Planning Revamp To Boost Economic Recovery And Jobs

Improving the efficiency of Victoria’s planning system will help make sure our state’s recovery isn’t held back by bureaucratic red tape or unnecessary delays.

As businesses reopen and people get back to work, the Andrews Labor Government will invest $111 million to unlock Victoria’s planning system, speeding up delivery of vital major projects and boosting construction of social and affordable housing – and the jobs that go with them.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 provides $38 million to improve planning processes, as recommended by the Commissioner for Better Regulation, streamlining decision-making and giving the private sector greater certainty to invest, create jobs and bring their business to Victoria.

To drive investment in big projects, the Labor Government will create a new assessment model for development proposals greater than $50 million. This model will make the approvals process simpler and quicker for these developments, giving investors even more confidence to build more projects here in Victoria – creating more jobs for Victorians.

To boost construction of new social and affordable housing, the Budget also includes $3.86 million to streamline the approval pathway, making it easier for private builders to include social and affordable housing in their developments – and making sure more Victorians have the certainty and security of home.

The pandemic pushed a range of planning systems online. To help maintain and improve digital systems for permit and planning scheme amendments – and reduce the bureaucratic burden for Victorians – the Budget invests $15.7 million to deliver ongoing upgrades to these online services.

The Labor Government will also invest $4 million to help councils upgrade their digital planning permit systems making it easier to lodge and track permits online, speeding up the process and reducing the hassle of having to lodge paperwork in person.

We will also provide a further $14 million to the Victorian Planning Authority, including funding the Streamlining for Growth program. The program provides support to local councils to fast-track local planning applications, boosting employment and making housing more affordable.

More than $2 million will go towards a trial of an innovative new 3D spatial data program called Digital Twin Victoria. The trial will bring together a whole host of currently disparate spatial data to develop digital models of Victoria – making it easier to accurately assess and plan projects remotely.

To better assess the safety of building and plumbing works in new developments across Victoria, $4.45 million will expand the Victorian Building Authority’s proactive building inspection program, to keep Victorians safe.

The Budget also includes $4.4 million to ensure heritage protection for Jacksons Hill in Sunbury – maintaining its numerous heritage-listed buildings and protecting the site’s surrounds while a master plan is developed.

More than $3.2 million will continue the implementation of Plan Melbourne – the blueprint guiding Melbourne’s growth, ensuring we continue to plan for strong communities, jobs, and everything that makes our city great.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“As we begin rebuilding from the pandemic, we need a planning system that is set up to drive growth and create jobs as we recover from coronavirus – that’s what these reforms will do.”

“This year we’ve seen just how much can be achieved online. We want to build on that strength, creating an easy, online and accessible planning and permit system.”