Industry Update – November 2020 


Planning Monthly Update 

Western Sydney Aerotropolis
The Draft Precinct Plans for the initial precincts and the Draft Special Infrastructure Contribution have been released for public comment until 18 December 2020. The Draft SIC is a two tiered rate ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 per hectare of NDA with an additional charge up to 2% of CIV for identified sites within 1.2km of the new metro stations. Transitional arrangements provide a discount of 50% for payment before 1 July 2022 and 25% between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023. Both Liverpool and Penrith have prepared a S7.12 contributions plan that proposes a percentage rate levy of 6.5% of CIV in addition to the SIC. As the s7.12 rate is higher than the 1% currently permitted by the Regulation the Minister must approve the higher levy rate.

Rezoning Appeals
The NSW Government is investigating the establishment of this new class of appeals in the Land & Environment Court. Information to date is scant and whilst this may be a welcome change for some of our clients we consider this will be unlikely in the short term as it would require the Land and Environment Court Act be amended. The balance of power in the NSW Parliament is such that passing legislation is difficult at present (NSW planning reform is presently being pursued by a variety of Ministerial Orders, Regulations and planning instruments). We also have concerns as to how operationally the Court would assess Planning Proposals. In the meantime if Council advises that it does not support a Planning Proposal, or fails to indicate support within 90 days, our clients are reminded that existing procedures permit an application for the Planning Panel to conduct a rezoning review.

What About Riverstone East?
Our clients working in the North West Growth Area for some years will remember the release of the Riverstone East Precinct and the subsequent rezoning of Stages 1 & 2. Stage 3 remains rural zoned land despite a draft ILP being released. We frequently receive enquiries as to when Stage 3 will be rezoned.  Our analysis indicates that servicing (a new zone substation is required in this Precinct and no land has yet been identified; a regional basin is required to unlock the northern part of the Precinct and this land has not been acquired) and land supply (Blacktown already has sufficient land zoned to exceed their housing targets) are the two primary factors that preclude rezoning at the current time. There is therefore no intention for government to rezone the remainder of the Precinct in the short to medium term (1-3+ years). DPIE may consider an acceleration should a developer of scale (circa 1,000+ lots) present a proponent-led proposal which would involve no cost to government in constructing the facilitating infrastructure.

Recapping 2020
As this is our final industry update for the year it’s worth revisiting the major milestones of the year that’s passed – and what a year it was!

  • The first precincts of the Aerotropolis were rezoned as has the long awaited Mamre Road Precinct.
  • The Draft Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2036 was the first of the Regional Plans to be reviewed and exhibited. The next few years will see the remaining Regional Plans reviewed.
  • Almost all Councils completed the GSC’s Local Strategic Planning Statements assurance process. Keep an eye out in 2021 for Councils Local Housing Strategies and LEP/DCP Reviews (and Local Council elections).
  • The NSW Productivity Commissioner’s review into the NSW infrastructure contributions system was announced and the findings are due before the end of this year.
  • A new Planning Delivery Unit charged with ‘unsticking’ ‘stuck’ projects was born. A reminder that projects can be referred by emailing
  • Developer contributions were uncapped – and then promptly recapped but only in Blacktown and The Hills and only until the end of the year.
  • After years of deferrals the Low-Rise Medium Density Housing Code was rebadged as the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code and finally came into force.
  • There are 109 Draft Plans and Policies (not including 506 Planning Proposals) currently being considered by DPIE.

To discuss further please contact Nathan Croft, Manager Planning & Development Strategy on 0419 845 089 or at

Construction Monthly Update 

Picton Road Upgrade
On Monday 9th November, in the 2020-21 NSW Budget, the State Government made a commitment of $44 million for the planning and development of Picton Road upgrade. Picton Road is a major connection between the Illawarra and the growth areas in the south west and west of Sydney and is expected to reach full capacity by 2025. The news released by the State Government is a great step forward in improving the safety and connectivity of this important road corridor.
Orion Consulting is currently tendering on the provision of Project Verification Services for a portion of these works.

Orion’s Independent Verifier Services
Earlier this year we welcomed a new member to our team, Casey Miles. Casey Miles has over 18 years’ experience as a qualified Civil Engineer and has been involved in a number of key road and bridge infrastructure projects, acting on behalf of RMS, for large commercial and property developers. He has joined our team as an Independent Verifier and brings a breadth of knowledge and experience to his role.

To supplement Casey in his Verifier Role, we would also like to congratulate Mina Fahmy on receiving his Chartered Engineer status. Mina has over 10 years’ experience in the industry delivering major projects across a variety of disciplines for clients such as TfNSW and RMS. Mina is now the fourth Chartered Engineer in our team and brings the number of Chartered Engineers at Orion to 7.

Australian Tanks
On 12th November, Orion’s Construction Team attended an in-house presentation delivered by Australian Tanks focussing on modular pre-cast on-site stormwater detention systems.

Australian Tanks provides a number of solutions for Commercial, Civil, and Industrial projects, including:

  • Onsite Stormwater Detention,
  • Sewer and Stormwater Pump Stations,
  • Sewer Emergency Storage Overflow Tanks,
  • Water Storage Harvesting,
  • Coated Fuel Spill Tanks and Colling Pits,
  • Underground Fire Service Tanks,
  • Built Onsite tanks, and
  • Made to Order Concrete Products.

With the evolving market, our team is constantly on the lookout for new and innovation solutions and products that we can incorporate into our existing and future projects. We appreciate all the time and effort that went into holding this event for us and would like to say a special thank you to Eddie and Brad from Australian Tanks for putting this together.

For more 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 

Outer Sydney Orbital Stage 2
The Outer Sydney Orbital (OSO) Stage 2 Options Planning Report has been released and community feedback is open until the 14th of December. Stage 2 of the OSO will provide a link from the planned junction of OSO Stage 1 with the Hume Motorway and Appin Road which will provide greater connectivity between the Illawarra and Western Sydney. The link will provide connectivity for both freight and passengers from the Illawarra (and Port Kembla) to the Aerotropolis and the Greater Western Sydney Area.

Sydney Metro West
Work has commenced on the Metro West. Metro West Stage 1 provides a new rail link between the Bays Station at Rozelle to a Planned Station at Westmead. The project will double the existing passenger rail capacity between Parramatta and the CBD and will create more than 10,000 jobs throughout the span of the project.

Marsden Park – CP21 Review  
IPart has commenced a review of the Marsden Park Contribution Plan (CP21). The review will focus on the Open Space embellishment costs and looks to remove $112m from the current Contribution Plan. The review is set to be finalised in February 2021.

West Dapto – Suburb Names
Wollongong City Council has released a shortlist of names for new suburbs within the West Dapto Urban Release Area. The proposed suburbs contain existing and planned developments and will rename areas of Kembla Grange, Huntley and Avondale. Feedback on the proposed names is open until the 16th of December.

To discuss further please contact our Manager – Projects, James Green on 0439 867 679 or at

Orion Consulting News 

Orion Consulting would like to introduce to you two new team members Senior Design Engineer Nathan Gundlach and Draftsperson Faisal Merchant , joining our Sydney office.

Nathan has worked in the engineering industry for many years, bringing his broad range of knowledge and experience in flood studies, stormwater design and subdivision design to our growing engineering team. He has worked on multiple projects for councils on the NSW south coast.

Faisal is a motivated drafter, eager to expand his knowledge in the engineering industry. Faisal is bringing two years of experience to the Drafting team. He has worked on a vast range of projects ranging from sales plans, bulk earthwork to subdivision CCs.

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