Property New South Wales

2020 Outlook Series Recap, NSW Division Council Update, ePlanning Update, Independent Planning Commission Review

NSW March 4, 2020

NSW 2020 Outlook Series

The Property Council's Outlook Series is done and dusted for another year, and what a great lineup of events we had! The events provided an update on the issues facing all property sectors in 2020 and delivered some great insights for attendees. Highlights from the events included:

OMR – growth of the commercial market in 2020 and supply in the pipeline, tenants needs and demands in Sydney CBD and greater Sydney, how we continue investment attraction and entice international business to come to Sydney.

Hunter – growth of the Hunter region and the significant infrastructure and investment, what’s next for the region in relation to planning and housing and the opportunities for tourism and growth.

Residential – focused on the more positive residential property market and economic climate, the panelists discussed the importance of the NSW Government to fast track approvals of residential projects which are held up in the planning process, with housing supply to be an issue. Read more in the AFR article here.

Retirement – discussed the economic impact of bushfires and other events on the retirement living sector, the Code of Conduct and implementation, as well as the use of data and technology in retirement living developments.

Industrial – the evolution of Industrial over the past 30 years and how it has changed, global appetite for industrial is rising, changing nature of tenant demand, changing requirements for last mile delivery and inner city distribution, expected returns for the industrial sector.

Western Sydney – the Western Sydney City Deal and governance, investment attraction in Parramatta, future of transport for the region, affordability of housing and the future of housing, placemaking and precinct curation and climate change.

Retail – changing nature of the retail sector, how to put customers at the heart of all decisions and to create strategies that address customer needs and wants, as well as the reinvention of retail to grow and remain relevant in the eyes of today’s consumers. Read more here.

Economic & Property Outlook – state of the economy and outlook for 2020, infrastructure investment and growth in cities, tax reform and what the agenda will look like at a federal level, impact of bushfires and other global events on the economy, energy policy and climate change.

Hotel – the changing nature of the Sydney CBD hotel market, City of Sydney vision for hotels and tourism in the CBD, economic impacts of global events and recent bushfires, occupancy rates and opportunities that will come with new developments.

Illawarra – growth and investment in the region, the property market outlook for 2020, commercial office market opportunities in Wollongong, connectivity to Western Sydney and planning policies to shape the future of the region.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, speakers and to all our attendees for supporting our 2020 Outlook Series!

NSW Division Council Update 

John Elvy 2This year we bid farewell to Vice President of NSW Division Council and Life Member of the Property Council of Australia, John Elvy. John has been such an important advocate for the property industry and has played a key role in driving change through his role as Vice President.

John was a member of the NSW Planning Committee for 13 years and also led Property Council's NSW Infrastructure Taskforce. He has also served as Chairman for Property Congress since 2011 and will continue to stay in his role as Chair.

We thank John for his endless support of the Property Council, for his leadership and all his extensive involvement and contributions to NSW Division Council for over 15 years in serving our members in NSW.

On that note, we would like to welcome and congratulate Fabrizio Perilli for being appointed to Vice President of NSW Division Council. Fabrizio is CEO, Development & Construction for Toga Project Services and has played an integral part in driving key advocacy objectives for the Property Council. We look forward to having Fabrizio as part of the Division Council Executive - thanks Fabrizio!

ePlanning Update

The NSW Government has announced their plans to mandate ePlanning across 42 councils in metropolitan Sydney, Illawarra, Newcastle and Central Coast. The adoption of ePlanning services forms a key part in the government’s commitment to fix the planning system alongside contributions reform, supercharging new hubs, placemaking and good design.

Following a successful trial with 26 councils, the mandate will require councils to complete the following via the NSW Planning Portal:

  • Commence use of all relevant digital services, including the lodgement of DAs, Complying Development Certificates (CDCs), and post-consent certificates;
  • Process 100 per cent of all planning applications (DAs, CDCs and post-consent certificates);
  • Appointment of principle certifying authorities and issue certificates; and
  • All new digital services with go-live dates to be determined in consultation with industry and councils.

An industry reference group will be established to allow stakeholders to provide feedback on implementing the roll-out of mandatory ePlanning. For further information please email

Release of Review into Independent Planning Commission (IPC)

In early February, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes released the report from the NSW Productivity Commission’s review of the IPC. Also released was the NSW Government’s response confirming acceptance of all the review’s recommendations.

The Productivity Commission found that having an independent decision-making function strengthens the planning system by minimising the risk of corruption and undue political influence. The principal recommendation to Government has been to retain the IPC as an independent decision-making body for contentious State significant developments (SSD and SSI).

Key reforms of the IPC will be delivered by the Government during 2020, including:

  • Establishing the IPC as a separate and independent agency, with a Chair accountable to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces;
  • Clarifying roles – with the IPC to act as a decision-maker on the State’s most controversial projects rather than re-assessing the Department’s technical work;
  • Eliminating bureaucratic double handling with the introduction of a single-stage public hearing process;
  • Ensuring only the most complex and contentious projects are referred to the IPC by raising the referral threshold to 50 unique community objections; and
  • Introducing accountability benchmarks for decision-making timeframes to ensure timely determinations.

If you require more information please contact Troy Loveday, Senior Policy Advisor on 9033 1907.

The Productivity Commissioner’s report can be found here and the submission made by the Property Council can be found here.