Under the amendment, the Planning Minister will remain the approval authority for all port related development proposals of more than $30 million as well as proposals which are likely to have a significant environmental impact.
The relevant port authority will determine port facility proposals of less than $30 million on port authority land.

In Minister Tripodi’s words: ” “It will provide clearly defined boundaries to allow local government, industry, and residents to plan for a future in harmony with each of the State’s three major ports.”

click map above to enlarge: full details: PORT BOTANY NEW SEPP JULY 2009

Planning for the future of the State’s ports
Embargoed until July 24, 2009
Three major ports – Newcastle, Port Botany and Port Kembla – have been identified as State significant sites under the NSW planning system to highlight their importance to the State’s economy.
Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said today a new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) will define the boundary of ports and port related activities, and allow the streamlining of port related investment.
“This planning policy consolidates the existing zonings and protects industrial land and key transport corridors essential to the operation of the ports.
“It will provide clearly defined boundaries to allow local government, industry, and residents to plan for a future in harmony with each of the State’s three major ports.
“By implementing this plan now we will be able to get the balance right for the future,” Mr Tripodi said.
“Declaring the port and related industrial lands as a State Significant Site (SSS) provides certainty for the future of these important infrastructure and employment lands.
“They are a crucial provider of jobs and income directly through port related activities, as well as indirectly through the flow on benefits created by imports and exports.”
Mr Tripodi said the NSW Government had today published an amendment to State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005 which outlined land-use controls for the three ports.
He said the amendment would:
• Introduce a consistent planning system across the three ports;
• Protect the ports from new incompatible land-uses (including residential) which have the potential to limit the ports’ operations; and
• Zone the ports’ land and surrounding waterways to accommodate port activities, including maritime industrial and bulk storage facilities, with relevant nearby industrial land.
Mr Tripodi said the Port of Newcastle handled more than 90 million tonnes of exports worth more than $10 billion during 2007-08, which was the equivalent of 13.6% of Australia’s total export volume.
Last year Newcastle posted a record $17 billion trade result and further export growth is expected with the completion of a third coal loader and as port land is developed.
Port Botany is Australia’s second largest container port, handling more than $50 billion worth of trade each year.
The SEPP amendment also covers both the inner and outer harbour areas of Port Kembla, which contributes $418 million annually to the Illawarra economy and is replacing Port Jackson as NSW’s primary port for automobile imports.
Under the amendment, the Planning Minister will remain the approval authority for all port related development proposals of more than $30 million as well as proposals which are likely to have a significant environmental impact.
The relevant port authority will determine port facility proposals of less than $30 million on port authority land.
The Planning Minister’s approval authority role will be unchanged in Newcastle and Port Kembla, while in Port Botany the capital investment value threshold before Ministerial approval is required has increased from $5 million to $30 million.
Mr Tripodi said several amendments were made to the planning policy following public exhibition last year.
These include transferring the protection of 29 existing heritage items from local environmental plans to the State policy.
Mr Tripodi said most submissions from councils and other stakeholders during the public exhibition process were able to be accommodated in the final version of the policy.

  1. Randwick City Council Response says:

    Letter to Department of Planning – re: Three Ports Amendment Aug 09 Attachment 2

    Attachment 2 – Letter to Department of Planning – re: Three Ports Amendment Aug 09 Page 147


    11 August 2009

    Mr Sam Haddad, Director – General

    Department of Planning

    GPO Box 39

    SYDNEY NSW 2001

    Dear Mr Haddad

    SEPP (Major Development) 2005 – Three Ports Amendment

    I am writing to express Randwick City Council’s concern with the recent amendments to State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005, which commenced on Friday 24 July 2009, and overrides Randwick Local Environmental Plan 1998 (RLEP 98) for Port Botany and most of the Matraville industrial area. As part of the Comprehensive local environmental plan process, for the past two years Randwick Council has been undertaking an extensive review of the planning and development controls for Port Botany and the surrounding industrial area and has been developing a new planning framework to support the objectives and targets set out in the State Government’s ‘Metropolitan Strategy’ and the role of Port Botany as a key economic and employment ‘strategic centre’. In early 2008, the Department released a draft discussion paper relating to the ‘Three Ports’ amendment. Council’s submission at the time was supportive of the need for a coordinated approach to planning for Port Botany, however, it noted a range of issues about the proposal for the surrounding industrial land, particularly the land use conflicts between the residential and industrial zones. Council is therefore extremely disappointed that, in proceeding with the Three Ports SEPP Amendment, Council’s concerns have not been included, nor has any justification for doing so been provided.

    The SEPP Amendment does not provide any development standards for industrial development and overrides key planning controls in Randwick LEP 98 that previously managed environmental impacts of industrial development on the adjoining residential uses. Council’s concerns include: Removal of the prohibition of development for panel beating workshops on land adjoining a residential property and the prohibition of development for container and transport depots on certain land near residential areas (that formed a ‘buffer’ area), aimed at reducing noise and traffic impacts; Lack of a floor space ratio or any other development standard; The objectives of the new IN1 General Industry focuses on port related industry, and this should not be at the expense of the thriving small local industries. The permissibility of ‘office premises (port related)’ and ‘business premises (port related)’ may lead to a loss of these small industries and the localised employment these provide, and pressure on industrial land for commercial uses; Removal of the Department of Planning’s ‘Port Botany Safety Study’ and ‘Botany/Randwick Safety Study’ as a development assessment consideration, designed to manage the cumulative risk of industrial development. The Department had previously directed Council to include in Randwick LEP 1998; and The threshold for development assessed by Sydney Ports under Part 5 of the Act for projects on land owned by Sydney Ports has risen from $5 million to $30 million. This is a significant increase in the value of projects and adequate justification has not been provided. In addition, Port Botany and the majority of surrounding area has been identified as having potential acid sulphate soils. Via Section 117(2) Direction 4.1, the Department has directed Council to include relevant clauses in our LEP, yet this Amendment has not made any provision to do so.

    Randwick City Council formally requests the Department of Planning to urgently review the SEPP Amendment with the intention of reinstating a ‘buffer’ that restricts high impact development, such as ‘freight transport facilities’ (container and transport depots) in areas near residential properties. Key planning issues, such as suitable development standards and consideration of land use safety studies and acid sulphate soils, should also be incorporated in to the SEPP. I would also like to raise the lack of communication from the Department of this significant change in the planning controls for the area. Council was not formally notified of this Amendment nor given feedback on the reasoning behind the new controls. Given that only four councils were affected and the significant immediate changes required to those council’s planning documents and 149 certificates, some form of notification would have been expected from the Department, as would some lead time to enable the relevant documents to be updated prior to commencement. Council officers have prepared a detailed draft industrial lands discussion paper with the aim of introducing a new planning framework that supports the growth of Port Botany while managing and minimising the environmental impacts on the local community and are willing to discuss appropriate planning measures with the Department as a matter of urgency. Should you wish to clarify any of the issues raised in this letter, please contact Sima Truuvert, Director – City Planning, on 9399 0891.

    Yours Sincerely

    Ray Brownlee

    General Manager


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