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Premier & Cabinet Memorandum on UrbanGrowth NSW

The Memorandum below was issued on 30 January 2013 by the Department of Premier and Cabinet regarding the structure and operations of UrbanGrowth NSW.

M2013-01 UrbanGrowth NSW

Status: current

UrbanGrowth NSW is the Government's new urban development delivery vehicle. It has been formed through the integration of Landcom and the former Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority. Its primary objective is to enable a thriving private sector development industry to deliver homes, workplaces, facilities and places needed for NSW citizens to enjoy a high quality of life.

UrbanGrowth NSW will focus on expediting and increasing development outcomes and increasing housing supply, primarily in the Sydney Metropolitan Region. It will operate in both green field and urban renewal locations and will increasingly concentrate on areas where market and/or regulatory barriers are preventing otherwise desirable private sector investment.

UrbanGrowth NSW will either carry out, manage or co-ordinate the urban renewal and development on strategic and complex sites where there is demonstrated market and/or regulatory failure. The organisation will work closely with the private sector, development industry, local government, state agencies and local communities to facilitate development.

UrbanGrowth NSW will carry out the following functions:

  1. Advise the Government on urban development issues generally and in particular to help identify:
    1. market failures or regulatory barriers to otherwise viable development;
    2. potential urban activation precincts as part of the Government's Urban Activation Precinct Policy;
  2. Address market or regulatory barriers by acquiring, amalgamating and subdividing land, providing enabling infrastructure, carrying out works, to create development-ready sites and as a catalyst to development;
  3. Work closely with local government and communities, particularly in the early stages of planning and development, to achieve sound development and urban renewal outcomes;
  4. Facilitate the supply of land for development for housing;
  5. Assist the Government to deliver its housing affordability objectives;
  6. Encourage practical approaches to excellence in design and adoption of sustainability principles;
  7. Partner with the private sector to deliver development;
  8. Provide facilities or services that are ancillary or incidental to its principal functions; and
  9. Conduct any business or provide any service (whether or not related to its principal functions) that it considers will further its objectives.

Working with NSW Government agencies and other public sector bodies

NSW Government agencies and bodies are required to consult and work cooperatively with UrbanGrowth NSW when developing or implementing policies and projects relevant to the property market, development and urban renewal.
UrbanGrowth NSW has authority to co-ordinate government agencies in certain circumstances to:

  1. Provide or obtain advice;
  2. Co-ordinate the provision of infrastructure;
  3. Obtain rezoning and development approvals;
  4. Implement approved plans; and
  5. Leverage development opportunities from surplus government land.

There are two ways that UrbanGrowth NSW's ability to co-ordinate agencies can be authorised:

  1. After consultation with Cabinet or a Cabinet Sub Committee, the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure may authorise UrbanGrowth NSW to work with one or more agencies to resolve a specific issue or the Minister may appoint UrbanGrowth NSW to lead an inter-agency departmental taskforce to address the issue;
  2. Inside Urban Activation Precincts: When Cabinet or a Cabinet Sub Committee makes a decision to declare an Urban Activation Precinct, it can also approve the scope of UrbanGrowth NSW's powers to lead and co-ordinate agencies within a precinct.

If problems or issues remain unresolved, UrbanGrowth NSW has the authority to escalate matters to the Premier for resolution.
UrbanGrowth NSW may not unilaterally require an agency to commit to any significant expenditure.

Interaction with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DP&I): UrbanGrowth NSW will work closely with DP&I on relevant research, policy development and policy implementation issues, with an emphasis on the economic feasibility of proposals and providing a development industry perspective.

UrbanGrowth NSW will work with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure in identifying potential urban activation precincts for consideration by the Precinct Nomination Committee. It has a permanent role on both precinct selection committees and precinct working groups.

Interaction with Government Property NSW: Government Property NSW is another new organisation that has been established to succeed the State Property Authority. Its objective is to improve the utilisation of government owned property to better support service delivery. It will collaborate with UrbanGrowth NSW as needed in areas of strategic priority to maximise the value of assets identified for potential disposal and to integrate any government requirements for space in renewal areas or other UrbanGrowth NSW projects. UrbanGrowth NSW's role may be the complete development of an asset, the provision of all or part of the development work as a development facilitator in preparation for the involvement of the private sector or merely advisory.

Organisational structure

UrbanGrowth NSW consists of Landcom (continuing as a State Owned Corporation established by the Landcom Corporation Act 2001, but operating under a new trading name) and the Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority (SMDA), which has been re-named UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation. While each organisation has its own legislative, governance and reporting requirements, they will be run by the same Chief Executive Officer and will work closely together to achieve the Government's urban development objectives.

Landcom will continue to use its statutory name, Landcom, in its retail land sale business which will wind down over time as it completes the delivery of the Government's 10,000 home site programme.

The development corporation, UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation, is established under the Growth Centres (Development Corporations) Act 1974 as a chief executive governed development corporation. The development corporation's activities are conducted in designated growth centres which the Government may declare on an as-needed basis. In the Sydney Metropolitan Region, declared growth centres exist in Redfern Waterloo and Granville. Other areas may be declared over time.

Barry O'Farrell MP

Issued: Department of Premier and Cabinet
Contact: Amy Persson, Director, Service Delivery Reform Branch, Department of Premier and Cabinet
Email: amy.persson@dpc.nsw.gov.au
Telephone: (02) 9228 5002
Date: 30 January 2013

This Memorandum does not supersede any other Memoranda.

Source: www.dpc.nsw.gov.au/announcements/ministerial_memoranda/2013/m2013-01_urbangrowth_nsw