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Working with the Department of Planning and Environment

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The Greater Cities Commission’s role is to lead regional and city strategic planning across the Six Cities Region.

The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) leads regional strategic planning outside the Six Cities Region and will also complete the 5 year review and update of the current Regional Plans in the Central Coast and Hunter. 

The Department of Planning and Environment has been responsible for policy reforms in contributions, preparing guidelines and working with councils to support accountability and implementation through their Local Strategic Planning Statements and approve local housing strategies. These will be key inputs to the Commission’s development of the new Region Plan.

The Greater Cities Commission and the Department of Planning and Environment will continue to collaborate with local government and communities on future planning for the Six Cities Region.

Region and City Plans development

The Greater Cities Commission Act 2022 requires the Commission to develop a regional strategic plan for the Six Cities Region by the end of 2023. 

Due to be developed by the end of 2023, the Region Plan will set a strategic planning framework for well-designed places that enhance quality of life, that are accessible and attractive, with local access to infrastructure, such as arts and culture, essential services, childcare, cycling pathways, waterways and open spaces. 

After the Region Plan is finalised, the Commission will create City Plans (previously known as District Plans) for the Western Parkland City, Central River City and Eastern Harbour City.

These will be followed in 2024 by City Plans for the Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle City, the Central Coast City and Illawarra-Shoalhaven City. The development of these plans will be a collaborative effort across government.

In the meantime, transitional arrangements will operate so that:

  • The Greater Sydney Region Plan and existing District Plans continue to apply in the Western Parkland City, Central River City and Eastern Harbour City until the Region Plan is endorsed.
  • In the Illawarra-Shoalhaven City, the current Regional Plan developed by DPE will apply as a City Plan until the Commission makes its new city plan.
  • In the Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle City and Central Coast City, the Regional Plans developed by DPE will apply as City Plans until the Regional Plans (recently on exhibition) are made. These plans will then apply as City Plans until the Commission makes its new city plans in 2024.

This staged approach reflects the recent and significant work undertaken by DPE and stakeholders in the development of these strategies.

Planning and reports timeline 2018–2024

2018

Release of 2018 Greater Sydney Region Plan – A Metropolis of Three Cities

Five District Plans

July 2021

Next Steps for Greater Sydney

2022

The Six Cities Region Discussion Paper

2023

Draft Region Plan and City Plans for Western Parkland City, Central River City and Eastern Harbour City

2023-24

Finalise Region Plan and City Plans for Western Parkland City, Central River City and Eastern Harbour City

2024

Draft and Final City Plans for Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle City, Central Coast City and Illawarra-Shoalhaven City

Staged strategy approach

2022-23

Current District Plans for Western Parkland City, Central River City, and Eastern Harbour City are in place until GCC makes new City Plans in 2023

2023-24

DPE Regional Plans for Hunter, Central Coast and Illawarra-Shoalhaven are in place until new GCC City Plans are made in 2024