website containing useful information for building designers and managers accessible from here.  The Australian Human Rights Commission has also prepared a guideline on the application of the Premises Standards accessible from here.


The Productivity Commission is conducting an inquiry into the economic structure and performance of the Australian retail industry. They have released an issues paper. We expect to make a submission so please contact us if there are matters you think we should raise. Initial submissions are due by Friday 20 May 2011. More information is here.