The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to support councils with funding and resources to clear DA backlogs and deliver more local housing.
Property Council’s NSW Acting Director, Adina Cirson said like many sectors across the economy, NSW was facing a shortage of planners, so the Premier’s announcement today was a welcomed decision.
“This shortfall is felt most acutely at the local government level where local councils do not have enough experienced planners operating within development assessment roles,” Ms Cirson said.
“This is resulting in delays to the registration of development applications (DAs), the allocation of DAs to assessing officers, and ultimately to the assessment and determination times for applications.
“Significant delays with internal referral departments within local councils, including in heritage and urban design, civil engineering, and traffic and transport engineering, are also resulting in further delays to the assessment of applications.”
Ms Cirson said Councils had already sought assistance from the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) to clear backlogs.
“However, there is generally a shortage of applicants to fill vacant positions, which is compounded by a competition for talent between local councils, DPE, and other state agencies,” she said.
“Given the shortage of planners has broad reaching implications for not only the planning industry, but also the broader development and property industries, we endorse this move for the NSW Government to expand and redirect existing overflow capacity initiatives to help councils clear DA backlogs and accelerate the flow of housing supply.
“This announcement reflects our long-standing call for the Government to provide greater support to local governments to help deliver more housing for all and we look forward to continuing to engage with the Government to ensure that these initiatives are kicked off without delay.”