The $2.4 billion Sydney Gateway project tops a list of 10 projects in the NSW government’s fifth tranche of projects to be fast-tracked for assessment.
Other projects picked by premier Gladys Berejiklian’s government for rapid four-week assessment include Charter Hall’s 157,000sq m Light Horse Interchange Business Hub, a hand sanitiser factory by Shoalhaven Starches and a digital technology hub at TAFE Meadowbank.
The Parramatta CBD will also see the fast-tracked assessment of $178 million plans by Dyldam for a 430-apartment high-rise at 87 Church Street.
Also included is the rezoning for five new employment and environmental precincts around the new Western Sydney Airport including the Aerotropolis Core, Badgerys Creek, Northern Gateway and Agribusiness and Wianamatta-South Creek.
The projects will be scrutinised for their public benefit and ability to create jobs, and priority will be given to transport infrastructure and green infrastructure, public spaces and social and services infrastructure.
“Now it is time to shift from urgent response to lasting reform by applying the same accelerated momentum to determine new projects with potential to create significant jobs, economic investment and wider public benefits,” NSW planning minister Rob Stokes said.
“The acceleration program is a key part of the NSW government’s Covid-19 recovery plan, so it is only fitting that Shoalhaven Starches’ hand sanitiser factory proposal, which will help combat the virus, is being fast-tracked.”
State governments across the country are dusting off plans and boosting decision-making frameworks to speed up the rollout of projects that will keep people in work and restart the economy.
Assessments under the acceleration program would not skip normal checks and balances or community consultation processes but would focus on projects that could start work within six months or—in the case of a rezoning—could allow a development application to be lodged within six months of assessment.
A further 19 projects, including the $1.2 billion over-station development at the future Victoria Cross metro station in North Sydney were put forward in June and another 18 projects in July to the tune of $4.7 billion are also in the pipeline.
Altogether, the NSW government has accelerated 80 projects at a combined value of $22 billion to stimulate construction and lift the economy out of an expected Covid-19-triggered recession.
The NSW government said that one further tranche of fast-tracked projects was planned under the current program, to be released at the end of September.
In June, prime minister Scott Morrison announced $72 billion in public and private investment for 15 projects under consideration for approval within a bilateral model between the Commonwealth, states and territories.
The projects include the long-planned Brisbane-Melbourne inland rail and Marinus Link, an electricity interconnector from Tasmania to bring renewable hydro-electric power to the mainland.