The schedule for assessments of state significant developments, rezoning and development applications will be quickened, according to program shifts announced by Planning Minister Rob Stokes Friday. 

The minister will make further adjustments if needed. 

Other planning changes in effect include the adjustment of public service schedules—with sites able to open on weekends and public holidays, supermarkets and pharmacies open 24/7, and regulations loosened for food trucks. 

Stokes asserts that the building and development sectors were important for ensuring strong employment rates and full economic recovery—and that now is the time that they be given the opportunity to do so. 

Stokes says that the government must focus on projects that can create job opportunities, enliven retail and commercial sectors, and to restore and eventually rejuvenate the economy. 

Developments can be labelled state significant because of their size, economic value or possible impact. These buildings can include schools, hospitals, correctional centres, mining and extraction operations, waste management and energy producing facilities. 

Under the announced planning shifts, the state government will develop councils and planning panels to put local and regionally significant development applications on the fast track. 

The government asserts that the addition of more acting commissioners will resolve a backlog of cases in the NSW Land and Environment Court, while the sum of $70 million will be invested in the development of infrastructure in northwest Sydney, such as roads, drainage and parks—and, eventually, the construction of thousands of new homes is expected. 

Stokes said that the planning system acceleration program would devise openings for more than 30,000 construction jobs in the next half year. 

He said that no further restrictions are anticipated on Australian construction sites, as the restrictions in place seem to be getting the job done—just like the dedicated builders working these sites.