Submission to the NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment concerning the Draft 2020 Social Impact Assessment Guideline

Dr Rebecca Lawrence documents her concerns regarding the NSW Department of Planning and Industry’s 2020 Social Impact Assessment Guideline.

In 2017 the NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE) released its first Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Guideline. This Guideline applied to all state significant resource projects (i.e. mines and quarries). The draft SIA Guideline (2020) and Technical Supplement (hereafter “Guideline”) is an updated version of the 2017 SIA Guideline and is intended to apply to all State Significant Projects (e.g. now also including infrastructure, hospitals, schools etc).

This submission states that while NSW DPIE is to be commended for extending the Guideline to all State Significant Resource projects and their intention to improve the standards concerning SIA in NSW is welcomed, there remains some key concerns. In short, there is a concern that the 2020 Guideline will not be sufficient to strengthen good SIA practice or good planning decisions. This has partly to do with the content of the 2020 Guideline, but mainly to do with a lack of implementation mechanisms. In order for this roll out to be effective, SIA must be made a statutory requirement, and the Guideline must make clear how it will be implemented.

The report is authored by Dr. Rebecca Lawrence, Senior Research Fellow at the Sydney Environment Institute

View Submission