Friday, July 26, 2024

16 councils to trial AI planning

Sixteen NSW councils are set to trial technologies to speed up development assessment timeframes, as part of the State Government’s $5.6 million bid to introduce artificial intelligence into the planning system.

The successful councils applied for grants under the State’s Early Adopter Grant Program to trial technologies that will improve the quality and accuracy of information when a development application is lodged.

“Councils are responsible for determining approximately 85% of all new dwellings in NSW and I know firsthand the amount of work they do to assess development applications,” said Minister for Local Government, Ron Hoenig.

“I believe that utilising AI will accelerate the planning process and will help councils to get on with delivering for their communities.”

The Early Adopter Grant Program recipients include:

  • Bayside Council
  • Blacktown City Council
  • Burwood Council
  • Cessnock City Council
  • City of Canterbury Bankstown
  • City of Newcastle (with co-applicants: Central Coast Council and Muswellbrook Shire Council)
  • Cumberland City Council
  • Eurobodalla Shire Council
  • Hawkesbury City Council
  • Inner West Council
  • Lake Macquarie City Council
  • Randwick City Council
  • Wagga Wagga City Council
  • Wingecarribee Shire Council

The grant funding forms part of the NSW Government’s wider AI in NSW Planning package.

The AI project seeks to identify how the planning system can benefit from the implementation of AI.

The next phase of the project will examine technologies that can work with the NSW Planning Portal to make the benefits of artificial intelligence available to all applicants.

“Using technology to assist in the assessment of development applications is a critical way the government can support councils to speed up development assessment times to better address the housing crisis,” said Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully.

“Introducing AI into the planning system is about reducing the administrative workload of planners so that they can get on with their main job of planning. It also helps applicants as it reduces delays by making sure all the required information is provided without repeated requests. This will free up their time and help build more homes faster.

“There is no denying that after a decade of confusing planning reforms and a challenging macroeconomic environment, that approvals have slowed down. As a government we are examining every way we can to speed up our planning system and build homes for our young people, our families and our workers,” said Mr Scully.

Each Council grant recipient will be supported to trial their nominated new technology for a year.

For more information on successful councils and their grant projects, visit the AI in NSW Planning website.

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