Fewer Delays, Better Scrutiny In Planning And Building

Up to $600 million economic growth could be created across the Victorian economy each year through more efficient approvals in the state’s planning and building systems, according to a discussion paper from Better Regulation Victoria.

The paper, now open for consultation, examines planning and building delays and bottlenecks to identify how the systems can be improved.

Red Tape Commissioner Anna Cronin and an advisory board of industry experts- Bill Kusznirczuk, Kate Roffey and Radley de Silva- have compiled the discussion paper and made a range of proposals.

The report considers challenges caused by a shortage of building surveyors and other building practitioners as well as the overlap between the planning and building regulatory regimes.

The paper proposes improvements to council and referral authority processes through early engagement with applicants, removing duplicate requests for information and delivering better response times from the many decision-makers along the planning approvals pipeline.

The need to collect performance data to identify where applications are delayed and looking at adopting new technology has also been flagged. The measures proposed are designed to improve efficiency across approvals without any reduction in scrutiny or the application of rules across the building and planning systems.

The need to strengthen Victoria’s building system has previously been flagged and the Andrews Labor Government is overhauling the state’s Building Act to deliver better outcomes for consumers.

Consultation for the discussion paper is open until 15 November 2019 ahead of a final report which will be prepared for the Treasurer and Minister in the coming months.

The Planning and Building Approvals Process Review discussion paper is available at betterregulation.vic.gov.au and the response form is available at engagevic.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“Providing certainty to the development industry is important for giving confidence in our building and planning systems.

“We want Victoria to be known as the right state to build in, that’s what we’re working with the industry and public to achieve.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“Planning resources should be focused on getting better outcomes and quality buildings, rather than duplicate paperwork and working through administrative bottlenecks.”

 “We want the planning and building systems to give people more certainty about what can and cannot be built, and need the industry and consumers to have their say about how we can improve the system.

Quotes attributable to Red Tape Commissioner Anna Cronin

“The proposed improvements focus on eliminating bottlenecks, removing unnecessary steps and making sure approvals processes are as efficient and effective as possible. 

“They are practical and implementable and will reduce delays and costs.”