Posted on March 1, 2018 by Megan Hawley

ALERT – Amendments to EPA Act have commenced

The amendments proposed to the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act) by the Environmental Planning & Assessment Amendment Act 2017 commenced today, with the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Savings, Transitional and Other Provisions) Regulation 2017  (Transitional Regulation) providing that only a handful of the new provisions of the EPA Act are not required to be complied with, or do not apply until a later date.

Those provisions are:

  • public notice of statements of reasons are not required in respect of decisions made before 1 July 2018;
  • local strategic planning statements are not required to be prepared until 1 July 2019 for councils in the Greater Sydney Region, and 1 July 2020 in other cases;
  • community participation plans are not required to be prepared until 1 July 2019 and mandatory notification requirements determined by reference to such plans are to be determined by reference to the other provisions of the EPA Act until the plans are prepared; and
  • the new building and subdivision provisions (to be in Part 6 of the EPA Act) do not apply until 1 September 2018.

Standardisation of DCPs will, as previously advised, not occur until 2020.

The renumbering and decimalisation of the EPA Act has occurred.

The Transitional Regulation contains a provision such that a reference in any Act, statutory instrument or other instrument, or in any contract or agreement to a provision of the EPA Act that has been renumbered or relocated, is taken to be a reference to the renumbered or relocated provision.

So whilst the new section numbers should be referred to from today onwards, there is no need to amend contracts or agreements already entered into to alter section number references.

The amended EPA Act and Transitional Regulation are available on the NSW legislation website here and here.