A $5.6 million AI trial will soon be available to New South Wales councils for use in their planning systems in a bid to speed up assessment times. 

In the midst of a housing crisis and a shortage of planners, the New South Wales Government has been looking for new and innovative ways to support councils and speed up development assessment times.

The AI in NSW Planning project was tasked with identifying areas of the development application assessment that were causing unnecessary delays and would benefit from the implementation of AI.

Three technologies have now been identified and will be available to councils for trial through the AI Solutions Panel and Early Adopter Grant Program. They are:

In a significant opportunity, councils collaborating on joint grant applications could receive up to $500,000, while single council applications could be eligible for up to $200,000 to trial the identified technologies.

Council staff determine development applications for approximately 85 percent of all new homes in New South Wales. This funding will allow councils to trial recommended AI technologies and encourage innovative ways to accelerate DA assessments.

The recommended AI products will help councils reduce average DA assessment times by quickly identifying administration and data input errors.

All councils can apply for grants through the Early Adopter Grant Program.

Grant applications are open for three weeks and close on 22 May 2024.

Successful grant recipients will be notified by June.

New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully, said that this grant program will encourage councils to trial AI and identify products which can help meet their needs.

“This is about modernising the New South Wales planning system by making it more efficient,” Minister Scully said. 

“We can achieve this by giving our talented planners the best tools possible.

“The delivery of new homes will only happen if the planning system is working at full capacity.

“I am confident AI can help accelerate DA assessments and reduce the administrative burden on planners.”

Image credit: PopTika/shutterstock.com

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