Agreed information assets for use by NSW Government and others, to prepare proposals, business plans and strategies that rely on projections. 
The Common Planning Assumptions are agreed information assets (data sets, models and analytical tools) for use by NSW Government, and others, to prepare proposals, business plans and strategies that rely on projections. 

Various NSW Government agencies are custodians of information assets and responsible for their development and maintenance. Common Planning Assumptions ensures that information is shared and used across Government. This reduces duplication of effort and provides a consistent basis for policy development and service delivery planning. Common Planning Assumptions are not targets or scenarios. 

The data sets include population growth, economic growth, housing supply, metropolitan transport demand, and freight demand. There are also guidelines for employment projections, and future temperature and climate events. 

The Common Planning Assumptions are used in the development of new policies, strategies or business cases.  They were used to prepare key Government plans in 2017, including: 

  • Future Transport 2056 

  • State Infrastructure Strategy 2018 - 2038 

  • Greater Sydney Region Plan and District Plans 

The planning horizon for these data sets and projections is typically between 20 years (business cases for investment above $10 million) and 40 years (proposals for major investments and strategies). 

Numerous NSW Government agencies are responsible for information assets and key assumptions. 

These include: 

  • For fiscal and economic data (economic growth, employment, labour productivity, and productivity changes) - NSW Treasury 

  • For population and housing projections – Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) 

  • For climate change (temperature, bushfire risk, rainfall, heatwaves, and climate event forecasts) and natural resources (biodiversity values and air quality) - Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) 

  • For regional and district land use assumptions & housing targets – Greater Sydney Commission & Department of Planning, Industry and Environment 

  • For transport capacity for all modes of transport; freight demand forecasts and for Sydney’s small area spatial distribution of people (residents) aligned with DPIE’s population projections; workforce (by residence); employment (by place of work) – Transport for NSW   

  • For information about new infrastructure in the planning or development phase - Transport for NSW, Health, and Department of Education - School Infrastructure 

Information assets and assumptions are not static items. Summary information about strategic datasets and information is provided below. 
The NSW Government is investing in collection of a wide range of information including setting professional management standards for historical data sets and projections. 

Summary information about data sets and information is provided on this site, with links to the detail published on NSW Government Open Data and agency sites.  

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) 
DPIE holds the demography and regional planning information for NSW and cares for and protects NSW's environment and heritage. 

Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) 
Leads on land use assumptions, district and regional plans for Greater Sydney, provides spatial directions, growth and housing targets. 

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) 
Leads the development of safe, integrated and efficient transport systems for the people of NSW. 

NSW Department of Education - School Infrastructure 
Plans the delivery of new schools and school infrastructure in NSW including school buildings, major upgrades and maintenance strategies. 

Health Infrastructure – NSW Ministry of Health 
Oversees the planning, design, procurement and construction of health capital works in NSW. 

The Common Planning Assumptions Group (CPAG) was formed in 2016 and is made up of senior representatives from across the NSW Government. 
The principle objective of the Common Planning Assumptions Group (CPAG) is to establish and maintain a register of all approved Common Planning Assumptions, including assumptions, parameters, datasets and plans, with membership reflecting priorities associated with reviewing and updating this register. 

The Common Planning Assumptions detailed above were approved in November 2017. 

You can contact us at [email protected].

The Common Planning Assumptions use standard definitions of terms as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) except where noted. 

Key Terms: 

Forecast: Forecasts speculate future values with a certain level of confidence, based on current and past values as an expectation (prediction) of what will happen 

Projections: Projections indicate what future values would be if the assumed patterns of change were to occur. They are not a prediction. A projection simply indicates a future value for the outputs if the set of underlying assumptions occur. 

Target: A target is either the intended outcome of a policy intervention, or a metric used to shape and define policy. Development of targets frequently builds on, and is informed by, both forecasts and projections. 

Last updated: 07/07/2021