This week’s launch of the Queensland Government’s State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) is set to deliver a major overhaul of the state’s development assessment system.
Acting Premier Jeff Seeney said SARA will revolutionise the way developers deal with development applications referred to, or assessed by, the state.
“My department is now the single point for state assessment or referral of these development applications, meaning gaining approvals will be much more straightforward,” Mr Seeney said.
“Developers will no longer need to juggle proposals through multiple state agencies or manage the conflicts that existed under the previous government,” said Mr Seeney.
It is believed having a single agency lodgement point and a single point of contact will provide less frustration, fewer delays and decrease in unnecessary costs, allowing industry to respond quickly to new opportunities, as well provide greater clarity for local government.
Mr Seeney said a final decision-maker would ensure no unreasonable requirements were imposed on applicants.
“This simpler, fairer development assessment system has been driven from extensive consultation, and forms part of the government's second six-month action plan,” he said.
Mr Seeney said an ePlan Portal had also been introduced to assist councils and state agencies handle planning documents and is an example of how the government is cutting multiple process handling.
It enables local governments to lodge documents, state agencies to access those documents and provide comments, and the department to coordinate the review process for planning schemes and temporary local planning instruments.
“It will cut current delays by eliminating the copying and repeated distribution of draft documents, notifications, receipting responses and resolution of issues via numerous emails or meetings,” said Mr Seeney.
For more information on the planning reforms, visit http://www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/about-planning/planning-reform.html