Media Release

15 March 2020

NSW Labor has slammed the Liberal-National Government for pushing forward with the rollout of its failed medium density housing code.

It was uncovered today during Budget Estimates at NSW Parliament that from July 1 the controversial code, which has been widely opposed by councils, will be put into force across Local Government Areas where it has been deferred.

This will impact dozens of councils across Sydney and regional NSW including Blue Mountains, Kiama, Snowy Monaro and Tweed.

The code, which was introduced in 2018, allows for the inclusion of medium density housing, such as one and two storey dual occupancies, and terraces as complying development under the State Environment Planning Policy.

Under the Code, complying developments do not require a full development application to a council, instead only a complying development certificate issued by a certifier (including private certifiers), taking away council and community input.

The code has been described by many councils as medium density by stealth, fast-tracking approvals by removing council and community input and has the potential to overcrowd suburban streets.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Planning and Better Living Adam Searle said it was another example of the Government’s mismanagement of the planning system.

“This shows a complete disregard for communities and councils across NSW. It’s clear the Liberals have an overdevelopment agenda but enough is enough – this policy will result in density by stealth.
“I am calling on the Minister to continue the deferred implementation of this policy until councils have been able to deal with these issues in their own ways” — Adam Searle MLC, Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Planning and Better Living

Labor is not opposed to medium density in appropriate locations, however, the failed code was prematurely imposed on councils and denied communities input.