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Community Participation Plan

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A city supported by infrastructureInfrastructure
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A city for peoplePeople
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An efficient cityEfficiency
A resilient cityResilience

Who does our Community Participation Plan apply to?

Group of people at festival

The Community Participation Plan applies to anyone living or working in the Greater Sydney Region. The Greater Sydney Region consists of the five districts and 33 Local Government Areas listed in Figure 1 below.

The Commission acknowledges that the community is made up of many smaller communities or groups of individuals with shared qualities, ideas, characteristics and interests. These groups might represent individuals from a diverse range of cultures, languages, religions, beliefs, geographic locations or genders, as well as professions and certain interests etc. Individuals may associate with a number of groups or communities and may represent a variety of interests.

The Commission's Community Participation Plan does not apply to other NSW planning authorities, such as the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, local councils or the Independent Planning Commission. All other NSW planning authorities will prepare their own Community Participation Plans. 

Figure 1: The geographic area that the Greater Sydney Commission Community Participation Plan applies to

Download this image fig_01_map.jpg (format JPG / 550 KB )

Source - A Metropolis of Three Cities - the Greater Sydney Region Plan.

What values will guide our engagement?

The Commission has adopted the following engagement values to guide how it engages and develops relationships with the community:


How we will act


The Commission engages with all stakeholders in a respectful manner. We openly discuss the challenges and listen before acting. We respect differing views. We make decisions that consider the range of views we've heard and the evidence.


The Commission works collaboratively to improve Greater Sydney. We collaborate with individuals, local community groups, peak representative bodies, all levels of government, industry groups and the private sector to inform our decisions. We will not be limited to the passive supply of information but will encourage and record views and informed opinions. 


The Commission is accessible and visible in the community. We communicate by using direct, clear language that is free of jargon to reach as many people as possible. We provide multiple opportunities for people to get involved, provide feedback and share their ideas. We tailor our engagement to people's needs by providing a range of engagement opportunities including channels that are widely used, opportunities for face-to-face engagement and going to people in their communities. We help the community understand complex information.


The Commission acts in an open, honest and accountable manner. We provide clear direction on the scope of our decisions and decision making. We are honest about what can and cannot be influenced through engagement and we explain how feedback has informed our decisions.


The Commission provides the community with information in a timely manner which allows for input before decisions are made. Sufficient time will be provided for the community to consider information and then make a meaningful contribution. The Commission reports back on the outcomes of engagement in a timely manner.


The Commission engages broadly, early and often with all stakeholders. We ensure that a diverse range of community members have opportunities to be actively engaged in the process, including young people, people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people with a disability.


The Commission evaluates the effectiveness of its engagement to ensure we can continually improve and innovate. We establish pre-set key performance indicators and assess our engagement practice against these indicators.


How can the community participate in the work of the Commission?

There are a number of ways the community can participate in the work of the Commission. Some of the engagement tools we will use are outlined below:


How we will use them


To work with the community to design policies and relevant Commission work.

Community workshops

To present and explain complex information to the community so they can spend time deliberating on an issue.

Deliberative forums such as Citizens Panels, Citizens Juries, Youth Panels

To gather representation from and deliberation by a diverse range of people in the community who may not normally participate in engagement about strategic planning.

Mandatory exhibitions

To gain formal feedback required by legislation.

Non-mandatory exhibitions

To gather community input into non-statutory elements of Commission work.

Online engagement

To make it as easy as possible for community members to provide feedback at their convenience. This tool may also be used to reach a large number of people.


To gather feedback and insights from a range of peak groups that represent key social, environmental and industry stakeholders.


Where appropriate, we will gain insights from a broad range of citizens so that people

who live, work and play in Greater Sydney are all included.

Community meetings

Where appropriate, we will attend existing community, peak and industry meetings or

forums to explain Commission proposals and gather feedback.

Statutory exhibition timeframes

The Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 outlines the types of planning functions (referred to as 'instruments' in the Act), that statutory exhibition timeframes relate to. For the Commission this includes the exhibition of this Community Participation Plan and any future draft regional or district strategic plans.

Planning instrument

Mandatory timeframes

Draft community participation plans

28 days

Draft regional or district strategic plans

45 days


Under the Greater Sydney Commission Act 2015 Act the Premier or Minister for Planning and Public Spaces may ask the Commission to undertake a range of other planning activities. As a minimum, the Commission will comply with statutory exhibition timeframes set out in Section 2.21(2) of the EP&A Act. These timeframes include weekends. The timeframes do not include from the 20 December to 10 January (inclusive) to take into account the Christmas / New Year period. Whenever possible the Commission will offer longer timeframes for community feedback.

Planning or policy information

Non mandatory timeframes

Draft legislation, regulation, polices and guidelines

Minimum 28 days whenever possible. The period may be shorter if there is an urgent need for the Commission to provide advice. We will be transparent about why timeframes are shorter than 28 days.

Go back to The Community Participation Plan