Part 3A to be rolled-back

04 April 2011

The NSW Premier, Mr Barry O’Farrell, has announced that new Part 3A applications are to be halted from today. Part 3A will be abolished “in stages”.


“From today, no new Part 3A applications for private residential, commercial, retail or coastal development will be accepted,” Mr O’Farrell said.


“Cabinet has directed the Minister for Planning to draw up detailed plans to repeal Part 3A from the Statute books permanently – and this will be done when Parliament resumes.”


Mr O’Farrell said transitional arrangements would be put in place to deal with the more than 500 Part 3A applications already in the system.


Subject to the final transition arrangements, he said it was anticipated that about half of these applications will be referred to the Planning Assessment Commission for determination.


“A further quarter will be referred to local government for determination and others, which have been in the system for up to two years, will lapse,” Mr O’Farrell said.


Under existing provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, it is possible for local councils to be delegated the full power to decide a Part 3A application, although we are not aware of any occasion where this has previously taken place.


“A full review of the State’s planning legislation will also be undertaken, which is expected to take around 18 months,” Mr O’Farrell said.


“The days of giving the Planning Minister sweeping powers to approve developments at the stroke of a pen with virtually no consultation with local communities are over.


“That extreme power only leads to the sort of suspicion and shady deals that we have seen in NSW over the last 16 years.


“We want to give planning powers back to local communities.


“They know what is best for their area and they should determine which developments should proceed.”


The Government’s media release on the issue is here. Their accompanying 100 day action plan is here.
A more general release on the 100 day action plan is here.


In our response we have recognised the mandate the government has for the roll-back of Part 3A, but we have highlighted that broader planning reform must now come quickly.  Our media release is available here.