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Retaining and managing industrial and urban services land

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Planning Priority S10

Greater Sydney's existing industrial, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities contribute to its role as Australia's manufacturing capital. These activities occur on industrial land that also accommodates urban services, freight and logistics services and advanced manufacturing.

Urban services include activities such as motor vehicle services, printing, waste management, courier services and concrete batching plants. These activities serve local communities and businesses and require adequate access to industrial land across the District. Demand for this land will increase with population growth. Good local access to these services also reduces the need to travel to other areas, minimising congestion on the transport system.

Industrial land supply

The South District has 1,666 hectares of industrial and urban services land, spread over 40 precincts (refer to Figure 19). This represents approximately 12 per cent of Greater Sydney's total stock of industrial and urban services land. About eight per cent (146 hectares) is undeveloped, indicating strong demand for industrial and urban services land in the District16.

This land provided for approximately 51,800 jobs (37 per cent of jobs) in the District. Historically, the District has had a strong industrial base, but industrial employment declined by nearly 17 per cent between 1996 and 201617.

The largest industrial and urban services precincts in the South District are listed in Table 3. Manufacturing dominates the South District's industrial and urban services land, particularly in the larger precincts.

Table 3: South District's largest industrial and urban services precincts

LGA Precinct Undeveloped Land (ha) Developed Land (ha) Total (ha)
Canterbury-Bankstown Chullora 21 191 212
  Leightonfield Station 0 160 160
  Milperra 1 101 102
  Padstow North <1 94 95
  Padstow South 2 44 45
  Revesby <1 132 133
Georges River Peakhurst, Boundary Road <1 56 56
Sutherland Caringbah/Taren Point <1 142 143
  Kirrawee 0 50 50
  Kurnell 43 217 260

Source: NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Employment Lands Development Program 2017 Report, NSW Government, Sydney. Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Figure 19: South District industrial and urban services land and freight access

Map depicting distribution of industrial and urban services land, trade gateway and intermodal facilities. The map also shows waterways, protected natural areas, metropolitan rural areas, strategic centres, roads and freight and/or shared rail lines.
Download this image south_figure_19.png (format PNG / 1,775 KB )

These larger precincts are located near the Harbour CBD, Port Botany, Sydney Airport and the motorway and rail freight networks.

The Kurnell Peninsula historically accommodated petrochemical and heavy industries and the construction sector. However, Continental Carbon, Australia's carbon black manufacturing, has closed, Caltex Terminal has converted to a fuel storage centre and sand mining is almost depleted. The Caltex Terminal also caters for fuel imports and is a distribution terminal. The site contains as wharf and berth to receive imported refined fuel by ship and is connected by pipeline to the Caltex Banksmeadow Terminal.

Kurnell now accommodates more advanced manufacturing such as the water desalination plant and creative industries such as cloud-based computing, although construction remains the main industrial sector.

A significant freight and logistics task will remain in the South District due to the competitive advantages and efficiencies afforded by proximity to Villawood and Chullora freight intermodal terminals.

The predominant industrial sectors in Chullora, which is primarily focussed on interstate freight movements rather than port-shuttle movements, are transport, postal and warehousing and food product manufacturing. These industries and movements, represent about 20 per cent of employment in the precinct. Utilities, creative industries and wholesale and retail trade are other important activities in the precinct, which is an important location for urban services. Chullora focuses more heavily on interstate rail freight than port shuttles.

The District's employment lands are supported by Villawood (steel only) and Chullora intermodal terminals. Chullora has a direct connection to Port Botany, Australia's second largest container port, handling about a third of the nation's maritime container trade.

Even though larger-scale freight and logistics firms may choose to locate in the Western City District, a significant freight and logistics task will remain in the South District due to the competitive advantages and efficiencies afforded by proximity to Villawood and Chullora freight intermodal terminals. Critical to servicing these operations will be the retention of sites large enough to meet their needs - generally, two hectares or more.

Activities in Leightonfield Station precinct are diverse, including transport, postal and warehousing, manufacturing (focused on basic chemical and chemical products), wholesale trade and urban services.

The 12 smallest precincts in the District (between one to five hectares) provide local jobs and services, with between 30 and 50 per cent of jobs in each precinct being urban services jobs18.

Almost 58 per cent of the District's industrial and urban services land is in the Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Area. Manufacturing is the largest employment sector, dominated by food product, furniture, machinery and equipment and polymer product and rubber product manufacturing. Other activities include freight and logistics (transport, postal and warehousing), construction and wholesale trade.

Predominant activities at the Bankstown Airport trade gateway are freight activities and advanced manufacturing, in the form of transport equipment manufacturing. These two industry sectors provide two-thirds of the employment at the trade gateway.

There are 10 industrial and urban services precincts in the Sutherland Shire Local Government Area. Half of all jobs in these precincts are in construction, retail trade, health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services and education and training. Construction is the largest sector by employment, providing 14 per cent of all industrial jobs.

Industrial and urban services land in the Georges River Local Government Area is spread over eight precincts; six are smaller than 10 hectares and primarily accommodate light industrial uses and urban services.

Managing industrial and urban services land

Industrial activity and urban services are important to Greater Sydney's economy and the nature of the economic sector is continuing to change, with emerging technologies and new industries with different requirements. Industrial land is evolving from traditional industrial and manufacturing lands, and freight and logistics hubs, into complex employment lands. This trend is consistent with other parts of Greater Sydney, particularly east of  Parramatta.

There is limited undeveloped industrial and urban services land in the District. The Kurnell Peninsula has capacity to accommodate new and evolving industrial and urban services activities on large and undeveloped sites. Some of these sites are subject to environmental and other constraints, including the operational requirements and impacts of Sydney Airport.

As industries transition, proposals to convert some industrial and urban services land to higher-order uses including residential or large format retail have not been supported. Industrial and urban services land have been largely retained, with only approximately 27 hectares rezoned for other uses since 201119.

Future growth across all industries and urban services will require additional floor space, additional land or both. Urban services are often less able to increase their floor space efficiency or locate in multi-storey buildings.

Research has identified a benchmark of three square metres of urban services land per person. In the South District, the per person amount was below the benchmark in 2016, and the per capita amount is anticipated to reduce between 2016 and 203620.

Principles for managing industrial and urban services land

The retention, growth and enhancement of industrial and urban services land should reflect the needs of each of Greater Sydney's three cities and their local context. It should provide land for a wide range of businesses that support the city's productivity and integrated economy.

For the South District the approach to managing industrial land is that it be retained and managed.

Retain and manage: All existing industrial and urban services land should be safeguarded from competing pressures, especially residential and mixed-use zones. This approach retains this land for economic activities required for Greater Sydney's operation, such as urban services.

Specifically, these industrial lands are required for economic and employment purposes. Therefore, the number of jobs should not be the primary objective - rather, it should be a mix of economic outcomes that support the city and population.

The management of these lands should accommodate evolving business practices and changes in needs for urban services from the surrounding community and businesses.

Where a retain and manage approach is being undertaken, councils are to conduct a strategic review of industrial land as part of updating local environmental plans.

There will also be a need, from time to time, to review the list of appropriate activities within any precinct in consideration of evolving business practices and how they can be supported through committed uses in local environmental plans. Any review should take into consideration findings of industrial, commercial and centre strategies for the local government area and/or the District.

Growing local employment opportunities

As Greater Sydney grows over the next 20 years, there will be a need for the efficient and timely delivery of new office precincts. Stakeholder feedback emphasised the need to grow and diversify local employment opportunities.

In the South District there are no standalone office precincts, increasing the need for residents to travel longer distances to access a variety of jobs. A Metropolis of Three Cities supports councils to consider offices as a permissible use in an industrial precinct to grow the local office market and support local jobs growth and mix of employment opportunities. However, this should not compromise the operation of existing and planned industrial activities nor be seen as a first step in transitioning an industrial area into, for example, a business park. Nor is it about allowing retail to support office activity.

Considerations should include:

  • the context of industrial, commercial and centres strategies for the local government area and/or the District
  • proximity to established business parks or office precincts, with the transition to accommodate new offices or uses only supported in precincts not close to existing business parks or office precincts
  • where access to the industrial precinct is constrained, transition to accommodate new uses or offices should be supported only where it will not compromise industrial activities in the precinct or the operation of trade gateways.

The Commission will work with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and local councils to facilitate offices in industrial precincts, where this is identified by councils as appropriate.


Retain and manage industrial and urban services land, in line with the Principles for managing industrial and urban services land, in the South District by safeguarding all industrial zoned land from conversion to residential development, including conversion to mixed-use zones. In updating local environmental plans, councils are to conduct a strategic review of industrial lands.

Canterbury-Bankstown Council, Georges River Council, Sutherland Shire Council and other planning authorities


Consider office development in industrial zones where it does not compromise industrial or urban services activities.



Prohibit new residential development on the Kurnell Peninsula where there is potential to interfere with the operation of Sydney Airport or where the ANEF contours and prescribed airspace requirements exclude residential development.

Councils and other planning authorities


Facilitate the contemporary adaptation of industrial and warehouse buildings through increased floor to ceiling heights.

Councils and other planning authorities