Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 No 203
Historical version for 16 September 2011 to 30 September 2011 (accessed 29 November 2014 at 14:29) Current version
Part 2A

Part 2A Other planning bodies

Division 1 Preliminary

23A   Definitions

In this Part:

Commission means the Planning Assessment Commission.

Division 2 Planning Assessment Commission

23B   Planning Assessment Commission

(1)  There is constituted by this Act a body corporate with the corporate name of the Planning Assessment Commission of New South Wales.
(2)  The Commission has such functions as are conferred or imposed on it by or under this or any other Act.
(3)  The Commission is not subject to the direction or control of the Minister, except in relation to the procedures of the Commission and to the extent specifically provided for in this Act.
(4)  The Commission is a statutory body representing the Crown.
Note. By virtue of section 13A of the Interpretation Act 1987, a statutory body representing the Crown has the status, privileges and immunities of the Crown.
(5)  Schedule 3 has effect with respect to the Commission.

23C   Chairperson of Commission

The work of the Commission is, subject to this Act and the regulations, to be allocated by the chairperson of the Commission.
Note. The chairperson is appointed under Schedule 3.

23D   Functions of Commission

(1)  The Commission has the following functions:
(a)  to determine applications for the approval of projects and concept plans under Part 3A, if those matters are delegated to it by the Minister,
(b)  if requested to do so by the Minister:
(i)  to advise the Minister as to planning or development matters, environmental planning instruments or the administration or implementation of the provisions of this Act, or any related matter, and
(ii)  to review any aspect of a project, or a concept plan, under Part 3A, and
(iii)  to review all or any of the environmental aspects of proposed development the subject of a development application (whether or not it is designated development), or a part of any such proposed development, and
(iv)  to review all or any of the environmental aspects of an activity referred to in section 112 (1), or of a part of any such activity, and
(v)  to review a proposal to constitute, alter or abolish a development area under section 132 or 133,
(c)  any function of a regional panel, an independent hearing and assessment panel or a planning assessment panel conferred on it by order in writing by the Minister,
(d)  if a regional panel has not been appointed for any part of the State, any function that is conferred on a regional panel under an environmental planning instrument applicable to that part or that is otherwise conferred on a regional panel under this Act.
(2)  For the purposes of subsection (1) (c) and (d), the Commission has all the functions of the panel concerned.
(3)  The Commission cannot employ any staff.
Note. Staff to enable the Commission to exercise its functions may be employed under Chapter 1A of the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002 in the Government Service.
(4)  However, the Commission may:
(a)  arrange, with the approval of the Director-General, for the use of the services of any staff (by secondment or otherwise) or facilities of a Division of the Government Service or a public authority, and
(b)  with the approval of the Director-General, engage such consultants as it requires to exercise its functions.

23E   Reviews by, and procedures of, Commission

The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the following:
(a)  the procedures of the Commission, including the procedures for reviews relating to any or all, or a class, of its functions,
(b)  without limiting paragraph (a), the circumstances in which public hearings are to be held by the Commission,
(c)  without limiting paragraph (a), providing that parties are not to be represented (whether by an Australian legal practitioner or any other person) or are only to be represented in specified circumstances,
(d)  the conferral on the Commission of power to require a person to give evidence or produce documents for the purposes of a review or the exercise of any of its other functions,
(e)  additional procedural requirements relating to hearings involving a proposed development or activity that may involve the need for an approval under the Water Management Act 2000 or a licence under the Water Act 1912,
(f)  reports of the Commission’s findings and recommendations,
(g)  the making of findings and recommendations of the Commission public,
(h)  the provision of information by the Commission.

23F   No appeals against decisions by Commission after public hearings

(1)  This section has effect despite any other provision of this Act or the regulations.
(2)  An appeal under this Act may not be made in respect of a decision of the Commission in exercising a function conferred on the Commission by or under this Act (including a function delegated to it under this Act) if the decision was made by the Commission after a public hearing.

Division 3 Joint regional planning panels

23G   Joint regional planning panels

(1)  The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, constitute a joint regional planning panel for a particular part of the State specified in the order.
(2)  A regional panel has the following functions:
(a)  any of a council’s functions as a consent authority that are conferred on it under an environmental planning instrument,
(b)  any functions that are conferred on it under Division 1AA (Planning administrators and panels) of Part 6,
(c)  to advise the Minister as to planning or development matters or environmental planning instruments relating to the part of the State for which it is appointed, or any related matters, if requested to do so by the Minister.
(3)  A regional panel has the functions conferred or imposed on it by or under this or any other Act.
(4)  A regional panel is not subject to the direction or control of the Minister, except in relation to the procedures of the regional panel and to the extent specifically provided for in this Act.
(5)  A regional panel is a statutory body representing the Crown.
Note. By virtue of section 13A of the Interpretation Act 1987, a statutory body representing the Crown has the status, privileges and immunities of the Crown.
(5A)  Subject to the regulations, a regional panel is, in the exercise of functions conferred under subsection (2) (a), taken to be the council whose functions are conferred on a regional panel as referred to in subsection (2) (a).
(5B)  A regional panel is to exercise functions conferred as referred to in subsection (2) (a) to the exclusion of the applicable council (subject to any delegation under this Act).
(5C)  Subsections (5A) and (5B) apply to the Commission in its exercise of the functions of a regional panel under an environmental planning instrument that are conferred on the Commission under section 23D (1) (d) in the same way as they apply to a regional panel in the exercise of functions conferred as referred to in subsection (2) (a).
(6)  Schedule 4 has effect with respect to regional panels.

23H   Regulations

The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the following matters:
(a)  the functions conferred by this Act on a regional panel including its procedures in exercising its functions, and procedures in relation to its determination of development applications and applications to modify development consents,
(b)  the provision of information and reports by regional panels,
(c)  without limiting paragraph (a), providing that parties to matters being determined by a regional panel are not to be represented (whether by an Australian legal practitioner or any other person) or are only to be represented in specified circumstances.

Division 4 Independent hearing and assessment panels

23I   Independent hearing and assessment panels

(1)  A council may constitute a panel of experts to assess any aspect of a development application or any planning matter referred to the panel by the council (other than a matter subject to a determination or review by a regional panel).
(2)  A council must constitute a panel of experts to assess any aspect of a development application or any planning matter if an assessment by a panel is required by an environmental planning instrument.
(3)  The members of a panel of experts are to consist of persons having expertise in at least 1 of planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, land economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering, tourism or government and public administration.
(4)  For the purposes of an assessment, a panel may receive or hear submissions from interested persons and must submit a report to the council within the time required by the council.
(5)  A panel is to exercise its functions in accordance with the regulations and any arrangements approved by the Minister. However, a panel is not subject to the direction of the Minister on the findings or recommendations in its report.
(6)  The council is to provide staff and facilities for the purpose of enabling a panel to exercise its functions.
(7)  A member of a panel is entitled to be paid such remuneration (including travelling and subsistence allowances) as the Minister may from time to time determine in respect of the member.

23J   Regulations

The regulations may make provision for or with respect to the following matters:
(a)  the procedures of independent hearing and assessment panels in exercising functions,
(b)  without limiting paragraph (a), providing that parties are not to be represented (whether by an Australian legal practitioner or any other person) or are only to be represented in specified circumstances,
(c)  the provision of information or reports by councils with respect to the exercise of functions by independent hearing and assessment panels and any actions taken or not taken by councils in response to panel assessments.

Division 6 Matters relating to councils and council functions

23M   Obligation to consult with council about certain decisions

The Commission or a regional panel must not exercise a function that will result in the making of a decision that will have, or that might reasonably be expected to have, a significantly adverse financial impact on a council until after it has consulted with the council.

23N   Obligations of councils to assist Commission and regional panels

(1)  The Commission or a regional panel is entitled:
(a)  to have access to, and to make copies of and take extracts from, records of a council relevant to the exercise of the Commission’s or panel’s functions, and
(b)  to the use of the staff and facilities of a relevant council in order to exercise the Commission’s or panel’s functions.
(2)  The general manager of a council must carry out any reasonable direction of the Commission or a regional panel relating to functions of the council being exercised by the Commission or panel.

Maximum penalty: 10 penalty units.

(3)  A member of a council, or the general manager or other member of staff of a council, must not obstruct the Commission, a regional panel or a member of the Commission or a panel in the exercise of the Commission’s or panel’s functions under this Act.

Maximum penalty: 10 penalty units.

23O   Recovery of certain costs

(1)  A council is to pay to the Director-General out of the council’s consolidated fund:
(a)  the remuneration, costs and expenses of the Commission in respect of the exercise of any functions of a consent authority involving development on land within the area of the council, and
(b)  any other costs relating to the provision of services to the Commission by the Department in respect of the exercise of any such functions.
(2)  The councils for an area or part of an area situated in a part of the State for which a regional panel has been appointed are to pay to the Director-General, out of the councils’ consolidated funds, the remuneration, costs and expenses of the panel and of the Department relating to the costs of administration of the panel.
(3)  A council is to pay, out of the council’s consolidated fund, the remuneration, costs and expenses of any independent hearing and assessment panel established by the council.
(5)  The Minister may do either or both of the following:
(a)  exempt a council from payment of any or all of any such remuneration, costs or expenses,
(b)  resolve any dispute as to the amount of any such remuneration, costs or expenses.
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