State environment laws cover road and traffic works in NSW. Some also need Commonwealth approval. Since 2015, this strategic assessment has covered small-scale work on NSW roads. Strategic assessments let us consider impacts to protected matters on a broad scale. Projects or activities covered by an approved strategic assessment do not need individual approval.
Strategic assessments are a collaboration between the Australian Government and an assessment partner. This collaboration allows for a big-picture approach to safeguarding protected matters from the impacts of development over a long time.
The NSW Road and Traffic Management strategic assessment on this page is finalised. This means the Environment minister agreed that the partner may undertake small-scale road works, as described in the program, if done so in accordance with the environmental requirements set out in the program.
The partner must also continue to report to the public until 2040 that the program's requirements are being implemented.
The Australian Government and NSW Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) agreed to a strategic assessment of road and traffic management works assessed under Part 5 of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act).
This strategic assessment considers the impacts of small-scale road and traffic management works on listed:
- threatened species and ecological communities
- migratory species.
Examples of works include:
- new overtaking lanes for existing roads
- short sections of new road
- bridge replacements
- routine maintenance and safety works.
On 29 November 2019, the strategic assessment of some NSW road and traffic management works transferred from NSW RMS to Transport for NSW.
Approval of the strategic assessment program now:
- ensures Transport for NSW activities assessed under Part 5 of the EP&A Act don't also need EPBC Act approval
- makes environmental assessment and approval processes more efficient
- removes duplication in decision-making
- maintains high environmental standards.
The Transport for NSW website has more information about the Roads and Maritime Strategic Assessment.
On 14 August 2014, both governments agreed to a strategic assessment.
The agreement was signed by:
- the Deputy Secretary of the Australian Department of Environment
- the Acting Chief Executive of the NSW RMS.
Strategic assessment agreement for NSW road and traffic management works (PDF 3.01 MB)
Strategic assessment agreement for NSW road and traffic management works (DOCX 61.08 KB)
Terms of reference
The terms of reference for a strategic assessment detail how the strategic assessment partner will assess the impacts of their proposed development activities.
The public comment period on the draft Terms of Reference was from 18 December 2014 to 13 February 2015.
Terms of Reference for the Strategic Assessment Report for NSW road and traffic management works (PDF 1.19 MB)
Terms of Reference for the Strategic Assessment Report for NSW road and traffic management works (DOCX 53.25 KB)
NSW RMS considered the public comment and advice from the Australian Department of Environment.
It submitted the final program (PDF) and strategic assessment (PDF) reports in June 2015.
On 7 September 2015, the minister endorsed the program.
Endorsement notice for the road and traffic management works in NSW program (PDF 231.35 KB)
Endorsement notice for the road and traffic management works in NSW program (DOCX 83.48 KB)
On 24 September 2015, the minister approved the classes of actions under the program. This allows development and related activities to occur without ministerial approval.
The program is valid until 30 June 2040.
Approval decision notice for the road and traffic management works in NSW program (PDF - 638.62 KB)
Approval decision notice for the road and traffic management works in NSW program (DOCX - 63.15 KB)
On 29 November 2019, NSW RMS transferred the strategic assessment approval to Transport for NSW.
Transfer of approval for the NSW road and traffic management works strategic assessment (PDF 67.54 KB)
Transfer of approval for the NSW road and traffic management works strategic assessment (DOCX 57.71 KB)
Transport for NSW must publish annual reports regarding their compliance with the strategic assessment on their website.
Get in touch
Contact our Referrals Gateway team:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 1800 423 135 between 9 am and 5 pm Canberra time.