Industrial Lands Policy Review

Industrial and urban services lands play a critical role in supporting Greater Sydney's economy, although in many places this role has changed over time. A wide range of activities operate in these areas, from heavy industry and manufacturing, to cultural and creative uses.

From June 2021 to June 2022, the Commission led a multi-agency review of the Industrial and Urban Services Lands Retain and Manage policy (the Policy) under the Greater Sydney Region Plan - A Metropolis of Three Cities. The Review responds to Recommendation 7.5 of the NSW Productivity Commission's 2021 White Paper. The Policy applies to 159 industrial areas in Greater Sydney.

The Commission’s evidence-based approach to the Review included stakeholder engagement, in-depth interviews with businesses, a peer review by international experts and technical analysis including a multi-criteria analysis, strategic transport modelling and a cost-benefit analysis. Find out more about these inputs in the Document Library below.

On 30 June 2022, the Commission reported the final outcomes of the Review in the Industrial Lands Policy Review Findings Paper (PDF, 1.58 MB).

In March 2023, the Commission released Information Note SP2023-1 (PDF, 142.54 KB) which provides guidance on transitional arrangements (replacing the earlier Information Note – SP2018-1 – Industrial and urban services land (Retain and manage) – transitional arrangements).

The Commission acknowledges the significant input and commitment of the NSW Government agencies, local councils, peak bodies, advocacy groups and industry representatives who contributed to the Review.

Review outcomes

The Review found that the Policy has been successful in providing certainty and a clear market signal for councils and landowners to invest in industrial developments, while reducing unproductive land speculation at odds with the strategic vision for Greater Sydney. Through the Review, however, the Commission identified the need to refine the Policy (by providing greater clarity as to what “manage” means) to respond to the changing nature of land use needs in Greater Sydney.

The key outcomes of the Review are:

  • A ‘Retain and Manage’ Policy is needed for the protection of industrial lands in Greater Sydney. The existing Policy will continue to apply. 
  • Draft Guiding Principles will strengthen and support the continued implementation of the ‘Retain and Manage’ Policy. The next Region Plan will consider the findings of this Review and include the vision, objectives and draft Guiding Principles for industrial lands.

Draft Guiding Principles

As part of the Review, the Commission developed eight draft Guiding Principles to help with the management of these lands, published in the Review Findings Paper. These draft Guiding Principles will be assessed for inclusion in the Six Cities Region Plan currently being developed.

The draft Guiding Principles build on the strategies and principles in the Greater Sydney Region Plan and provide greater clarity on managing industrial lands that respond to the changing nature of land use needs in Greater Sydney.

They provide a draft strategic framework to assist councils planning for ‘retain and manage’ categorised industrial land. The draft Guiding Principles should be used as part of any review of how this land is managed or in the preparation or review of a local employment land strategy. Preparation and review of employment land strategies should also reflect the Department of Planning and Environment’s Employment Land Strategy Guideline.

New Information Note

To assist Councils to assess planning proposals seeking to rezone industrial lands, the Commission has prepared an updated Information Note to support transitional arrangements before the new Region Plan is in force.

This Information Note clarifies how proposals for land use change for land in the ‘retain and manage’ category of industrial and employment lands can be investigated.

This applies to industrial and employment lands in the following LGAs:

Local Government Area (LGA)City
CamdenWestern Parkland City
City of CampbelltownWestern Parkland City
City of PenrithWestern Parkland City
WollondillyWestern Parkland City
Canterbury-BankstownCentral River City
City of BlacktownCentral River City
Georges RiverCentral River City
BaysideEastern Harbour City
BurwoodEastern Harbour City
Canada BayEastern Harbour City
City of RandwickEastern Harbour City
City of RydeEastern Harbour City
City of SydneyEastern Harbour City
City of WilloughbyEastern Harbour City
Hunter's HillEastern Harbour City
Inner WestEastern Harbour City
Ku-ring-gaiEastern Harbour City
Lane CoveEastern Harbour City
MosmanEastern Harbour City
Northern BeachesEastern Harbour City
North SydneyEastern Harbour City
StrathfieldEastern Harbour City
Sutherland ShireEastern Harbour City
WaverleyEastern Harbour City
WoollahraEastern Harbour City

Councils are encouraged to start preparing, or review existing, employment land strategies, particularly where Councils determine the draft Guiding Principles would improve the management of industrial lands in the ‘retain and manage’ category.

More information

In parallel with the Review, the Department of Planning and Environment has reviewed of the existing employment zones (Industrial and Business Zones) and land uses under the Standard Instrument Local Environmental Plan (LEP) Order to ensure the zones are fit for purpose. We have worked closely with the Department throughout the Review to ensure clarity around the synergies and differences of both projects. For more information, visit the Employment Zones reform webpage

Document library

Project establishment and scope
Vision, objectives and scenarios
Stakeholder Engagement

Australian Logistics Company submission (PDF, 174.65 KB) 
Australian Rail Track Corporation submission (PDF, 178.67 KB) 

Blacktown City Council submission (PDF, 53.44 KB)
Business Sydney and Business Western Sydney submission (PDF, 181.01 KB)

Camden Council submission (PDF, 51.6 KB)
Cement Australia submission (PDF, 974.34 KB)
Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia submission (PDF, 288.94 KB)
Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia submission no.2 (PDF, 278.71 KB)
City of Canada Bay submission (PDF, 50.83 KB)
City of Sydney submission (PDF, 7.33 MB)
Committee for Sydney submission (PDF, 53.55 KB)

Hornsby Shire Council submission (PDF, 6.55 MB)

Industry Coalition submission (PDF, 399.87 KB)
Ingham Planning submission (PDF, 1.96 MB)
Ingham Planning submission (no.2) (PDF, 602.92 KB)
Inner West Council submission (PDF, 259.22 KB)

Keylan Consulting submission (PDF, 990.24 KB)

Large Format Retail Association submission (PDF, 2.11 MB)
Liverpool City Council submission (PDF, 3.27 MB)
Local Government NSW submission (PDF, 292.12 KB)

Macroplan submission (PDF, 138.93 KB)

North Sydney Council submission (PDF, 51.2 KB)
NSW Ports submission (PDF, 2.65 MB)

Patrick Stevedores submission (PDF, 49.63 KB)
Planning Institute of Australia submission (PDF, 301.88 KB)
Port Kembla Gateway submission (PDF, 46.57 KB)
Ports Australia submission (PDF, 240.23 KB)
Property Council of Australia submission (PDF, 134.72 KB)

Qube Holdings submission (PDF, 291.23 KB)

Randwick City Council submission (PDF, 49.87 KB)
Road Freight NSW and Australian Trucking Association submission (PDF, 238.83 KB)

Sustainable East submission (PDF, 47.96 KB)
Sutherland Shire Council submission (PDF, 245.11 KB)
Sydney Airport submission (PDF, 57.98 KB)
Sydney Airport and NSW Ports submission (PDF, 9.25 MB)

The Hills Shire Council submission (PDF, 231.23 KB)
The Holt Estate Besmaw submission (PDF, 47.46 KB)

Urban Development Institute of Australia (NSW) submission (PDF, 53.32 KB)
Urban Taskforce submission (PDF, 259.02 KB)

Willoughby Council submission (PDF, 47.9 KB)

Technical analysis


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