Simpler, Smarter Planning To Boost Jobs And Investment

A new Smart Planning system will give Victorians a quicker and simpler way to navigate the state’s planning process.

Since it was last reformed 23 years ago, planning provisions and schemes have significantly expanded to include a massive 75,000 pages across 7000 documents, with an additional 15,000 maps.

The Victorian Budget 2016/17 will invest $25.5 million to create a more straightforward approach to accessing planning applications and decisions, with expected savings for property owners, investors and the state amounting to millions of dollars a year.

It includes common sense changes, with online planning applications allowed for the first time and a reduction in the number of small projects that require permits.

Last financial year, more than 57,000 planning permit applications were made, worth around $24 billion of proposed economic investment in Victoria. This system will help make it even easier to buy and build in Victoria.

Key changes will include:

  • Improved zone controls to ensure consistency and reduce duplication
  • Creating a new online portal for applications, which is easily used by homeowners as well as the property industry
  • Faster approvals in commercial and industrial zones, cutting costs
  • Understandable and accessible online tools for homeowners, encouraging participation in planning
  • Online planning scheme amendments and easy access to assessments for decisions such as windfarms, the central city, Environment Effects Statements and heritage applications

The Budget also includes $2.1 million for strategic planning in regional councils in 2016-17, making sure councils have access to the right tools and skills for detailed planning work.

These changes will make Victoria the most efficient and transparent state in the country for national and international investment.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“Whether you’re a homeowner or a property developer, Smart Planning will reduce costs and make it simpler to navigate the planning process.”

“Homeowners will have access to clear, easy to understand information about what can be built in their neighbourhood and how they can modify their properties.”

“Some of this is just common sense reform. But it will set Victoria apart as the most efficient and transparent place for national and international investment.”