Industry Update – May 2020


Liverpool COVID Contributions Reform
Liverpool Council is currently exhibiting amendments to all of their S7.11 Contributions Plans that impact Development Applications lodged or approved between 16 April 2020 and 31 December 2020. The timing of 50% of contributions will be delayed from CC to OC. Subdivisions currently defer 100% of contributions to SC and aren’t impacted however the change to no longer require a Bank Guarantee for these applications will be welcome news for the industry.

Planning System Acceleration Program
Tranche 1 announced the fast-tracking of 24 projects to be determined in four weeks. This was an ambitious target and the NSW Government has now determined all projects valued at $7.54B. Tranche 2 has just been announced to be determined by 18 June 2020 valued at $5.3B. Of great interest to our clients will be the inclusion of the Mamre Road Precinct rezoning which was excised from the Aerotropolis to be fast-tracked independent of the broader rezoning of that Growth Area.

Development Consent Lapse Dates
The EP&A Act has been amended to increase the duration of development consents that would have lapsed between 25 March 2020 to 25 March 2022 by two years. The timeframe for lodgement of an appeal with the Land & Environment Court has been extended from six to twelve months for applications where the right of appeal had not lapsed before or arises from 25 March 2020 to 25 March 2022. On more complex DA’s this may mean that pre-emptively lodging an appeal with the Court before appeal rights lapse can be delayed giving more time to negotiate an outcome with Councils.

The Regulation has been amended to establish that development consents issued from 15 May 2020 must satisfy a new test to establish that building, engineering or construction work relating to the building, subdivision or work has physically commenced. Minor works such as soil testing, survey work, acoustic testing, removing vegetation and marking the ground no longer satisfy this provision. Development consents issued before 15 May 2020 are unaffected.

Existing Use Rights
Between 25 March 2020 to 25 March 2022 an existing use is abandoned if the premises is vacated for three years (from one). Existing use rights allow land to continue to be used despite changes in planning laws that may make that use prohibited.

New EP&A Regulations Delayed
The remaking of the Regulations was due later this year but has been delayed by one year. This is unlikely to have any impact on our clients as the renewal of the Regulations wasn’t expected to make significant changes.

IPART Contributions Reviews
IPART has released their final report for Wollongong City Council’s Contributions Plan – West Dapto which if adopted will see S7.11 contributions levied at $50,876 per dwelling/lot. Also released this month is the draft report for The Hills Shire Council’s Contributions Plan 13 – North Kellyville Precinct on exhibition until 12 June 2020 which if adopted will see S7.11 contributions levied at $31,964 per dwelling/lot.

Draft Water NSW Regulation 2020
The Draft Regulation is on exhibition until 31 May 2020. The Regulation protects water supply in ‘special areas’ and ‘controlled areas’. Development on the Sydney fringe that is near to these areas has the potential to harm the water supply. The key amendments that will be of interest to those developing near these areas are the broadening of chemicals regulated by the Regulation, the new requirements regarding pollution from adjacent lands, and the proposal to increase some penalties. If you have land on the fringes of Sydney adjacent the drinking water catchment then this Regulation will be of interest to you.

If you’d like to make a submission regarding any of the above exhibitions or would like to discuss further please contact our Planning Expert, Nathan Croft on 0419 845 089 or at

Construction Monthly Update 

FOCUS: Illawarra: West Dapto Urban Release Area:

Over the last few years, as we’ve been growing our team within the Wollongong and greater South Coast region, we have been paying particular attention to the developments of the West Dapto Urban Release Area.
With West Dapto being the largest strategic urban release area in the Illawarra, a lot has changed over the last 12 years, from the rezoning of land, to the construction of new residential developments.

Over the last month, notable developments for West Dapto, include the recently opened Karrara Bridge and link. The Karrara Bridge and link, which is an extension of the existing Fowlers Road from its intersection with Princes Highway to the Fairwater Drive/Daisy Bank Drive roundabout, and includes two bridges, a 1.3 km in length four-lane road and shared path, and flood mitigation construction, was recently opened on the 28th of April. The Karrara Bridge and link is one of many key road improvements that council are undertaking as part of the much broader West Dapto Access Strategy.

Another notable development for the West Dapto Urban Release Area is the Draft Infrastructure Delivery Program, which was recently released on the 11th of May by Wollongong City Council. The Draft Infrastructure Delivery Program outlines council’s $800 million dollar expenditure budget for the Illawarra region, which will be spread out over the next four years, 2020/2021 to 2023/2024, to deliver ongoing renewal and maintenance of the existing infrastructure and the investment in a range of new projects. With the $377,546,900 four year capital expenditure budget for the Wollongong region, $29,185,000 will be going towards West Dapto.

Wollongong City Council’s proposed West Dapto Infrastructure Expansion will include 12 construct new projects, and 6 reconstruction projects, for roads, bridges and intersections throughout West Dapto. Out of these 18 projects, 8 are located in Wongawilli, including the West Dapto Rd / Wongawilli Road / bridge upgrade project expected to start Construction later this year.

With the proposed $29,185,000 four year capital expenditure budget for West Dapto, and the not included $41,231,000 council forecasted receipt of Contributed Assets, we will see over $70 million dollars deposited into the development of the West Dapto area over the next four years.

Our Orion Construction team, are equipped in providing local knowledge and extension experience and expertise in construction management to assist our clients in the delivery of residential developments located in the West Dapto Urban Release Area.

Orion Consulting continues to have a local presence in the Wollongong and greater South Coast region, and is readily available to assist with delivery of any infrastructure or residential projects you may have in the area. Please contact us to discuss how we can effectively deliver your project. Construction Manager Edmund Tsang on  0418 758 184 or at

Project Management Monthly Update 

General Update
The Orion Project Management team has continued to have a strong amount of enquiries from developers looking to continue to progress development approvals through the epidemic, several positive virtual meetings have been had with both Metro and Regional authorities and Council’s to continue to progress development approvals and designs.
Accelerated Infrastructure Fund
In April, the state government announced the $70 million dollar Accelerated Infrastructure Fund to support the delivery of key infrastructure in The Hills Shire Council and Blacktown City Council, this month 7 projects were announced as being supported by this funding boost, this will unlock key employment and residential lands within the North West Growth Centre.
Changes to Infrastructure Funding for Local Councils
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes announced changes to the way in which councils can utilise unspent infrastructure funds. The changes give council’s more flexibility to pool funds across contribution plans to fast track infrastructure that may have otherwise stagnated waiting for funds to be received within that Contribution Plan area. Orion Consulting is monitoring the delivery of this infrastructure across the Growth Centre’s and are hopeful this will unlock developable land and ease the burden on Developer’s to deliver temporary infrastructure wherever possible.
Guidance on Electronic Signing of Land Dealings and Instruments
As we head towards the “crunch-time” for end of financial year registrations the LRS has announced processes to enable close to 100% electronic lodgement of land dealings. Guidance on requirements for signing/executing have been provided on the LRS website and a full list of the documents which may now be lodged electronically is available.

If you have any questions on the above please contact our Manager – Projects James Green on 0439 867 679 or at

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