Message from NSW Chapter President

6 April 2020 – Every day brings a new update from the federal and state governments as they move quickly to keep people safe and the economy moving in these extraordinary times.

As Chapter President I meet with and receive regular updates from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and other key bodies. To help you navigate the updates that impact your practice and the industry, the Institute will provide updates via e-news, our NSW social channels (instagram, twitter, facebook) and in a fortnightly President Update. We will also share the latest news in our weekly [net]work from home online meetings every Friday at 9.00am


Fast tracking approvals

DPIE, NSW Land and Environment Court (LEC) and local government authorities have been directed to fast track approvals already in the system and nearing completion. This is critical to supporting the ongoing health of businesses as well as the delivery of important projects, with emphasis on the importance of maintaining quality outcomes. The Institute has extended our offer to highlight approvals that are not progressing with DPIE, LEC and local government.

Please complete this form if you are aware of specific examples. We will forward the requests to the DPIE and relevant bodies, and continue to advocate on behalf of our members.

Jobs boost though fast-tracked planning system

The NSW Government has announced it will cut red tape and fast track planning processes to keep people in jobs and the construction industry moving throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Read more.

Construction hours extended

• The Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Construction Work Days) Order 2020 is now in place and will continue until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, or the advice of NSW Health changes.
• Construction sites can now operate on weekends and public holidays under new rules introduced today by the NSW Government to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.
• Food trucks are approved to operate on building sites with landlords permission.
• The Institute Architects site visit checklist provides advice on how to stay safe.

Advocacy – Business as usual

In addition to the crisis response advocacy our committees continue to focus on the health of the built world long term, making submissions to improve the outcomes of existing plans. Recent submissions included: DPIE EIS Western Harbour Tunnel & Warringah Freeway Upgrade and support for the heritage listing for the Ultimo Tramways Power House.

Thanks also to Dr. Jennifer Preston for her work on updating the heritage listing in the NSW register of significant buildings. While the Register has no statutory weight, it enjoys credibility and informal authority of judgement with local government as well as architects, heritage bodies and the general public as an information resource and adjudication of architectural merit.

Institute COVID-19 resources

The Institute have also put together a COVID-19 advice booklet, detailing what federal government support is available, who is eligible and how to claim relief.

Remember to check out the Institutes COVID-19 page which is updated regularly and includes details of support available for businesses and supply chain considerations.

I wish you, your family and your colleagues well, and I hope to see you at our upcoming [net]work from home session.

Kathlyn Loseby
NSW Chapter President


DPIE COVID-19 response and latest news
NSW Ministerial Orders 2020

Note: information is subject to change at any time. Please access the relevant sites for the most up to date information.