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Industrial Lands Policy Review

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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. You can find out more about these inputs in the Document Library below. 

On 30 June 2022, the Commission released the Industrial Lands Policy Review Findings Paper, which reports the final outcomes of the Review. 

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.


The Commission will implement the draft Guiding Principles in the Six Cities Region Plan and City Plans when completed in late 2023 and 2024.  

Further consultation and collaboration will occur on the holistic review of all three existing industrial land policy areas with stakeholders including NSW Government agencies, local councils and industry as part of the Region Plan process. The process will begin later in 2022. 

More information 

You can subscribe to the Commission’s mailing list to receive regular updates and information about our upcoming projects. 

For more information, please email the project team via info@gcc.nsw.gov.au

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