Employment lands strategy
Focuses on securing Sydney’s economic future by facilitating new business and industry opportunity, providing employment across a range of sectors and protecting land for strategic industrial activity and essential urban services.
New employment zones
In our local environment plans new employment zones began on 26 April 2023.
Any mention of a former industrial or business zone in our other planning documents, including development control plans, is legally taken to be a mention of the new employment zones.
For more details on these reforms visit the Department of Planning and Environment website. To see the new employment zones, view the 'equivalent zone tables' under resources.
The southern employment lands are some of the most strategically located in Australia, being of local, metropolitan, state and national economic significance. They host regional and global roles and connections, being only 3km south of Sydney’s city centre and even closer to Sydney Airport and Port Botany.
The lands are also in close proximity to 2 major planned centres, Green Square town centre to the north and Mascot station precinct to the south. The southern employment lands contain more than 300,000 jobs across a range of high-value sectors including finance, insurance, business and technical services, education, technology, media, retail, arts, entertainment and tourism services.
The 2014 employment lands study assessed the long-term demand for industrial and business-zoned employment land in the city. The study was informed by extensive consultation with landowners and occupiers, adjoining communities, business operators and organisations with a strategic interest in the area.
The employment lands strategy focuses on securing Sydney’s economic future by retaining essential employment lands and making space for more businesses and new jobs. The strategy also allows for some housing, including affordable housing, in suitable locations.
We are currently reviewing the strategy. This page will be updated when the revised strategy is finalised and adopted by Council.
Retaining and managing employment land
The NSW Government planning priority E12 recognises the importance of industrial activity and urban services to Greater Sydney, state and national economies under the eastern city district plan. It gives effect to the state government’s Greater Sydney region plan, A Metropolis of Three Cities, to retain and manage industrial and urban services land.
Planning for the employment lands
Until 2015 most of our employment lands area was zoned for industrial purposes. However changes in the Australian economy meant a more flexible approach to the range of permitted industrial and urban services was required.
In June 2015, following the employment lands study and employment lands strategy, most of the southern employment lands were rezoned to allow for a wider range of business activities and employment opportunities. Some industrial land was retained to ensure industrial activities and urban services that need to locate close to the city can continue to do so.
Planning for the southern employment lands was done in consultation with communities, landowners, government organisations and key stakeholders such as Sydney Airport and Port Botany.
Changes to planning controls were also informed by a number of technical studies including traffic and transport, urban design, affordable housing, economic and infrastructure.