Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

The NSW Government is backing regional local councils to plan for more and better housing for thousands of temporary and seasonal workers needed to support major infrastructure projects including the solar and wind farms being constructed across the New England Renewable Energy Zone.

A new set of simpler, clearer planning guidelines will go on exhibition this week, with the ultimate goal to give councils more certainty and clarity around how to plan and deliver worker accommodation.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said temporary and seasonal workers play a vital role in regional economies.

“Workers on regional construction projects have unique housing needs, and their employment circumstances can make it difficult for them to find affordable and suitable housing. 

“The last thing we need is complex and inefficient planning rules getting in the way of delivering the accommodation these workers need, so these new guidelines aim to give councils more clarity.

“We’re in the midst of a housing crisis in the state and these resources will help councils better plan suitable and safe accommodation for workers driving economic growth in regional NSW.”  

Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Western NSW Tara Moriarty said feedback will also be sought on policy changes to permit temporary worker accommodation in rural zones for workers delivering critical infrastructure in Renewable Energy Zones (REZs).

“With so many construction projects in Regional Economic Zones (REZ) already underway, securing this accommodation for workers is vital to avoid any delays in the delivery of vital infrastructure.

“While guidelines on exhibition focus on housing for temporary workers, proponents could also lodge a separate development application (DA) for more permanent housing solutions,” she said.

The proposed Exhibition of Intended Effect and Draft Guideline will be publicly exhibited for six weeks, and feedback received during exhibition will help to further refine the planning changes.

To view the plans and make a submission, visit https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/policy-and-legislation/housing/housing-package/regional-housing/regional-housing-taskforce/seasonal-and-temporary-workers-accommodation-toolkit

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