Industry Update – July 2020


Planning Monthly Update 

NSW Productivity Commissioner Infrastructure Contributions Review
The NSW Productivity Commissioner has released an Issues Paper as part of a review into the infrastructure contributions system in New South Wales. The Paper asks an extensive range of questions and submissions are open until 5 August 2020. This is an unique opportunity to shape the future of contributions in NSW so don’t miss the opportunity to have your voice heard.

New Major Infrastructure Corridors SEPP
The NSW Government has recently gazetted State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Infrastructure Corridors) 2020. Interestingly the draft SEPP first appeared in 2016, was re-exhibited in 2018, and the finalisation and gazettal came without notice. The draft SEPP has been repurposed to identify the new north-south rail corridor servicing the new Western Sydney Airport and the maps are certainly worth looking into to see the land affected in Blacktown, Fairfield, Penrith, Liverpool, Camden and Campbelltown LGA’s.

Planning Acceleration Program
The Department have now determined the Tranche 3 projects and have released Tranche 4. Of most interest to our clients will be the Blacktown CBD and Wentworthville Town Centre Planning Proposals. The major project assessments won’t generate a lot of general interest for our clients. We understand that this will be the final instalment.

Planning Reform Action Plan
The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has outlined a Plan to reduce rezoning timeframes to six (from 18) months and to cut assessment times for large regional and state significant projects. Of great interest is a proposal to permit appeal rights for the first time for rezoning applications under a new class of appeal to the Land & Environment Court. The capacity of the Court is again being boosted with two new Commissioners to be appointed.

New Planning Delivery Unit
A new Planning Delivery Unit has been formed to remove blockages and resolve issues for identified planning projects already in the system and under assessment. For projects that are regionally significant or valued in excess of $5M the PDU will be able to step in where concurrence or referral requests exceed the statutory time limits, unresolved assessment matters are preventing determination exceeding 120 days or there are multiple complex or significant environment issues. Projects can be referred to the PDU by emailing The PDU is also charged with reducing concurrence and referrals by 25 per cent over the next 3 years.

Local Planning Panel Changes
Changes to Local Planning Panels commence on 1 August 2020 and are designed to provide a more efficient assessment process. Public meetings will no longer be required for non-contentious development, some simpler applications will no longer be assessed by the Panels and the Panels will have greater power to bring forward Development Applications for determination.

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

Construction Monthly Update 

Developments in the Construction Industry

Interest in using hydrogen as a carrier of energy has grown over the last few years due to its potential in playing a key role in the decarbonization of the energy sector. With hydrogen’s attractive qualities such as producing little more than water vapour when burned, and the demand for low-carbon technology in the construction industry, it is no wonder we have just seen the unveiling of the world’s first working hydrogen-powered prototype excavator.

JCB, one of the world’s top manufacturers of construction equipment, unveiled their 20-tonne 220X excavator earlier this month, which has already undergone 12 months of rigorous testing at JCB’s quarry. Its power is generated by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to create the energy needed to run the electric motors. In the coming months, JCB will continue to develop and refine this technology with advanced testing of their prototype.

Another company we expect to see manufacture hydrogen-powered construction plant is Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE). With HCE recently joining forces with Hyundai Motor Group and Hyundai Mobis earlier this year through a memorandum of understanding, they plan to begin development of both hydrogen-powered excavators and forklifts this year, with a target date set in 2023 for mass-distribution.

For information on how we can assist with the delivery of any infrastructure or residential projects that you may have, please contact our Construction Manager, Edmund Tsang on 0418 758 184 or at

Project Management Monthly Update 

Reforms to NSW Stamp Duty

The NSW State Government has announced major reforms to the thresholds applying to stamp duty concessions for first home buyers. The changes increase the stamp duty concession to $800,000 for a full concession and reductions in stamp duty for properties up to $1,000,000. This represents an increase of $150,000 in the threshold and will provide much more opportunity for first home buyers purchasing homes in Western Sydney to access the concessions.

This will provide a further incentive for buyers who may be hesitant to purchase in the current market.

If you’d like to discuss the above, or any project delivery related items please contact our Manager – Projects, James Green 0439 867 679 or at

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