Community Improvement Districts in New South Wales
A Community Improvement District (CID) is a partnership between local government and the community, led by local businesses, to support and grow local economies, town centres and main streets. Within a CID, stakeholders work together for a common goal of improving our local spaces. We are looking at CIDs as a way to enhance the local trading environment, foster community collaboration and enable economic growth.
Transport for NSW is proposing a new policy to make it easier for Community Improvement Districts (formerly Business Improvement Districts) to be set up in NSW.
We have released draft legislation for Community Improvement Districts and are inviting discussion through:
Draft Community Improvement Districts Bill 2023
The Draft Community Improvement Districts Bill 2023 (the draft Bill) details the proposed legislation to establish CIDs in NSW and is intended to be supported by regulations and related guidance.
Transport for NSW is releasing the draft Bill for public comment so stakeholders can help shape the final legislation.
The Draft Community Improvement Districts Bill 2023 (PDF, 314.82 KB) and A Guide to the Draft Community Improvement Districts Bill (PDF, 1.79 MB) are available to download.
The draft Bill has three objectives:
- To provide for the establishment and operation of CIDs for the benefit of businesses and local communities
- To provide for the delivery of services, projects, and activities by CID entities in CIDs funded by CID levies, and
- To regulate CID entities, CID proposals, CID proposal ballots, and the delivery of services, projects and activities funded by CID levies.
Frequently asked questions
What is a CID?
Community Improvement Districts (CIDs) are an internationally recognised tool for businesses and the community to work together to contribute to great neighbourhoods. CIDs are business-led, place-based partnerships that bring businesses together to support and grow local economies, high streets, and centres. They help enhance the local trading environment, encourage economic growth and deliver civic pride. They are a way to give businesses and communities the autonomy and liberty to create thriving local places. A CID is specific to a defined local area. Once established, government and the community, led by business, work collaboratively to determine what the CID will set out to deliver, and how it will do so.
Why are CIDs being proposed?
CIDs can help enhance the local trading environment, encourage economic growth, and enable community pride. CIDs are one of the ways that the community and business can come together to improve local places. We are proposing new policy to make it easier for CIDs to be established in areas where they have the support of local businesses and the community.
What are the benefits of a CID?
CIDs help create liveable, enriching, and desirable places and stimulate local economies. They maximise the vitality and quality of public spaces and give businesses an opportunity to become involved in conversations about how a place is managed.
What organisations or individuals can be included in a CID?
A CID is specific to a defined local area. Once established, government and the community, led by business, work collaboratively to determine what the CID will set out to deliver, and how it will do so.
Will participation be compulsory for businesses where CIDs are implemented?
We are currently exploring the best policy options for NSW to ensure that CIDs only occur where they are supported by the businesses and property owners. The draft legislation sets out a proposed ballot approach to ensure strong local support for the proposal. We welcome feedback on the proposed approach.
Why do you have a ballot system in the Community Improvement District model?
International experience is that for an Improvement District to be successful it needs to have strong local support from the businesses and landowners who may be required to pay for it. Most jurisdictions demonstrate this support by requiring a ballot of affected parties before an Improvement District can be formally established.
What happens after the feedback period on the draft Bill?
The NSW Government has released the draft Bill for public comment to help inform future policy for CIDs in NSW. Following feedback on the draft Bill, the NSW Government will consider how to progress options, including legislative and regulatory options and the standing up of a CID Regulatory Authority.
How does the feedback period for the draft Bill relate to the CID Pilot Program that is already underway?
The CID Pilot Program is a $2.75 million grant program led by the NSW Government to deliver trial CIDs across NSW that test the viability of diverse governance models and strengthen the local place economy. In addition to public feedback on the draft Bill, initial learnings from the CID Pilot Program may also help shape the final CID legislation. Successful applicants for the CID Pilot Program are due to be announced in 2024. The NSW Government intends to have CID legislation is place before the CID Pilot Program concludes to enable successful applicants to use the legislation to establish a CID.
If you have any questions about Community Improvement Districts or want to subscribe to the program updates, contact the team via email at: email@example.com
Next Steps for Business Improvement Districts (Policy Paper)
The Policy Paper (PDF, 625 KB) addresses feedback on the recent White Paper, identifies next steps for Improvement District policy reform and outlines how the pilot program will streamline Improvement Districts being established in NSW.
Enabling Local Business Improvement Districts (White Paper)
A White Paper (PDF, 1.49 MB) was released in 2022 outlining potential policy options. This document includes case studies showing how Improvement Districts have contributed to place revitalisation in various communities. The document also includes a range of questions that feedback from stakeholders were sought on.
Business of Cities Paper
A background paper (PDF, 1.5 MB) prepared by the Business of Cities for Transport for NSW provides further context and background on Improvement Districts from a global perspective.
Past Webinar - Pilot Program
In October 2022, we held a 45-minute webinar and presented on:
- NSW Government place revitalisation programs
- Overview of the White Paper
- Next steps for streamlining Improvement District policy in NSW
- Future engagement opportunities.
We also facilitated a Q&A session with webinar participants.