In March 2012 NSROC released NSROC Regional Priorities. The document outlines  seven priority areas and nearly 80 actions: around one third directly or indirectly involve regional cooperation between NSROC councils including strategic planning and delivery of services, and the remainder are actions required by other levels of government.

 Summary of NSROC Priority Actions  

Priority 1: Make transport infrastructure work for businesses and communities, by:

• Prioritising new major transport infrastructure in the region, including the completion of the North West Rail Link; the Parramatta-Chatswood rail link; second Harbour rail crossing and fast North Shore line; bus or light rail link from Chatswood to the Northern Beaches; transport strategies forMilitary-Spit Corridor,Victoria Rd,Pennant Hills Rdand thePacific Hwy; bus/train interchanges for MacquariePark(Herring Road) and St Leonards Station; completion of the M2-F3 link into the Sydney Orbital; and improved regional rail services to theCentralCoastandNewcastle.

• Requiring transport agencies to genuinely engage with local government and incorporate its expertise in the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure from the earliest stages to develop strong partnerships and streamlining that engagement.

• Reconcile, integrate and combine the Metropolitan Strategy and Transport Plan to clearly link land use strategies, densities, centres policy, staging and funding of infrastructure.

• Adopting a consistent sustainable carparking policy for commercial centres, business parks and higher density residential development acrossSydneywhere there is access to public transport.

Priority 2: Provide a complete transport service for communities, by:

• Reforming transport regulations to decouple State bus contestability requirements for community transport.

• Including active transport and community transport as part of the metropolitan transport plan.

• Establishing regional level planning for walking and cycling networks in proximity to employment centres as part of a complete metropolitan transport plan including credible funding.

• Providing new cycling, personal mobility devices and pedestrian infrastructure in all new transport projects and ensure that this new infrastructure properly links to existing networks.

Priority 3: Provide for ageing in region, by:

• Planning and collaborating with State Government and other partners on retrofitting council facilities and other public infrastructure to accommodate the needs of an ageing population.

• Urgently investigating and reforming existing systems to make it easier for the private sector to deliver facilities for ageing in place and ageing in region, including examination of the acquisition of sites, the role of planning, and the potential for incentives, and removal of barriers.

• Developing planning and regulatory tools to make it easier to provide housing that can be adapted at low cost to support ageing communities, including an examination of subdivision barriers, easy conversion to sub-letting, and adaptable designs.

• Amending strata title legislation to facilitate the redevelopment of strata properties subject to appropriate thresholds, compensation and consultation with affected parties.

• Ensuring the continuing improvement of primary health care services inNorthern Sydney

Priority 4: Grow access to open space to support community productivity, by:

• Reviewing development contributions as a source of revenue, with a view to their restructuring to reflect both the reality of major infill development occurring in NSW, and the differentials across the state in infrastructure outlays and development returns.

• Amending funding mechanisms for local and community infrastructure such as removal of rate pegging, use of innovative funding measures (tax credits, local infrastructure bonds, tied levies like the Sydney Regional Development Fund or the parking levy) or fixed, project based uniform levies.

• Revising the NSW Government school access policies and general state land disposal process to include the need for consultation with local government and transparent public engagement.

• Developing better mechanisms for funding open space acquisition in Northern Sydneywith a focus on providing open space for active recreation in close proximity to population growth centres.

• Reviewing the operation of the Sydney Region Development Fund to investigate the distribution of its investments, and its potential (including any necessary reforms) to undertake a greater level of acquisitions inNorthern Sydney.

Priority 5: Reinvigorate existing urban centres to grow business, by:

• Revising the centres hierarchy under the Metropolitan Strategy to recognise specialist centres around MacquariePark(Information Technology and Communications), MacquarieUniversity, (Education), and St Leonards (Health) and encourage further specialisation and clustering of business.

• Revising the centres hierarchy under the Metropolitan Strategy to reclassify Chatswood CBD as a Sub-Regional Centre instead of a Major Centre, given its characteristics and role.

• Reviewing the use of development contributions as a source of revenue for upgrading existing public and community infrastructure in centres.

• Reviewing options for business improvement district style levies and other tools that would assist in reinvigorating existing centres.

• Recognising Councils as leaders in place making and the necessity for ongoing revitalisation of business centres with high quality urban design that mixes cultural and community elements to maintain vibrancy.

• Prioritise new business growth in the “global arc” where there is good access to transport and other infrastructure as part of an explicit policy within the Metropolitan Strategy.

• Piloting affordable housing projects with the not-for-profit sector to provide increased housing for key workers and student (including options that can be more broadly applied, such as inclusionary zonings where a levy is collected from development and used to fund affordable housing projects.

Priority 6: Develop regional sustainable waste treatment and resource recovery, by:

• Developing a regional solution for waste management forNorthern Sydneyconsistent with the NSW Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2011-2015 and with support from the NSW Government.

• Providing education and training of local government in new waste markets and systems

• Reforming the Local Government Act to allow councils to work effectively with other public, private and research entities to establish improved regional waste collection.

• Identifying, through the Metropolitan Strategy, appropriate locations for Alternative Waste Disposal Technology and for disposal of non-recyclable, non-reusable putrescible waste for Northern Region residences and commercial properties.

Priority 7: Encourage collaborative regional performance improvement, by:

• Maximising opportunities for and remove barriers to aggregating and sharing of services and functions by local government at a regional level in order to drive efficiencies of scale.

• Aligning State and local planning frameworks, with a view to aligning with Federal planning.

• Developing genuine partnerships with local government in the delivery of government services, including a paradigm shift in formal and informal engagement and collaboration with local governments.

• Developing guidelines for minimum indicators for measuring community well-being across metropolitanSydneyto support, over time, community engagement on important issues, inform policy development, and enable outcome based performance measurement.

For further information on see Press Release and Download copy of the the NSROC Regional Priorities.

Council’s Community Strategic Plans and Integrated Planning and Reporting

Each NSROC member council has developed Community Strategic Plans in line with the NSW Division of Local Government’s requiriements for  integrated planning and reporting. These plans detail each Council’s priorities for their specific LGA.  The NSROC Regional Priorites statement represents a distillation of common views from these Community Strategic Plans.  Click here for links to each councils plan:   Hornsby CSP ; North Sydney CSP ; Ku-ring-gai CSP ;Willoughby CSP ; Hunters Hill CSP ; Draft Lane Cove CSP; Ryde CSP

NSROC 2006-2010 Regional Strategy

NSROC ‘s strategy and activities reflect the need and issues raised by our communities and their representative councils.  In 2006 NSROC developed a Northern Sydney Sub Regional Planning Strategy 2006-2031. This Strategy  identifies the key policies  for  the Northern Sydney Region which inform NSROC directions and activities:


Policy 1 Development and economic growth is to occur in an environmentally sustainable manner particularly to:    a) be within natural resource limits and minimise the ecological footprint of our activity; b) protect and enhance biodiversity, air, and water quality and native habitat; c) provide quality living places; d) provide housing choice for now and in the future; e) provide employment opportunities; f) provide universal accessibility; g) provide for cultural needs and the equitable provision of community services; h) ensure that fair and transparent decision making occurs; i) protect the heritage of the region, and j) retain agricultural land.

Policy 2 Conserve the natural and built environment that is identified as having high ecological and community value particularly environmentally sensitive places, remnant bushland and threatened species that need to be protected.

Policy 3 All infrastructure projects, public domain works and private developments are to be planned and undertaken in a way which will always improve the landscape and urban design quality of places throughout the region. The northern region will be promoted and developed as a highly desirable and attractive place to work and live.

Policy 4 Development must minimise pollution impacts and lead to a net improvement in the health and quality of air, water, habitat and noise conditions.

Policy 5 Rural land will be safeguarded from redevelopment for other land uses and from environmental harm for its agricultural, ecological, social and scenic value. Rural settlement, only in so far as it is consistent with this policy, can occur in appropriate and planned locations.


Policy 6 Contribute to the economic performance and success of the region as well as the Metropolitan Area through its role in the “global arc” and promoting businesses that meet the needs of our communities. Particular priority will be given to: a) promoting knowledge based businesses that diversify the economic base and support the emergence of new commerce in the region; b) protecting the viability of the rral economy and agricultural industry within the region.

Policy 7 Support a Commercial Centres hierarchy comprising neighbourhood centres, villages, town centres and major centres with clearly defi ned roles, appropriate land uses and established relationships between centres in the sub-region as well as within the metropolitan region.

Policy 8 Development is not to occur unless the proponent contributes to the cost or physical provision of community facilities, public services, transport, infrastructure, environmental works and any other requirements that are made necessary by the proposed development.

Policy 9 Appropriately located and serviced employment lands for industry, retail and commercial office use will be protected from changes of use to other land uses in order to meet the future job growth needs of the region and in the context of the regions role in the metropolitan region. Furthermore, rezoning of additional land for employment generating purposes is only to occur if the viability of existing local and regional employment areas are protected, and no other existing zoned land is available.


Policy 10 Enable the development of additional housing that meets the current and future needs of residents as well as the planned additional population through: a) adaptable housing; b) increased housing choice in appropriate locations; c) affordable housing; d) special needs housing; e) good access to employment, transport and services; f) effi cient and sustainable use of urban land that minimises urban sprawl and sets aside land for future growth; and g) growing communities not just building houses;

Policy 11 Ensure that there is a balance between housing and job growth in appropriate locations and protection of established single dwelling house neighbourhoods where change should be limited.


Policy 12 Promote quality, sustainable transport that offers a convenient and viable alternative to private vehicle use through public and other active transport modes, supports integrated transport services, facilitates equitable access for everybody and co-locates higher intensity business and housing with good public transport services.


Policy 13 Population, housing and employment growth in the sub-region is to proceed concurrently with delivery of infrastructure so that it will: a) meet the needs of that growth when it occurs; and b) minimise any impacts on existing communities.

Policy 14 Utilities such as water supply, stormwater management, energy and telecommunications will be planned and delivered in a sustainable and cost effective way to meet the needs of the current and projected population and businesses in the region.

Policy 15 Waste Management will apply the principle of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to make the region self-sufficient for management of its own waste and support alternative waste technology to reduce waste to landfi ll and reclaim waste as a resource.


Policy 16 Existing sport grounds and playing fields that are meeting the recreational and public open space needs of residents in the sub-region will be protected and additional facilities to meet the future populations needs will be planned for and provided.

Policy 17 The cultural diversity and heritage of our sub-region, including our special aboriginal culture, will be celebrated and protected.

Policy 18 NSROC will actively lobby for the improvement and delivery of education, health and other public services that are provided by other agencies to meet the current and future needs of the region.


Policy 19 Adopt and apply Council Planning Instruments and controls so as to pursue the regional strategies in a consistent and effective way.

Policy 20 Decisions about the future of the region, and implementing the changes required to deliver on these policies, will occur in consultation with local communities and organisations that may be affected by the proposed changes.

Policy 21 NSROC will establish and build strong partnerships with State and Federal Government agencies as well as private sector infrastructure providers that are essential to achieve these policies.

Policy 22 The Strategic Plan and these policies will be monitored and reviewed every 10 years to assess the success of the Plan and to revise the Plan if necessary to reflect any major changed circumstances or changed community aspirations.