Scot MacDonald
24th Sep 2018

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC today welcomed proposed planning policy changes which aim to help streamline operations at the Port of Newcastle.

Mr MacDonald said proposed amendments to the Three Ports State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), announced by Planning Minister Anthony Roberts, would give port operators the ability to undertake certain development activities more efficiently.

“The Port of Newcastle is the biggest bulk port on the east coast and it plays a critical role in supporting not just our regional economy but the state and national economy,” Mr MacDonald said.

“The lease of the Port of Newcastle to a private operator on 31 May 2014 resulted in the need for a new planning regime to apply to this site and to Port Botany and Port Kembla.”

“The Three Ports SEPP allows certain day-to-day development on land within the Lease Areas of the ports to be undertaken by the port operator and port tenants as exempt or complying development, subject to specified criteria and conditions.”

“The proposed amendments being announced provide consistency across sites and will give port operators the ability to undertake certain development activities more efficiently.”

Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts said the proposed amendments sought to balance the needs of port operators with those of the community and other local stakeholders.

“Ensuring our ports operate efficiently is integral to protecting and strengthening the state’s economic future and the prosperity and well-being of NSW communities,” Mr Roberts said.

“Essential maintenance, installation of pollution control measures and other requirements of a working port will be able to be built under the exempt and complying development pathways.” 

“In addition, we are also protecting our ports from incompatible land-use encroaching on their sites and making it harder to go about their business.”

The Department of Planning and Environment is calling on anyone interested in the amendments to review and comment on the proposed changes.

The Explanation of Intended Effect, which outlines the changes, is now on public exhibition for community feedback for six weeks until 1 November 2018.

To make a submission or to view the proposed changes, visit: