Victoria Leads The Charge On Planning Reform


Victoria has made significant progress with planning reforms in the past several years, but the momentum needed to continue, according to The Property Council of Australia's 2015 Development Assessment Report Card (3rd Edition).

Property Council of Australia Victorian Executive Director Jennifer Cunich said Victoria was the only state to realise the potential score awarded in the 2012 document, reflecting the great strides made over the past three years.

“Plan Melbourne and the creation of the MPA are both examples of Victoria leading the way on long term growth management,” said Ms Cunich.

“However, we’ve still got a long way to go in taking the political heat out of development assessment – bedding down the new residential zones, working with councils to share the growth and better utilising existing infrastructure.

ALSO SEE: Victoria Leading The Way in Construction Output

“Poor planning and antiquated development assessment processes are both still major contributors to declining affordability. The only effective way to make housing more affordable is to build more homes, build them faster and at lower cost. Fixing the planning system will be critical to achieving these outcomes.

“We also need to make sure we don’t slip backwards and make the system even harder to navigate, particularly with regard to third party appeal rights which are already the strongest in the country.

“The property industry underpins Victoria’s economy, and if we’re going to keep attracting investment we have to keep up the good reform momentum and not rest on our laurels.

Residential Development Council Executive Director Nick Proud said streamlining development assessment processes will improve housing affordability by reducing costs and delays.

In addition to a series of state and territory based reforms, the report puts forward five key recommendations for reform, including:

  1. Zone more land for housing in inner, middle and outer ring suburbs;
  2. Simpler planning systems and faster less politicised processes;
  3. Less taxes on the production of new housing to lower prices for purchasers;
  4. Link housing and jobs through new infrastructure and ensure new projects are accompanied by a housing and renewal growth plan; and
  5. Incentivise reform through federal leadership. 

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