Six Step Planning Process

There are many laws that govern project planning, design, construction and maintenance activities. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) provides the overall framework under which approvals are obtained for developments or activities in NSW. 

Most new construction work carried out by Ausgrid requires some form of an environmental assessment. Most environmental assessments will be in the form of an NS174A Summary Environmental Report (SER). In some cases, such as major projects, the environmental assessment will be in the form of a review of environmental factors (REF). This Environmental Planning website outlines the 6 step process required to complete Ausgrid's NS174A SER.

Routine repairs, maintenance and emergency works will generally be considered exempt development and do not require an environmental assessment, providing the work is of minimal impact. Those projects can proceed in accordance with the controls in Ausgrid's NS174C Environmental Handbook.

A verified NS174A SER, it's associated approvals, licences and permits and Ausgrid's NS174C Environmental Handbook are legally binding documents. Failure to comply with a NS174A SER is an offence carrying penalties up to $5M.

Contact Ausgrid's Environmental Services for other environmental assessment processes such as development applications (DA) prepared under Part 4 of the EP&A Act, or an environmental assessment prepared for state significant development under Part 5.1 of the EP&A Act.

Ausgrid's Environmental Services must also verify all NS174A SER that have level 3 impacts. Ausgrid's Environmental Services may prepare SER for environmentally sensitive projects. 

Typical Approval Timeframes:

  • time for Environmental Services to prepare an NS174A SER - 3 weeks*
  • time for Environmental Services to verify an NS174A SER - 3 weeks from receipt**
  • time to obtain typical approvals: 6 - 8 weeks***
  • time to undertake specialist studies - 4 to 6 weeks

Note: An NS174A SER will not be verified by Environmental Services until the 21/40 day notification period is complete.

* timeframes apply after all project information is obtained
** excluding specialist studies, additional information and approvals
***some can take up to 75 weeks
For enquiries regarding the status of an NS174A SER with Environmental Services, contact us.