Real-time tracking and faster processing of local development applications is a step closer, thanks to nearly $10 million in funding from the NSW Government.
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the NSW Government is investing $9.7 million to enhance its ePlanning platform and ensure all councils can get online from 1 July 2020 onwards.
“ePlanning is an online platform that allows homeowners and businesses to lodge their development applications online and track them in real-time,” Mr Dominello said.
“We already have 37 councils successfully using the platform to process development applications (DAs) and this funding will deliver important upgrades to enhance and ensure the system can keep up with the increase in demand once all 128 councils are on board by July next year.”
The funding will deliver essential upgrades to the platform, including:
· expanding the digital services to improve integration between councils, state agencies and the Department;
· developing and implementing a service to allow applicants to lodge planning proposals in addition to DAs and process payments online;
· allowing the Land and Environment Court access to the system to assess and determine applications before the court;
· providing guidance, training and technical support to councils to get them on the system;
· developing comprehensive reporting and analytics to track progress; and
· upgrading the system to support increased demand.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said ePlanning will play an important role in helping councils keep the economy moving and construction workers in jobs during COVID-19.
“ePlanning is already helping councils slash processing times by up to 50 per cent and its roll out will help new projects get through the system faster,” Mr Stokes said.
“This investment shows the Government is serious about encouraging investment in NSW.”
Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said ePlanning is a great tool for councils and the community.
“Homeowners can lodge applications safely from home, neighbours can see in real-time what development is proposed in their areas and councils will have up-to-date data to plan, track and improve their assessment processes,” Mrs Hancock said.
On 1 July 2020 all Councils across Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Illawarra will be required to start accepting and processing DAs, complying development certificates and post-consent certificates via the NSW Planning Portal.
It will be mandatory for all greater metropolitan councils to process all applications via ePlanning by the end of 2020.
The remaining councils must process all applications through the NSW Planning Portal by 1 July 2021.