The NSW State Government has announced a new e-planning pilot to be launched across a number of councils.
12 NSW councils are set to work with Local and State Government authorities to work on an electronic Housing Code pilot project.
The Councils were announced by the Minister for Planning, Kristina Keneally, at the Local Government Conference in Tamworth.
The project is the first step of the establishment of an online system for lodging and processing complying development applications under the NSW Housing Code.
President of the Local Government Association Genia McCaffery said that NSW councils were eager to support moves towards a simpler NSW planning process.
"Our communities deserve this commitment from us, and I am very proud of the councils taking part," Cr McCaffery said.
President of the Shires Association Bruce Miller said that an electronic system will help make the process more user-friendly and also praised the pilot councils involved.
"The project is going to help us identify any adaptations that need to be made before launching the program state-wide, so their work will be valuable to the whole state," Cr Miller said.
The twelve councils, which have been chosen to represent the variety of councils across NSW, are:
Bankstown City Council;
Blacktown City Council;
Gosford City Council;
Lake Macquarie City Council;
Liverpool City Council;
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council;
Rockdale City Council;
Sutherland Shire Council;
Tamworth Regional Council;
The Hills Shire Council; and
Tweed Shire Council.
Cr McCaffery said that the program offered a real opportunity to refine the complex NSW Planning System.
"This is a true example of State and local government working together and sharing their knowledge and expertise to improve legislation," she said.
Cr Miller said that while a state-wide electronic planning system was still some way off, the pilot project was a positive step in the right direction.
"These councils will trial the system in a real-life environment, and share their experience with their peer councils," he said.
"This gives us the opportunity to make sure the system is robust and complete before it is rolled out."
The pilot project is a joint collaboration between the department and the Local Government and Shires Associations, and is funded through $5.92 million from the Federal Government under the Housing Affordability Fund.