With all councils and government agencies now using the Planning Portal, the NSW government said development assessment times could be shortened by up to 30 days.
In line with the Premier’s mandate, all development applications and complying development certificates across New South Wales must be processed online through the government’s portal starting 1 July 2021.
Through this reform, the government expects the process to be slashed by up to a month.
“ePlanning has transformed a cumbersome and opaque paper-based process into a streamlined digital service, enabling people to submit applications online and track applications in real time,” according to Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes.
Apart from saving time for applicants and the local councils, the Planning Portal is reported to also reduce duplication and administrative costs, Minister for Digital and Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello added.
“The [portal] enables councils to post real-time performance data including the status of individual DAs and other planning applications and expected completion dates for projects,” Mr Dominello said.
“Through real-time tracking, the community can read all the documents associated with the proposal, know what stage it’s up to and receive progress updates, thus making way for more transparency and accountability when it comes to planning decisions.”
Ultimately, he opined that the reform stands as a “big win” for home owners, local councils and the construction industry.
The NSW government’s e-Planning initiative was initially mandated across only 26 councils as “a key part of the government’s program to reform the NSW planning system to improve its transparency, certainty and timeliness”.
Since the announcement of the Premier’s mandate in 2019, local councils have been provided with tools, advice and funding to usher them into the digital space, Mr Stokes said.
As such, more than 80,500 development applications have been submitted via the portal from January 2019 to present — representing $91.28 billion in investment.
“This one-stop shop plays an important role in keeping the economy moving while offering greater convenience for the people of NSW,” Mr Stokes concluded.
It’s the latest in a series of steps towards digital transformation by the state government in conjunction with the private sector, the latest being the abolition of paper certificates of title.