In an effort to support the building industry and the state's economy, the New South Wales' government will fast-track the approval of 24 construction projects, which are part of the first tranche of its new Planning System Acceleration Program.

The 24 projects are expected to inject $7.54bn worth of investments into the state economy and create almost 9,500 new jobs. They are also projected to deliver around 4,400 new houses, including more than 1,000 social and affordable homes.

"By fast-tracking assessments, we will keep people in jobs and keep the construction industry moving as we ride out the COVID-19 pandemic and set our sights on economic recovery," said Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

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Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the approval decisions for the projects will be delivered within the next four weeks. 

"It's important to note that this is not a greenlighting exercise, the same stringent checks, balances and community consultation that ensures transparency, public benefit and merit-based assessment of projects remain," he said.

Still, Stokes said the approval of these projects will be a "win-win" situation for the state.

"This will mean shovel-ready projects can get underway and the construction pipeline can continue to grow," he said.

Jane Fitzgerald, NSW executive director for the Property Council of Australia, said the government's move will enable the property industry to contribute strongly to the economic recovery of the state.

"A stronger, more solid pipeline of future work has never been needed more than at this time in this unprecedented crisis. Businesses, workers and families — who rely on property for jobs and to keep our economy moving — are vital to the post-COVID-19 economic recovery," she said.

The list of projects that will undergo an expedited approval process can be found here. These projects will be assessed in a set of criteria that will look into several factors including job creation, timing, and public benefit.

“The criteria the government has chosen to judge projects against — the number of jobs created, timeframe for delivery and public benefit — seem to be the right ones if they are applied appropriately,” Fitzgerald said. “As these are being assessed over the next few weeks, officials should turn their attention to other critical areas of need and job generating opportunities.”