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Development and Assessment

State Significant Infrastructure

Some types of infrastructure are deemed to have State significance due to the size, economic value or potential impacts that it may have. Infrastructure that is State Significant is identified in the Planning Systems State Environmental Planning Policy.

State significant infrastructure

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act), some infrastructure projects can be declared as State significant infrastructure (SSI) if they are important to the State for economic, environmental or social reasons.

Further, some SSI projects can be declared as Critical State significant infrastructure (CSSI) if the Minister for Planning determines they are essential to the State for economic, environmental or social reasons.

The Guideline: Declaration of SSI and CSSI (2021) sets out the general principles and key reasons for the Minister to declare development as SSI or CSSI.

The Department of Planning and Environment (the department) co-ordinates the assessment of all SSI projects under the EP&A Act which involves carrying out all relevant administrative functions, coordinating inputs from State and Commonwealth agencies and working closely with councils to ensure local and regional issues are fully considered.

Community participation is an essential part of this process, and all SSI environmental impact statements are exhibited for at least 28 days.

The department prepares a detailed whole-of-government assessment report on the merits of SSI projects for the approval authority.

Who determines State significant infrastructure applications?

SSI and CSSI projects are assessed under Division 5.2 of the EP&A Act and require the approval of the Minister for Planning before they may proceed.

State Significant Infrastructure Guidelines

The State Significant Infrastructure Guidelines provide a detailed explanation of the SSI process and set out clear expectations about the quality of environmental assessment documentation.

The EP&A Regulation requires certain SSI documents, including environmental impact statements (EISs), amendment applications and modification requests to be prepared having regard to the State Significant Infrastructure Guidelines.

For further information on the guidelines visit the NSW planning website

SSI Projects 

Find out more about how projects are classified as SSI or CSSI and the different types of SSI projects

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SSI Process

Find out more about how the merits of SSI projects are assessed before a final decision is made.

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SSI Modifications

Find out more about how SSI approvals can be modified

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