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Application Determination

In March 2018, under changes to the NSW Planning legislation, the Mayor and Councilors no longer have any involvement in determining Development Applications under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. These applications include: Development Applications, Modifications to Consents, Review of Determinations, Building Information Certificates, Construction Certificates, Subdivision Certifications or Occupation Certificate. Accordingly, the Mayor and Councilors are unable to instruct or direct staff in relation to these matters.

As a result the majority of applications are now determined under Delegated Authority by Council’s Senior Development & Building Staff, unless they are required to be referred to the Georges River Local Planning Panel or the Sydney South Planning Panel for determination. Council Officers / Relevant Planning Panels have the full authority to approve or refuse an application.

In making a determination, Council use a peer review process. This ensures that all recommendations made by our assessment officers are reviewed by a senior officer and where required by the relevant planning panel. This ensures transparency and consistency in the recommendations and decisions made by our staff.

The levels of authority are outlined generally as follows:

Determination Level Types of Applications Considered
Sydney South Planning Panel
(District Planning Panel)
  • Capital Investment Value (CIV) over $30 million;
  • CIV over $5 million where Council is the applicant, land owner or developer or is a party to an agreement or arrangement relating to the development;  
  • Development by or on behalf of the Crown with CIV over $5 million;
  • Private infrastructure and community facilities with CIV over $5 million;
  • Eco-tourist facilities with CIV over $5 million;
  • Particular designated development (including extractive industries, marinas and waste management facilities);
  • Coastal subdivision;
  • Certain coastal protection works;
  • CIV over $10 million not determined within 120 days of being lodged (requires a written request to Council); and
  • Modification applications where the original consent was granted by the Sydney South Planning Panel.
 See sections 2.15, 4.5 and 4.55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EPA Act) and clause 20(1) and Schedule 7 of State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 for further details.   
Georges River Local Planning Panel
  • CIV under $5 million for which Council is the applicant or land owner*;  
  • Development for which a councillor or member of Parliament (or their relative as defined by the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW)) is the applicant*;   
  • Development for which a member of Council staff who is involved in the assessment of development applications  is the applicant*;
  • Development with more than 10 unique submissions by way of objection;
  • Development which contravenes a development standard by more than 10% or non-numerical development standards;
  • ‘Sensitive’ developments including residential flat buildings, demolition of a heritage item, new licensed premises, sex services premises, restricted premises and developments including Voluntary Planning Agreements;  
  • Boarding houses, places of public worship, pubs or small bars and centre-based child care facilities;
  • Dwelling houses, dual occupancies and multi-dwelling housing with 5 or more unique objections;
  • Applications under Part 4 of the EPA Act for Torrens Title subdivision for the creation of 6 or more allotments with 5 or more unique submissions;
  • Tattoo parlours with 5 or more unique submissions; and
  • Any application or modification application which would ordinarily be determined by a Council officer which it is in the public interest for the Local Planning Panel to determine.
See section 4.8 of the EPA Act, Ministerial Direction pursuant to s 9.1 dated 23 February 2018 and Delegation from the General Manager of Georges River Council to the Georges River Local Planning Panel dated 3 February 2020 by for further details and exclusions.
* Excludes development for certain purposes.
Council Staff
  • All other applications, including those referred to Council by the Local Planning Panel pursuant to section 2.20(8) of the EPA Act.  

As the Mayor and Councilors do not have a role in the determination of applications, any contact or submission you direct to an elected offical maybe forwarded to Council’s Development and Building team to be taken into consideration during the assessment of an undetermined application.


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