Single State Referral Agency Needed To Help Council Planning Approvals


Recent concerns raised by the Hills Shire Council about excessive delays in getting state
government approvals for much needed new housing can be solved by introducing a OneStop-Shop
for referrals to state agencies, says the Urban Taskforce.

“The General Manager of the Hills Shire Council recently issued a media release outlining a
number of examples where development applications which required referrals to state
government agencies were taking 9 months or more to get an approval. The GM’s colourful
language that ‘Clearly these people are asleep at the wheel’ aligns with the process many
Urban Taskforce members feel about responsiveness to referrals. Often a development
application will be referred to multiple state government agencies for review and approval.
These state government agencies do not liaise with each other and can take a very long time to
provide feedback and approval. This is an unnecessarily long and complex process. State
government agencies need to get their act together and work together collaboratively to
ensure additional housing supply can be delivered to the market in an efficient manner.”

“Queensland has established the State Assessment and Referral Authority (SARA) which has tight
key performance indicators to reach in responding to referrals from state government
departments. We understand that NSW is now considering a similar system and we encourage
this to occur as soon as possible.”

“It is rare that a property industry group like the Urban Taskforce aligns with local council
concerns but in this instance both local councils and the property industry have had enough
with the state government dragging the chain and want change.”

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