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Under Consideration

Draft Social Impact Assessment Guideline


The department sought your feedback on the draft Social Impact Assessment Guideline for State significant projects during public exhibition from 30 October to 27 November 2020. The Guideline standardises the SIA approach across all State significant development, State significant infrastructure and Critical State significant infrastructure projects.

Our draft Guideline aims to:

  • help proponents understand how to meet the department’s expectations
  • give the community comfort that their concerns and perspectives are considered early and build community trust
  • build higher levels of community ‘social licence’ for projects
  • reduce risks and costs to the project as a result of unplanned or reactive management of social impacts
  • streamline assessment processes by reducing departmental requests for more information
  • create better proponent-community relations and more socially sustainable outcomes

The draft Guideline builds on the 2017 SIA Guideline for State significant resource projects, and provides advice to applicants, whether State Government or industry, on how to complete a social impact assessment as a part of their overall environmental impact assessment process.

View the Guideline

View the Technical Supplement 

Key features of the Guideline:

  • For the community: encourages State significant projects to engage early and consider their community when determining the impacts of proposed developments.
  • For industry: addresses inconsistencies in practices and outcomes, improving confidence and trust not only in the consideration of social impacts but also in the development assessment process more broadly.
  • For proponents: provides clear SIA principles to improve relationships with the community, reduce the risk of conflict, protect and improve corporate reputation, and offer greater certainty on what you need to do to meet consent authority expectations. Understanding social impacts early on will save you time and costs over the lifecycle of your project. 
  • For planners: offers a standardised approach for consent authorities to consider social impacts across development types when assessing State significant project applications

Next steps

The department will now consider all submissions and make them publicly available, along with our response to submissions,  in the future.

If you have any questions about this project, please call 1300 305 695 or email the project team directly.

FAQs - Transitional Arrangements

Project Details

Notification start-end date
Relevant legislation
Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979
Exhibiting agency or agencies
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Exhibition location

NSW Planning Portal