New South Wales

New O'Farrell government moves to end Part 3A planning laws in NSW

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has unveiled his 100 Day Action Plan and announced that State Cabinet's first meeting decided to scrap Part 3A of the planning laws, with all new applications to be halted from today.

Announcing his 100 Day Action Plan, Premier O'Farrell said his government would be "the busiest government in Australia," with removal of the Part 3A planning laws and the establishment of a Planning Review Panel to begin the process of drafting a new Planning Act some of the key priorities of the new government.

The Part 3A assessment system commenced in 2005 and allowed the Minister for Planning to determine planning applications that are of 'regional or state significance', overriding local government control.

"Repealing Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act was one of my Government's key election pledges - and it will be implemented," Mr O'Farrell said.

Mr O'Farrell said that as repealing Part 3A requires legislative change, it would be done in stages.

"From today, no new Part 3A applications for private residential, commercial, retail or coastal development will be accepted," he 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.

It is anticipated that about half of these applications will be referred to the Planning Assessment Commission for determination. A quarter will be referred to local government for determination, while others, which have been in the system for up to two years, will lapse.

Mr O'Farrell said that a full review of the State's planning legislation would also be undertaken, which is expected to take around 18 months.

"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," he said.

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