Koala SEPP updates

The Koala SEPP has been updated and Guidelines finalised in an effort to bring more balance to the protection of koalas and rights of landowners. Advocacy from UDIA has helped shape the new guidelines with improved industry outcomes.

The key features of the new framework include:

  • Clearing vegetation for Asset Protection Zones required to rebuild bushfire damaged or destroyed homes are exempt development under the Koala SEPP.
  • The Koala Development Application Map (pink map) has been removed and replaced with a requirement for on ground surveys for development applications.
  • The Site Investigation Area for Koala Plans of Management Map (blue map) has been updated further. This map is only relevant to councils preparing Koala Plans of Management and will be made available to the community on request or if a council decides to develop a plan.
  • Clarifying the Koala SEPP does not apply to land which has been bio certified under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.
  • An update to the definition of core koala habitat to require land to contain highly suitable koala habitat as well as koala presence or koala records.
  • Updated reference to tree species from koala feed trees to koala use trees.
  • Increasing the minimum exhibition period for a draft Koala Plan of Management from 28 to 90 days (with an additional 60-day ‘stop the clock’ mechanism available under the Guideline for objecting landholders.)
  • Outlining the dispute resolution process under the Guideline for landholders who wish to object to proposed core koala habitat designation under a draft Koala Plan of Management.
  • Updates to the development application process under the Guideline to ensure all low or no impact development can proceed without requiring surveys or reports from landholders.
  • Clarifying that only BioNet records of koala presence with a better than 1,000 metre accuracy level are to be used when identifying core koala habitat.

For more information including responses to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Environment-and-Heritage/Koala-Habitat-Protection-SEPP.


Bank guarantees for TfNSW halved

In response to UDIA advocacy for better customer service and support for development with Transport for NSW (TfNSW; formerly RMS) and the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole MP, we have today confirmed that the requirements on developers for bank guarantees to secure road works under the Works Authorisation Deed (WAD) have been cut in half.

TfNSW has committed to a full review of its internal procedures including the WAD process after our advocacy for improvements. We will be working closely with TfNSW on the broader review efforts.

These moves follow the recent addition of a new key resource with Damien Pfeiffer appointed Director Development Services – Land Use, Regional and Outer Metropolitan and an ongoing wider internal review of resourcing.

TfNSW had required security under the WAD in the form of a bank guarantee or cash bond at 100% of the cost of works until practical completion, and 50% held for the 12 months defects liability period. As of today, bank guarantees will be reduced to 50% until practical completion and 25% for the 12 months defects liability period. The reduction of bank guarantees applies to current and future WAD contracts. TfNSW will work with individual proponents to apply the reduction to existing WADs. UDIA continues to engage on this issue and TfNSW has indicated further reductions may be possible.

UDIA is leading industry advocacy for improvements at Transport for NSW. Our Hunter Reference Group is meeting frequently with senior TfNSW officials who have committed to addressing the Department’s process, resourcing and cultural hurdles to development.

Read confirmation from Transport for NSW here.

Reference Group consists of:

  • Property Council Australia
  • Hunter Joint Organisation

With input from:

  • Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
  • Lake Macquarie City Council and Dantia



GSC and Central Coast Council

October 2020 has been a tumultuous month on the Central Coast.

  • Council Financial Mismanagement Revealed

On 6 October, Central Coast Council acknowledged that a financial review had uncovered a reportedly unexpected $89 million deficit, and that the Council “is in a serious financial situation and faces an immediate and serious liquidity issue.”

Read UDIA NSW Media release here.

  • Use of Restricted Funds Proposed

Council proposed to access restricted funds including developer contributions to cover some of the financial shortfall. UDIA issued a strong statement in opposition to using developer contributions for any purpose other than the delivery of local infrastructure for which it was collected.

  • NSW Payroll Bailout

Council faced an inability to pay its staff, and the Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock MP announced that the NSW Government would advance Council $6.2 million to meet payroll expenses and overdue payments to suppliers.

  • Administrator for Central Coast Council

Today, the Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock MP issued Central Coast Council with a order of suspension and has appointed Mr Dick Persson AM as interim administrator. Read the order here.


  • Greater Sydney Commission to develop Central Coast Strategy

The Premier and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast announced that the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) will step in to develop a Central Coast Strategy focused on the region’s economic development. UDIA welcomed this news as a positive step that will improve investor confidence on the Central Coast. UDIA NSW CEO Steve Mann has spoken with the GSC Chief Commissioner Geoff Roberts about the initiative and we look forward to working productively with the GSC to develop the Strategy.

  • UDIA Central Coast End of Year Luncheon

Our Central Coast End of Year Luncheon on 13 November will focus on the evolving situation and opportunities in the region with our guest speakers Adam Crouch MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast; and David Harris MP, Shadow Minister for the Central Coast. Seats are limited, book your place now.

CEO Message 23.10.20

NSW Government’s ‘Harbour Bridge moment’

This week we ramped up our advocacy for the Western Parkland City. The Western Sydney Airport Metro Line is a crucial piece of city shaping infrastructure which provides the ‘iron spine’ for the Western Parkland City and should serve to connect the ‘West with the West’ as a north south city. The release of the EIS this week cinched the current scope of the government’s vision for the West.

This significant government investment must fully capitalise on the potential access, connectivity, job creation, housing delivery, amenity and placemaking opportunities for residents and businesses in Western Sydney. We applaud government for committing to infrastructure investment for the West, but we need to make sure we are building the right city.

This plan for the Airport line fails to take the long term city shaping opportunities’ into account, and we fear that we will end up developing the wrong city and Western Sydney will remain an ostensibly car-orientated, low density and jobs-poor urban landscape.

UDIA NSW has been advocating for delivery of an 18-station metro line, with an additional three stations in Stage One. The full provision of stations will deliver far greater housing diversity for the Western Parkland City, with potential for 93,000 jobs and 78,000 dwellings to be enabled by 2056 in these TOD centres, with significant housing affordability benefits, including the opportunity to turbo charge the nascent Build-to-Rent sector with projects developed on government-owned land surrounding station boxes.

The Urban AI project clearly demonstrates the case for re-examination of more stations for Stage 1 (St Marys to Aero Core) than currently slated. By including three additional stations not only does accessibility to local and metro-wide jobs increase exponentially for tens of thousands of people it will deliver circa 9,000 more dwellings and 12,000 more jobs.

This is the Harbour Bridge moment for Western Sydney and now is the time to get it right for the West, if we are to develop a globally competitive future for Sydney.

Join us on UDIA TY next Thursday 29 October for our Signature Series briefing with Minister Ayers to discuss Urban AI and the South West Urban Development Program.

Now is the time to get it right in Western Sydney

Thursday 22 October 2020 (Sydney, Australia) – UDIA NSW is marking this point in time as the last chance for the NSW Government to get rail infrastructure right for Western Sydney. Since the Airport Metro Line: Stage One was announced, UDIA NSW has been pursuing cutting-edge research on the economic and built form impact of the critical city shaping infrastructure for the Western Parkland City, through its research project Urban AI.

The Metro currently has only four new stations planned along the 23-kilometre Stage One (excluding stations within the airport’s boundaries). The Urban AI modelling reveals that under an optimised scenario for Stage One, there are expected to be 93,000 jobs and 78,000 dwellings generated in transit-oriented-development (TOD) centres by 2056. However, under the NSW Government’s current plan, the Western City will be worse off by 12,000 jobs and 9,000 dwellings.

UDIA NSW modelling has projected the need for three more stations in Stage One:

  • Western Sydney University’s joint campus with TAFE at Werrington;
  • a second station at Orchard Hills; and
  • an employment hub at Badgerys Creek north.

“This is NSW Government’s ‘Harbour Bridge moment’. They need to think big and act swiftly to realise the full potential of the Western City, otherwise we will see the inequality between East and West in Sydney continue to grow,” said CEO Steve Mann.

“Public transport must be delivered as the key to shaping great cities and history shows when planning isn’t long-sighted and visionary then it can take generations to right the sins of the past.”

By not delivering expeditiously on the full North South Rail Corridor for Western Sydney a car dependent, low job density ‘suburban sprawl is likely to materialise. This will not deliver the 30-minute city vision set by the Greater Sydney Commission, with poor connectivity retarding the economic potential, affordability and accessibility of the Western Parkland City.

For Stage Two of the metro line, which is not yet identified, NSW Government needs to confirm corridor preservation and station locations for a further seven new stations in the southern extension to Macarthur, one station for the spur connection between Bringelly and Leppington to connect with the South West Extension line, and three further stations to connect to the existing North West Metro: Lethbridge Park, Marsden Park and Schofields.

“UDIA NSW’s research shows the need to expand the commitment to deliver the full North South rail over time, connecting the West to the West,” said Steve Mann.

UDIA NSW wants to see Western Sydney reap the benefits of the full North South rail shown in the Urban AI model, including:

  • 330,000 people have the potential for walkable access to rail stations;
  • much broader spread of jobs across the Western Parkland City due to TOD centres, which leads to circa 440,000 residents having the potential for 30-minute access to jobs from their homes;
  • Greater housing diversity with apartments and townhouses emerging from the TOD based city;
  • A raft of enabling infrastructure efficiencies to be delivered through a more compact and structured urban roll-out focused on the TOD transport spine; and
  • Sustainability – Less reliance on cars – currently Western Sydney has 83.5% car dependency, which is 21% higher compared with Greater Sydney.

The Productivity Commissioners Green Paper, released in August this year, has stated that “land and infrastructure planning will need to work together to support expansion of business activity and housing” and further reported that NSW has failed to keep pace with demand with an estimated shortage of 70,000 dwellings in 2019.

UDIA NSW has used machine learning powered Urban AI technology to inform our advocacy position the Western Sydney Airport Line. UDIA NSW is launching their NextGen West campaign, an initiative to bring together the brightest minds in urban development to create the vision and enabling for investment in the Western Parkland City.



Download the full report here.

UDIA NSW CEO Steve Mann and Urban Pinboard Director Rob Asher will be available for interview.

Media contact: Mia Kwok 0435 361 697 media@udiansw.com.au

Figure 1: Different scenarios were modelled using Urban AI. Scenario 1 constitutes a base case, with no stations. UDIA NSW has modelled the full 18 stations for the entire Western Metro line, in Scenario 2. We believe the full 18 stations must be delivered across Stage One and Two. Scenario 3 is Stage One as proposed by NSW Government. Scenario 4 is UDIA NSW recommended metro line for Stage One with seven stations, including Werrington, Orchard Hills #2 and North Badgerys Creek.


NextGen West

NextGen West is a UDIA NSW initiative to provide the business case for the Western Parkland City and the role of the urban development industry in fulfilling this vision. The Western Parkland City will be home to 1.5 million residents by 2040.

UDIA NSW welcomes the Greater Sydney Commission to guide a new Central Coast Strategy

Wednesday 21 October 2020 (Central Coast, NSW) – Today’s announcement from Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch MP, will see the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) collaborating with local stakeholders to develop a new Central Coast Strategy to deliver growth for the region.

This has followed significant financial mismanagement by Central Coast Council, which has led to the suspension of the Council and a $6.2 million bailout by the State Government.

“This move by the Premier and Mr Crouch brings real prospects for leadership at this moment of crisis and will build confidence to invest on the Central Coast,” said Steve Mann, CEO, the Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW (UDIA NSW).

“This move will elevate the position of the Central Coast, providing focus and direction for the economic development of this region. It will improve confidence for investment and bring more jobs to the region,” he said.

The Central Coast is located at the centre of the State’s fastest growing corridor between Sydney and Newcastle, but the local government has missed key opportunities to create more jobs. The Central Coast is a beautiful place to live and is seeing enormous demand for housing that is only expected to increase once NorthConnex opens.

UDIA members are reporting unprecedented demand for new housing in the region, but housing completions are below the Regional Plan. Strong demand for housing is demonstrated by the rental vacancy rate which was down to 0.7% on the Central Coast in September according to SQM Research.

At the end of last year, the Premier announced a focus on supercharging the Central Coast with a target of 25,000 jobs for the region and today’s announcement brings the experience of the GSC to deliver on that promise.

UDIA NSW’s agenda for the Central Coast is focused on the four pillars of delivering jobs, housing, infrastructure, and sustainability. UDIA’s first priority is the delivery of the consolidated LEP and DCP, which Council has postponed multiple times since 2018. The uncertainty around the essential planning controls is dampening investment and we also want to see action on:

  • Jobs:
    • UDIA calls on the NSW Government to declare a Special Activation Precinct on the Central Coast supported by the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund to provide much needed infrastructure to attract investment and create jobs.
    • Strong planning for the Coast’s Southern and Northern Growth Corridors to be leveraged as economic development opportunities. Key opportunities for employment exist around Tuggerah, Somersby, Warnervale (including the Wyong Employment Zone and Warnervale Airport general aviation hub) and a health and education precinct in Gosford.
  • Housing:
    • Delivering local infrastructure and services to support enough new homes for the 95,250 additional residents expected by 2041.
    • Creating more housing diversity for the region, so its growing population have housing choices that are affordable and suited to their lifestyles.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Unlocking new opportunities on the Central Coast through the upcoming McNaughton report on fast rail for the mega region of Sydney.
    • Maximising the imminent opening of NorthConnex to leverage greater connectivity to the Central Coast.
  • Sustainability:
    • Protecting and managing the Central Coast’s valued Green and Blue Grids and ensuring the region grows sustainably.

“The GSC will have the high-level vision to coordinate the economic development and growth of the Central Coast. We want to ensure the Central Coast can seize the opportunities presented by resolving these critical planning and infrastructure issues for the region,” said Mr Mann.

UDIA NSW has an active Chapter on the Central Coast and is working with local key government and industry stakeholders to provide the crucial link for the GSC to get it right for the Coast.


UDIA NSW CEO Steve Mann and Central Coast Chapter Chair Caine King will be available for interview.

Media contact: Mia Kwok 0435 361 697 media@udiansw.com.au

UDIA NSW appalled at financial mismanagement on Central Coast

UDIA NSW has called on the Minister for Planning and Minister for Local Government to respond quickly and decisively on the Central Coast Council’s vote this week to seek approval to borrow from restricted funds, including the compulsory contributions made by developers for the construction by Council of much needed community facilities, parks, playgrounds, roads and drainage infrastructure.

UDIA NSW is deeply concerned by the current financial crisis at the Central Coast Council, which has recently discovered their own financial mismanagement resulting in $89 million in debt. We are also dismayed at the assertion from one of the Councillors that they may have already used developer contributions inappropriately.

“The Central Coast Council should be seeking other avenues to manage their shocking levels of debt well before seeking to take the funds which have been allocated to community infrastructure,” said CEO Steve Mann.

“Locals should be appalled their Council’s response to its financial difficulties. The Council is, in effect, robbing the community to make up for its financial mismanagement. The community will be much poorer if this decision proceeds,” said Mr Mann.

“The Minister for Planning has previously publicly condemned this kind of behaviour stating that it is ‘an unacceptable breach of the public’s trust and a misuse of public funds’,” said Mr Mann.

The UDIA is calling on the Minister for Local Government to step in to assist the residents of the Central Coast to appropriately address these critical issues. Central Coast Council’s focus should be on delivering local infrastructure to help support employment for the Coast in response to the pandemic.




Media contact: Mia Kwok 0435 361 697 media@udiansw.com.au

Advantaged Care Edensor Gardens By Kresner Group

Advantaged Care Edensor Gardens offers unprecedented affordable luxury to aged care in Sydney’s South West. A meticulous approach to environmental design, amenity and services, establishes a new benchmark to the area. Our philosophy is to create an exceptional environment that offers an abundance of choice in spaces and living experiences for residents and their loved ones to share. Working with interior designers who have produced some of Australia’s most high end resorts and hotels, Edensor Gardens uses a luxurious contemporary Australian palate to create comfortable sophistication. The architecture is generous in scale but careful in its interactions with it’s surroundings.




HammondCare Darlinghurst by HammondCare, Ethos Urban and Integrated Design Group

HammondCare Darlinghurst is a purpose-built residential aged care home for the elderly who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness with high care needs. Completed in March 2020, the facility is unique in NSW, filling a gap in existing services by providing permanent accommodation and high-level health care for up to 42 residents in an area where it is most needed – inner metropolitan Sydney. The development assists those who are typically isolated from the community and in need of specialist care, providing them with a place to live and the opportunity be part of a community within the site.




North Turramurra Residential Aged Care Facility by Southern Cross Care NSW/ACT

This North Turramurra develeopment was completed in March 2020 and sets a new benchmark for Southern Cross Care and the broader Aged Care industry. Nestled alongside the Ku-Ring-Gai National Park are 113 residential rooms across 6 aged care wings and 1 dementia specific wing, designed to maximise the connection and relationship of residents and staff with the natural bush setting and existing heritage house and chapel on site. 4 of 7 Interest in the development has been extremely strong, with the the RACF meeting the needs of the elderly through customer driven design, that allows for better care and wellbeing.