4. Standardise the standards


The Parramatta River’s catchment spans 11 local government areas. To create a swimmable river, we need to work together to standardise policies and practices that impact water quality, such as approaches to baseline measurements, installation of rainwater tanks and creation of raingardens.

This project has identified the appropriate policies, planning instruments and sustainable funding mechanisms that will support the goals of the Parramatta River Masterplan.


Establish a whole of catchment land use policy and statutory planning mechanisms.


By 2021.

Lead Agencies

NSW Department of Planning, Infrastructure & Environment and Sydney Water.

Current Measure

Workplan (2019-2020)

Status Update

Right now, we are calling for your feedback on our draft recommendations paper. The paper sets out recommended planning reforms to achieve clean, clear water and support and encourage healthy ecosystems in the catchment.

The paper has been developed over several months in collaboration with Council and State Government stakeholders. Specifically, the paper provides recommendations for the following elements of the Local and State planning framework:

  • Consistent wording in Local Strategic Planning Statements, Local Environmental Plans and Development Control Plans, across the Parramatta catchment, in support of improved waterway and catchment outcomes.
  • The development of a ‘blue-green index’ tool to facilitate easy assessment of new developments to meet water quality, waterway and riparian land objectives.
  • The development of a blue-green riparian mapping system to be applied across the catchment, that sets objectives for waterway management.
  • Influencing and advocating for reform of state level planning policies including BASIX, infrastructure assessments and State Environmental Planning Policies.
  • Strengthening funding of blue green infrastructure.


Standardise the Standards – Draft Recommendations Paper

Download the Executive Summary of the Draft Recommendations Paper.


Final recommendations table 

Progress Timeline

April – June 2020

  • Options Paper finalised incorporating feedback.
  • Draft A of recommendations paper received from consultant in April. Draft B in circulation with Policy Control Group for feedback prior to finalisation in mid-June.
  • Two Masters students from Macquarie University completing a riparian mapping project to support recommednations paper.
January – March 2020

  • Discussion Paper finalised. We received a number of submissions and feedback was incorporated.
  • Developed draft options paper – sets out other parts of NSW planning framework and how to influence them, i.e. strategies, SEPPs, VPAs, ministerial directives etc.
  • Had initial meeting with new DPIE contacts.
October –December 2019

  • Developed draft discussion paper.
  • Workshops held with catchment councils, GSC, DPIE, PRCG and Sydney Water to focus on developing planning controls for Waterways and Riparian habitats and for WSUD.
July – September 2019

  • Knights McAuley appointed to lead review of catchment policy and planning controls that impact water quality.
  • Workshop held with catchment councils, GSC, DPIE, PRCG and Sydney Water to develop practical recommendations to support councils’ current review of their Local Environment Plans (LEPs) and align with the vision of the Parramatta River Masterplan.
April – June 2019

  • Standard wording developed for councils to include in their Local Strategic Planning Statements (LSPS) that support implementation of the Parramatta River Masterplan.
  • Consultant’s brief drafted to review planning provisions/provide model clauses that support implementation of the Parramatta River Masterplan.

Useful Links

Step 4. Standardise the Standards – Final Discussion Paper